Foundations of Leadership Excellence

Foundations of Leadership Excellence (FLE): Launching Leaders with Courage, is a one-year leadership development program for early career faculty members at the University of Minnesota Medical School. Hitting the ground running is uncommon when starting as an early career faculty member in academic medicine. “I wish I would have known that when I started” is a common refrain after one has navigated the first few years and finally accesses formal faculty development offerings. Early in your career is the time to make systematic investment in yourself and your leadership practice. Make those first critical years as impactful and effective as possible. Strategically investing now can impact your career development long term. Developing foundational leadership skills and joining a learning network will set you up for life-long success as a leader. This program is designed to prepare participants for more advanced leadership development opportunities that are offered institutionally or nationally (for instance, the Rothenberger Leadership Academy, ELAM, AAMC, etc.). This program focuses on transformational leadership (rather than transactional) and is universally applicable to faculty with clinical, research or education interests.

The schedule will include 12 monthly modules via Zoom, for 2-hours each, with some off-line reading, micro-assignments, and assessments between meetings. Sessions will begin October 14, 2022.

Department Heads nominate early career, emerging leader candidates for this program. Faculty members should be between year 2 and 4 of their faculty appointment. We strive to attract a diverse pool of candidates for this program, faculty members that reflect the broad range of identities in our Medical School.

**Pre-requisite: Faculty at affiliate sites who have firewalls must use their personal devices during these sessions to access any/all materials and to have the proper participation experience.

The program is limited to 30 participants. The nomination window for the 2022-23 Cohort is now closed.

Go here to view an informational slide deck of the program.


Ezgi Tiryaki, MD, Dr. med., Professor, Department of Neurology; Amanda Termuhlen, MD, Professor, Department of Pediatrics, Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs

Objectives and Aims
  • Create greater capacity for self-leadership (values, integrity, leadership style, vision and mission, accountability, visibility, perspective taking) and improve career planning and strategic goal setting at the individual level.
  • Enhance skill set for greater leadership effectiveness in the immediate sphere of influence of the participant, namely in team building and team leadership (motivating others, managing conflict, fostering psychological safety, mentoring, promoting diversity and inclusion).
  • Develop the fundamentals of shared leadership practices and leadership language in a safe environment (peer-learning, peer-support) and create a community of practice.
  • Create a strategic professional learning network (leadership interviews, personal learning network, opportunities for career development and citizenship, visibility to key stakeholders) to set participants up for optimized, ongoing leadership skill development and mentorship.
Leadership Competencies

This foundational curriculum will focus on the competency domains of:

  • Vision
  • Integrity
  • Effective communication
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Structured decision-making
  • Motivation and feedback
  • Diversity awareness
Module Topics
  • Module 1: Looking Back in Order to Look Forward
  • Module 2: Recognizing Values and Creating a Vision
  • Module 3: Reframing Fears and Shaping Beliefs
  • Module 4: Inquiring Generously and Advocating Passionately
  • Module 5: Paying Attention and Showing Appreciation
  • Module 6: Creating Trust and Reframing Conflict
  • Module 7: Seeing Possibilities and Making Wise Decisions
  • Module 8: Giving and Receiving (the gift of) Feedback
  • Module 9: Empowering Others and Taking a Coaching Stance
  • Module 10: Growing a Personal Learning Network
  • Module 11: Cultivating Hope and a Sense of Belonging
  • Module 12: Reflecting on Learnings and Looking Ahead
2020-21 Cohort

UMN Faculty:

VA Faculty

  • Charleen Balcer, DO | Department of Psychiatry
  • Benjamin Braus, MD | Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry
  • Reut Danieli, MD | Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine
  • Tyler Drake, MD | Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine
  • Dimitri Drekonja, MD | Associate Professor, Department of Medicine
  • David Ewart, MD | Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine
  • Ramces Francisco, MD | Assistant Professor, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery
  • Rahul Kavathekar, MD | Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine
  • Christopher Luhman, MD | Disability Resource Center
  • Dustin Palm, MD | Assistant Professor, Department of Anesthesiology
  • Justin Peltola, MD | Adjunct Assistant Professor, Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology
  • Laura Pientka, DO | Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry
  • Scott Reule, MD | Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine
  • Alex Senk, MD | Assistant Professor, Department of Rehabilitation Medicine
  • Aasma Shaukat, MD, MPH | Adjunct Professor, School of Public Health
  • Nora Shumway, MD | Assistant Professor, Department of Dermatology
  • Jamie Starks, MD | Assistant Professor, Department of Neurology
  • Katie Steen, MD | Medical Resident, Department of Psychiatry
  • Jake Theis, MD | Adjunct Assistant Professor, Department of Radiology
  • Nicole Welle, MD | Department of Psychiatry
  • Bradley Yamanaka, MD | Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine
2021-22 Cohort