by Katie McGeehan   |  April 25, 2019

LFA is pleased to share the Leadership Development Guide – a resource on developing, implementing, assessing, and enhancing leadership development programs produced by two of our clients, The Schusterman Family Foundation and Rockwood Leadership Institute. LFA partnered independently with Rockwood and Schusterman to evaluate their respective fellowship programs. Both engagements began with a Theory of Change process to ground the evaluation and define the research questions that would guide our work, and both evaluations included an exploration of program components as well as program outcomes. As part of each organization’s evaluation, LFA engaged in deep reflection with Rockwood and Schusterman staff to consider ways their respective evaluation findings might be used to guide programmatic decision-making to improve implementation and support achievement of intended program outcomes for Fellows, their organizations, and their communities.

Through LFA’s strategic learning partnership with Schusterman, we began to explore how Schusterman might benchmark their program against similar leadership development programs. Not surprisingly, little benchmarking data regarding the components of successful programs or the metrics by which to measure success are publically available. With this in mind, Schusterman and Rockwood embarked on a collaborative effort to aggregate the insights garnered from LFA’s evaluation findings to develop a guide for other leadership development programs seeking to enhance their programs, increase their impact, and support ongoing learning. The product of this collaboration is the recently released Leadership Development Guide.

From the guide:

LFA took a deep dive into both Rockwood’s leadership programs and the Schusterman Fellowship, gleaning valuable insights from program alumni through comprehensive surveys and wide-ranging interviews. LFA’s in-depth analyses illuminated areas for improvement within our programs—but they also highlighted key successes that demonstrate the effectiveness of the leadership development models employed by the Schusterman and Rockwood Fellowships.


Schusterman and Rockwood have identified five key program elements that lead to successful and effective programs. The Leadership Development Guide provides practical, actionable steps, insights and lessons learned to help support leadership development programs in enhancing their program effectiveness and impact. The five core recommendations are as follows:

1. Set the stage for embracing vulnerability.
2. Focus on emotional intelligence.
3. Be intentional about relationship-building.
4. Design the right coaching experience.
5. Encourage sector and cross-sector collaboration.

The guide is presented in a spirit of ongoing learning for both Rockwood and Schusterman, who offer this resource as a support for ongoing program development and cross-sector collaboration. LFA is proud to serve as a strategic learning partner for The Schusterman Family Foundation and Rockwood Leadership Institute, and to provide insights that support our partners in transforming insights into actionable strategies for enhancing outcomes.