Starting from Within: Emerging Leaders Program

What do you get when you take a group of people who love to help others grow and put them into leadership positions?

Answer: Stormont Vail Health

At Stormont Vail, it’s clear that leadership comes in all different shapes, sizes, and roles. In the traditional sense, the individuals that are in titled managerial roles are working in unique ways to make sure that this organization is a place where people want to show up and do their best.

“Our senior leadership team has supported the creation of the Emerging Leaders Program and has encouraged those on their teams to apply,” said William Johnson, Organizational Development Consultant. “Operations Committee has approved the creation of a multi-tiered leadership education program which focuses on Leadership Behavior Competencies as opposed to the technical competencies of managing. But, I think the biggest step in the promotion and encouragement of leadership was the creation of the Organizational Development Team. It is one thing to learn different techniques, it is something different to create a team that is dedicated to the growth and improvement of leadership at every level.”

There is no doubt that Stormont Vail cares about training, educating, and supporting those already in leadership positions, but what happens within the multitude of teams on a day-to-day basis? That’s where the Emerging Leader Program (ELP) comes in. This program is shaped specifically to grow team members, without a formal leadership title, who show great promise. Lessons that are taught within the program include how to tackle difficult or crucial conversations, learning different leadership styles and how those can affect and be affected by different personalities, managing conflict, and much more.

“Being a part of the Emerging Leaders Program, there were so many lessons and strategies that can be utilized as just a normal team member,” said Maureen Kennedy, Creative Writer, ELP Graduate. “It definitely helps people from literally any department to understand that you don’t need the title to be a leader – you just need to be willing to learn.”

While the Emerging Leaders Program makes leadership knowledge accessible, it is still a newer program to be introduced. This means that throughout Stormont Vail, there are plenty of team members ready, but waiting to learn. Luckily, four outstanding leaders were willing to share what they believe makes a great leader.


“The great leaders I have known have been humble, emotionally intelligent, gracious, critically and strategically minded, and had excellent communication skills.” – Emersen Frazier, Director of Health Equity and Policy

“Approach everything with curiosity. People generally don’t want to hurt one another and there’s a reason behind every behavior. If we can replace judgment with curiosity, the world would be a more beautiful place!” – Kate Burns, Organizational Development Consultant

“It is so important to have a balanced and honest view of your strengths and blind spots/weaknesses. Self-awareness is key in leadership. Also, I’ve learned to give myself grace because no matter how long I’ve been in leadership, I do not know it all.” – Dena Brake, Manager of Transformational Leadership and Organizational Development

“A leader is a servant.  We have an idea that leaders are always in the front pointing and directing… that is NOT the case.  A leader surrounds themselves with people smarter than they are, and listens to their expertise before making a decision – that is the result of ‘followership’.  The leader puts their needs last in order to meet the needs of those that follow them.” – William Johnson, Organizational Development Consultant

If you’re interested in finding a career that allows for you to love the work you do while also having true leadership surrounding and supporting you, come join our team.

“I would like the public to know that our leadership team has HEART! Every single person in every single leadership position has an incredibly challenging job and colossal responsibility,” said Kate Burns. “They handle it with grace and heart while taking the best care of our patients and maintaining Stormont Vail as a place we come to everyday knowing our teammates care about us as humans, too.”

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