VISION | The Masters Series for Distinguished Leaders (MSDL) was founded in 2008 by cadre of accomplished veteran leaders to nurture and develop a new generation of high impact executives. This culturally sensitive, global leadership excellence and community service program assists high performing business, government, and nonprofit middle managers, ages 25 – 45, who are people of color, move to the next levels of their careers. MSDL has graduated over 100 gifted and talented executives.
UNIQUENESS | Most traditional leadership development programs emphasize external skills of leadership such as shaping vision, setting goals, and developing strategic plans. MSDL focuses on such internal skills and qualities of difference-making leadership as strength of character, integrity, resiliency, team building, compassion, creating and sustaining win-win relationships, and understanding the proper uses of power.
SUCCESS | MSDL’s success is rooted in its philosophy of PROMISE DRIVEN LEADERSHIP. MSDL moves past the usual leadership development focus on PURPOSE, or the work a leader is called to do, to PROMISE, or the difference a leader is called to make to improve the human condition. Promise driven leaders are always “other-centered” and make others around them better. Promise Driven Leaders consistently model seven key character traits. They are Committed to something bigger than themselves; Considerate of others; Connected to others; Compassionate toward others; Confident in their calling; Conscientious with excellence as their brand; and Complementary, or seeking harmony, with all others. MSDL equips high performing executives with the character strength and mindset of promise driven leadership so they are prepared to achieve success for their organizations and the communities they serve.
HOW MSDL WORKS | During the months of January to June, MSDL Fellowes meet two days each month. Day One consists of Interactive, leadership skills building seminars, using the case study method, simulating real life leadership challenges and scenarios; effective communication skills; and small group feedback sessions. Day Two consists of Community Service Leadership Sector with Fellows meeting with White House, Congressional policy makers, nonprofit advocates, and those impacted by systemic injustice in such areas as criminal justice reform. This sector teaches Fellows how decisions are made and how to make decisions that better the lives of all Americans. MSDL Fellows also complete mid-term and final presentations incorporating the training they have received and their own independent research before an expert panel of decision-makes and advocates.
ALUMNI FAMILY | The Masters Series for Distinguished Leaders (MSDL) program is an outgrowth of the 25-year connection between prominent African American veteran leaders whose close relationship and friendship bonds led them to function as “The Leadership Family”. Likewise, the MSDL Alumni Family is also creating close relationship bonds and networking opportunities for all Masters Series participants – alumni and current fellows. The theme of “Embracing Family” has been the cornerstone of the alumni network to reinforce the bonds of family and friendship among current and future MSDL Alumni through “Family Gatherings”.