Sample Agenda- Transition to Leadership

Take a look at the Transition to Leadership Overview.

Sample Agenda: Transition to Leadership

  • Time Needed: 90 minutes
  • Purpose: For participants to learn about which parts of the leadership role are core, and which can be delegated
  • Materials: Paper and pen for taking notes

Session Introduction (10 minutes)

  • Welcome to the session
  • Location of the bathrooms
  • Nearest emergency/fire exit
  • Overview of agenda
  • Goals for the session

Select your opening prompt

Here are some prompts that may be successfully used for those transitioning to leadership.
Choose one:

  • What is a leader?
  • What is my job as a leader?
  • What makes an effective leader?
  • Create an image of management and one of leadership.
  • What do I need to hold on to? What can I let go?
  • How can I inspire others?
  • How can I support others?

Starting the Conversation (17 minutes)

  • 2 minutes for instruction
  • 5 minutes for creating images
  • 10 minutes for sharing

Ask participants to quickly go through their image sets to fi nd pictures that speak to the opening prompt:

  • What is my job as a leader? (or alternative selection)

There are no rules about how participants can go about this part of the process. They can select as few or as many photos as they wish, and assemble them any way they wish on the sheet of paper in front of them. The only limitation is time; they should finish selecting and arranging their images within five minutes.

Use the next ten minutes to have participants share a brief story of their images. Ask them to listen carefully to each person’s response and notice the similarities and differences between group members. The amount of time each participant has to share their story will vary with the size of the group and your time constraints.

As participants are sharing their stories, ask clarifying questions if they are needed. Although you can do this yourself, it is often better in a leadership development context to explain the types of questions that participants are welcome to ask of each other and encourage them to become active questioners.

Some example clarifying questions include:

  • Can you tell me more?
  • What would be another example?
  • Is this what you mean?

Deepening the Conversation (10 minutes)

Ask participants to begin to discuss what they have heard from each other. Some suggested deepening questions include:

  • What pieces are missing?
  • What questions does this raise?
  • What else do you see?
  • What’s the possible impact?

Narrowing the Conversation (15 minutes)

In small groups of 3-4, ask participants to compare their images with the core
functions of a leader. Ask each group to make lists of which components of the
images are core and which are not. After each group is finished, use an additive
sharing process to generate a combined list.

Assessing the Conversation (6 minutes)

At this point, it is time to find out what people’s thoughts are after having worked through the concepts together. How did they experience the activities? Was it difficult to determine the differences between what was essential and what was not?

Some assessing questions include:

  • Do you have any different sense of what you contribute as a leader?
  • What implication does this have?
  • What are the applications?

Applying the Conversation (12 minutes)

Ask participants to discuss how they might apply this information going forward.

Try questions such as:

  • How can we apply what we discovered to our workdays?
  • What might we do to leverage your strengths as leaders?

Debriefing the Conversation (10 minutes)

The debriefing section is where you help the group pull together everything they have done. It is a critical step and worth every minute invested.

Some suggested debriefing questions include:

  • What did you notice about the process?
  • What are you taking away?

Closing (5 minutes)

At the end of the session, provide guidance to the participants about how to carry the work forward after the session.


Developing Great Leaders is also available in a printed version.