Leadership Development

Original PLA Leadership Model 2010–2018

Under guidance from the PLA Leadership Development Committee, the association offered leadership programming centered around a PLA Leadership Model, originally developed by Dr. Adam Goodman, director, Center for Leadership, Northwestern University and the 2009 PLA Leadership Task Force.

In developing the original model, the team outlined the “new normal” for public libraries. This new normal highlighted five forces that influence and have an impact on library strategy and services.

Force 1 The Nature and Pace of Change
Force 2 The Evolving Role of the Public Library
Force 3 Building Community
Force 4 Asset Driven Impact
Force 5 The Challenge for Leadership

The original PLA Leadership Model addressed four spheres of leadership and offered insights to consider when developing leadership skills:

  1. Self: How does the individual assess personal strengths and become an agent?
    • Acting with integrity/self awareness
    • Developing individual coaching and mentoring networks
  2. Organization: How does a leader guide an organization through change and help the organization adapt to constant change as the new normal?
    • Discovering new ideas
    • Building vision
    • Operating strategically
    • Taking risks and seizing opportunities
  3. Community: How does the library help address community issues and goals, developing partnerships that build communities and the library’s role within the community?
    • Working with and through others
    • Building and leveraging relationships
    • Understanding and communicating from the customer’s perspective
    • Delivering impact and results based on a vision
  4. Cross-cutting abilities: How does an individual develop a skills portfolio to lead in each of the identified spheres, moving quickly and seamlessly among them as needed?
    • Anticipating and leading change
    • Recognizing and growing potential in others