Member Perspective: Dr. Julie E. Wollman

Guest Commentator: Dr. Julie E. Wollman, President, Widener University @WidenerPres @WidenerUniv

Why is it important for employers to provide leadership development opportunities for employees? How does this sustain long-term growth for the organization?

As the leader of a large organization, my success is connected to my commitment to continue to learn and develop as a leader. And I want our employees to continue to grow and learn, too, because their development is equally important to our success as a university. We all recognize that job satisfaction is much greater when we create opportunities for professional development and advancement. Plus, people do better work and represent our organizations better when they know we value them enough to invest in their development; and when their knowledge and skills are growing, allowing them to continue to get better at their jobs. A thriving organization is built on a satisfied and continuously improving employee community.

That’s why at Widener University we work to create opportunities for leadership development as one powerful way to recognize potential, spur learning and growth, and plan for succession at every level. On a university campus, there are many opportunities for professional development from leading department or division committees to serving as a leader for university committees and initiatives. We also offer employees considerable support for pursuing graduate degrees at Widener to enhance their knowledge, skills, and credentials. But perhaps what is most notable is our Organizational Development Services, a division of the university that is linked to our joint MBA and Clinical Psychology doctoral degree and prepares executive coaches.

Organizational Development Services (ODS) is housed in the Oskin Leadership Institute and in addition to providing top-notch affordable executive coaching for external organizations, it does the same for our own employees. Each year eight to ten promising employees with potential for, or newly placed in increasingly responsible leadership roles, are selected to engage in a year of executive coaching. Sometimes even the most senior leaders self-select into ODS coaching because they are eager to grow and learn and become even better at their work. This coaching is aimed at the professional growth of strong employees and is an investment we feel is well worth it! Leadership development opportunities enhance retention, performance, and organizational success and provide built-in succession planning.

Dr. Wollman is Chair of the Regional College and University Presidents’ Alliance, an initiative of the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia’s CEO Council for Growth. Widener University is a sponsor of Pay It Forward: Mentoring Our Future Leaders, a cross-industry mentoring engagement program that pairs young professionals with executives from Chamber member companies.

Upcoming Program

Higher Education Reception
Please join business and academic executives for an exclusive networking reception as we honor the region’s higher education leaders. Meet College and University Presidents and some of the institutions’ top administrators as we seek ways to strengthen the regional economy by leveraging our academic assets.

Monday, December 17, 2018
5:30 PM – 7:00 PM

Hilton Philadelphia at Penn’s Landing
201 South Columbus Boulevard
Philadelphia, PA 19106

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