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USGS Leadership Course 101

Leadership 101 (L101) comprises part one of a two-part training. The complete training experience begins with the five-day L101 training and concludes with the five-day Leadership 201 (L201) training, with an average of 16-22 months between the two classes. Managers, please note that when nominating employees for L101 it is expected that employees will attend the second part of their training.

This course is an investment in the development of our future leaders. Please keep this factor in mind as you finalize your list of attendees. Information concerning the course and the nomination process is provided below.


Course Objectives

The primary objectives of the USGS Leadership 101 course are to:

  • Provide a networking opportunity for USGS employees who demonstrate significant interest or potential for leadership and/or management positions;
  • Enhance the growth and leadership development of program participants through a variety of learning experiences;
  • Facilitate a deeper level of understanding and involvement across organizational boundaries through interaction among participants representing all the regional and headquarters offices; and
  • Provide exposure to high-level bureau managers who serve as instructors.

In some instances, L101 is the first opportunity developing leaders have to work with others outside their own regional or headquarters offices. Early opportunities to develop cross-discipline relationships, particularly for those aspiring to leadership roles, are an important ingredient in promoting interdisciplinary collaboration. Each of these objectives directly supports the leadership and management development goals of the USGS.


Purpose and Content

The purpose of L101 is to provide a training experience that offers a wide range of theory and practical information that is useful for leadership and management in the twenty-first century. This week of instruction and experiential learning will help individuals determine whether they are interested in furthering their careers through leadership opportunities in a management position or whether they would prefer to exercise leadership by remaining in the technical or administrative arenas of the Bureau’s programs.

Leadership 101 is devoted to developing a broad foundation of leadership concepts. The session topics are:

  • Leadership Explored - Leadership and Management
  • Getting to Know Yourself – DiSC/360 Degree Feedback
  • Leadership and Vision
  • Principle-Centered Leadership – Guiding Principles
  • Leadership and Change
  • Creating High Performing Teams
  • Expanding Your Influence and Action Planning
  • Negotiation and Communication
  • What Makes Our Work-life Rewarding?
  • Ethical Decision Making
  • Mentoring
  • Executive Forum

Individuals selected to attend the L101 course will have the opportunity to work with a team of experienced leaders and managers from across the USGS (including the SES/SL ranks). Each instructor has been selected for subject-matter expertise, special skills, talents, or experience that she/he can bring to the group. Course material will be delivered in various styles. Depending on the topic, the sessions will be lecture, hands-on, group projects, or a combination of teaching methods.

Part two of this training, L201 (held 16-22 months following L101) is devoted to providing a deeper understanding of leadership, group interaction, application of theories and an opportunity to work on an action learning scenario. Action learning scenarios consist of current USGS issues or dilemmas sponsored by members of the Executive Leadership Team (ELT).


Course Schedule

Schedule of Leadership Courses



The two L101 courses will be held at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service National Conservation Training Center (NCTC) in Shepherdstown, West Virginia. NCTC is a residential campus. Participants are expected to stay onsite unless prohibited by travel regulations.



The salary, travel, and per diem for each attendee will be borne by the attendee’s office. There is no charge for tuition for Leadership 101.



Each course participant will receive an Evaluation of Leadership Effectiveness (360 evaluation) approximately eight weeks prior to the course start date. This evaluation must be completed and returned electronically by the participant in order to attend the course. The Evaluation of Leadership Effectiveness will include input solicited from the participants’ supervisors, 8-10 colleagues and employees (if applicable). Participants will also receive pre-course reading material prior to the class.



Employees who are interested should talk to their supervisors to request training. Note that all nomination requests must be forwarded by supervisors and managers through their management chain to their respective ELT member by the established due date. Selections to attend L101 will be forwarded in priority order to the OED.

After the selections are compiled, the OED will send a confirmation of Regional and Headquarters selectees to the ELT, nominees, and the nominees’ supervisors. Specific course assignment information will be included in this correspondence.


Leadership 101 from a participant's perspective

"From the outside, it seems like the course is for mid- to upper-level managers, but that isn't what it is about at all. The detailed analysis of communication styles is of particular value for everyone. Certainly, the discussions with the ELT gave me much better insight into the inner workings of USGS.

The Leadership 101 class has been a life-changer for me. I've already had many interactions with my classmates. One of my more technical new colleagues is helping me figure out Google Calendars as a planning tool for our travel secretary. The secretary was thrilled with this new organized and less irritating approach to travel. Two classmates from the East are planning to come to my Earth Day talk at NASA in DC. My action plan partner is straightening out my problems in our weekly calls. And many good ideas learned in interactions with people are getting immediate positive results."

—Submitted by Beth Middleton, Leadership 101, March 2015 cadre


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Learn More...

Leadership Program

Attendee/Student Info:

     Scheduled Courses

     Brief Descriptions of Courses

NCTC Information

History of the Program

Action Learning Scenarios

Past Participants

Leadership Tools

USGS Guiding Principles

Excellence in Leadership Award Info.

Acts of Leadership Coin

Acts of Leadership Stories