Legislative Staff Management Institute

5/18/2020
2020 Program | August 2020

Introduction

LSMI logo

2020 All Digital Legislative Staff Management Institute
New format means there’s never been a better time to apply.
Application deadline extended to June 5

 

With challenges come opportunities. Because it is not possible to meet in person for this year’s Legislative Staff Management Institute, we are adapting to an all-digital experience, which means this experience has never been more affordable and accessible for legislative staff.

Skip the trip and save. In response to the COVID-19 crisis, this best-in-class leadership and management program is shifting from its regular in-person, eight-day residential format to a month-long online experience. No travel costs, no per diem and no time away from family is required. Additionally, tuition is now just $1,200, thanks to support from the NCSL Foundation and its partners. The result: There has never been a better time to benefit from this unique program.

New platform, same high-quality program. For more than 30 years, NCSL’s Legislative Staff Management Institute (LSMI) has served as the premier management and leadership skills training program designed specifically for legislative staff. Twice a week, participants will engage with subject matter experts in a variety of lessons tailored to the unique demands of legislative staff. Participants also will have the opportunity to interact with other legislative staff from around the country in interactive discussions and exercises, as well as receive individualized coaching to help identify and curate their own leadership styles.

Now is exactly the right time. Good leadership and management skills are always in high demand. While the challenges of the pandemic are still unfolding for state legislatures, exceptional leadership and management skills will be required to help states navigate these uncharted waters. 

Here’s what to expect:

  • Interactive and dynamic instruction from leadership experts.
  • Access to two assessment tools such as Social Styles Inventory or Myers-Briggs Type Indicator.
  • Two, 45-minute executive coaching sessions.
  • The opportunity to discuss and apply lessons learned in a supportive setting.
  • Reduced tuition of $1,200.

2020 Program Dates:

  • Late June (on your own): Program orientation via pre-recorded webinar, access to assessments.
  • July 31, 3-5 p.m. ET: Cohort introductions and review of program technology.
  • Aug. 3-5 p.m. ET, every Thursday and Friday: LSMI program with leadership experts and interactive exercises.
  • September and October: Two, 45-minute executive coaching sessions.

This program is intended for both senior-level legislative staff, as well as staffers on their way to such positions. Acceptance is competitive as the program size is limited. The deadline to apply is June 5, 2020

For questions, contact Angela Andrews with NCSL, 303-856-1349.

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Program Dates

  • Late June (on your own): Program orientation via pre-recorded webinar, access to assessments.
  • July 31, 3-5 p.m. ET: Cohort introductions and review of program technology.
  • Every Thursday and Friday in August, 3-5 p.m. ET: LSMI program with leadership experts and interactive exercises.
  • September and October, time TBD: two, 45-minute executive coaching sessions.

Program Eligibility and Tuition

Eligibility

This program is intended for both senior-level legislative staff as well as staffers on their way to such positions from throughout the country. Acceptance into the program is competitive as the program size is limited.

Tuition

Tuition for the 2020 virtual program is $1,200.

The tuition covers instruction from leadership experts, access to two assessment tools, two 45-minute executive coaching sessions (optional). and the opportunity to discuss and apply lessons learned in a supportive setting. 

Participants pay significantly less than the actual cost because of generous contributions from the NCSL Foundation for State Legislatures.

Program Design

The LSMI Program, developed by USC and CCS in collaboration with NCSL, focuses on practical application of concepts and tools that legislative staff can use to meet the increasingly complex policy and management demands that confront American state legislatures throughout the country. 

This virtual offering aligns with past curriculums with leadership development facilitated through self- and social-awareness lenses. Experts from around the country will provide lessons tailored to the unique demands of legislative staff.  

And, participants will have the opportunity to interact with other legislative staff from around the country in engaging and interactive discussions and exercises. LSMI stretches the boundaries of online learning beyond passive webinars to maximize interactions.

Continuing those components that makes LSMI unique, the virtual cohort model provides individualized supports to help participants identify and curate their own leadership styles, including a 28-page personalized 360-degree report from LeadershipEnergizes.com and a nationally recognized self-assessment tool such as Social Styles Inventory or Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, and two executive coaching sessions (optional) to help implement the lessons from LSMI.  

Executive Coaching

Executive coaching was first offered as part of LSMI in 2017. While optional, participants have the opportunity to work one-on-one with a certified executive coach to strengthen their leadership impacts. The LeadershipEnergizes! 360-degree leadership assessment tool is often used as a springboard for conversation. Participants sign-up for two 45-minute sessions during the residency; the confidential sessions are done over the phone or web-conference.

Self-awareness is a critical factor in effective leadership, and we all get stuck sometimes. The coaches' role is to help participants refine their present and future selves in the context of their professional goals. 

Workplace challenges and conflicts tend to occur at two different levels: organization and individual. At the organizational level, structural frameworks are typically the nexus. This includes the organizational structure, policies and procedures, and resource allocation. At the individual level, human factors come into play—including those around political, symbolic, and human resource frameworks, aptitude and attitude.

Our executive coaches take a holistic approach. Core techniques identify whether the challenge is due to resources, aptitude, or attitude. For those that revolve around resources, the outcome is shaped by organizational decisions or parameters. Aptitude, while at the control of the individual, often takes the form of training opportunities.

The greatest impacts in an executive coaching setting revolve around attitude. Through a series of conversations, inquiries, and exercises, the coach assists the client in their self-discovery process as it pertains to their professional development. 

From our experiences in legislative environments, goals can include relationship building, conflict management, influence/negotiation, organizational culture, career/personal changes, strategy and team dynamics. The goals can also be value-based, particularly in hierarchical settings where an elected member's request goes against the participant's values, such as drafting legislation that compromises a protected class.

While the spot-coaching experience is limited to two sessions, much work can be completed in the short time frame. These sessions expose participants to a professional development approach for future consideration.

Legislative Content

The program draws on professionals with considerable legislative experience. These professionals have teaching and presentation expertise and extend discussions to legislative issues from throughout the United States.

Management Processes

The management process pieces will be presented during each session. The faculty draws on public and private sector experience to promote best practices and identify research findings. The emphasis is on the discussion, practice and application of skills important to effective management and leadership. 

Participants and Admissions

Participants

The LSMI curriculum is designed for both senior legislative staff members plus those on their way to such positions. The curriculum is demanding and the admissions committee (USC, Sacramento State directors and NCSL co-directors) seeks senior and up-and-coming staffers who can benefit most from a challenging practical and academic experience. Acceptance into the program is competitive.

Appropriate candidates include partisan and nonpartisan staff who currently hold critical management positions or are likely to in the future. Essential qualities for any participant are a commitment to public service in a legislature and an aptitude for the challenges which LSMI offers.

Admissions

2020 course applications can be received starting May 18. The deadline for applications is June 5. All application materials must be submitted online, using this link:

  •  2020 LSMI Application 

A candidate's admission will be determined by the nature of his or her current responsibilities, accomplishments, challenges faced, and potential for future public policy contributions. Candidates will be notified of their acceptance approximately two weeks after the application deadline.

Since the sharing of experience is critical to the LSMI's objectives, participants will be chosen to include a diversity of backgrounds, geographical regions and varieties of legislatures. If several well-qualified applicants have very similar backgrounds, one or more of them may be deferred to a future class.

The University of Southern California Sol Price School of Public Policy; California State University, Sacramento's Center for California Studies and the National Conference of State Legislatures are committed to the policy that all persons shall have equal access to programs, facilities, and employment without regard to race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, age, marital status, disability, public assistance status, veteran status or sexual orientation.

Program Contacts

Angela Andrews
Group Director, Legislative Staff Services Program
National Conference of State Legislatures
303-856-1349
Email

Paul Danczyk
Director
Executive Education in Sacramento for the University of Southern California Sol Price School of Public Policy
Email

Leonor Ehling
Executive Director
Center for California Studies, Sacramento State
Email

2020 Program Information

2019 Program Information

Additional Resources