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We’re Better Together


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    By Melissa Cabezas
    UM News

    More than 100 employees joined University leaders to kick off the latest Essentials of Leadership program.

    eol-essentials-of-business

    Executive Vice President and Provost Jeffrey Duerk talks with members of the newest class in the Essentials of Leadership program.

    CORAL GABLES, Fla. (February 8, 2018)—Following the 500 graduates who came before them, more than 100 University of Miami employees began their six-month journey through the Essentials of Leadership Program (EOL) last week by attending a panel discussion on “The Business of the U.”

    During the two-hour interactive session, which has kicked off every EOL series since the program’s 2014 inception, the new participants heard a common theme from three University leaders who hold vastly different responsibilities: The ability to work together is vital to the advancement of the U.

    With Sarah Artecona, assistant vice president for community engagement, moderating, Jeffrey Duerk, executive vice president and provost, Ben Riestra, chief ambulatory operations executive at The Lennar Foundation Medical Center, and Patricia Whitely, vice president for student affairs, noted how everyone at the University is linked, regardless of their location or field, and how more can be accomplished when interdisciplinary units work together.

    As an example, Duerk pointed to the multiple departments that have come together to make decisions about changing and improving the campus.

    “The University’s finances are connected to the new residential village,” Duerk said, explaining how leaders need to decide whether it makes financial sense to renovate or rebuild existing housing.

    Riestra discussed the impact of the new student health care center at the Lennar center. “We see between 170 to 180 students a day at the student health center,” he said. “Now, more than ever, students are connected to different aspects of patient care.”

    Duerk also addressed the challenges new leaders face, emphasizing that their success depends on creating relationships and building trust. “It takes time to learn about your team, their talents and strengths, and to get to know the institution,” said Duerk, who is a newcomer himself.

    He spoke about how leaders from other universities or industries can add value from lessons learned outside the organization, but tapping into existing knowledge is key.

    “Leaders must be confident enough to pull on institutional knowledge and listen to what their colleagues have to say based on their experiences within the organization,” he said, urging members of the new EOL class to “network and find an ally. Ask questions, and listen to what they have to say.”

    The Essentials of Leadership program supports UM leaders in their role as coaches and mentors. The six-month program, hosted by the Office of Talent and Organizational Development, helps participants explore their individual leadership style, understand learning styles, gain confidence in handling difficult conversations at work, and expand their professional network with colleagues across the University.

    Learn more about the program.

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