Leadership Development

Campus Address
121-50 USB
Mailing Address

121 University Services Building., Suite. 50
Iowa City, IA 52242
United States

It is our vision that the University of Iowa will have leaders at all levels who develop themselves and others to achieve peak performance. One of the most enduring principles in leadership development is the 70-20-10 model, pioneered by the Center for Creative Leadership and based on decades of study of how executives learn to lead. It rests on the belief that leadership is learned through doing. The Corporate Leadership Council reinforced this with their research that on-the-job learning has 3x more impact on employee performance than formal training. Or as the Leadership Learning Community articulated in Leadership and Large-Scale Change, "When leadership development supports are embedded within a [change] initiative, the supports can be targeted more responsively and strategically to increase collaboration, alignment, and impact." - Deborah Meehan, Leadership Learning Community, Claire Reinelt, Ph.D., and Sally Leiderman, Center for Assessment and Policy Development

This short video from Bridgespan shows how to apply the 70-20-10 model to leadership development plans to support the career development of others. Contact to request a leadership development plan tool.

When creating a plan for yourself, or co-creating with someone who's development you are supporting, first identify 1-2 growth areas. No matter what formal education or experience someone may have, everyone can benefit from life-long learning, continuous improvement, and the expansion of leadership mindsets and skill sets. The UI Leadership Competency Framework describes knowledge, skill, and abilities to consider. Next, optimize your leadership development plan by balancing a blend of 70-20-10 development options:

Learning Communities (70%)

Everyday Leadership (70%)

Cross-Functional Experiences (70%)

  • Board, Committee, and Task Force Participation and Leadership
  • Projects, including Continuous Improvement and New Initiatives

Leadership Coaching (20%)

Mentorship and Advising (20%)

Leadership Training (10%)

Independent Study (10%)

Continued Education (10%)

Then, clarify what growth/success looks like. Clearer outcomes build motivation, accountability, and success. Whether this is your own plan or you're helping someone else, be sure to recognize effort, seek/offer affirmative and constructive feedback in the form of ideas and suggestions, and celebrate outcomes. Remember that development is change, and that change takes time. It also requires commitment, experimentation, reflection, and positive reinforcement! Contact your UI Leadership Development team at for consultation and resource referrals.