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 research shows that leaders learn and grow from 3 types of experiences: 

  • 70% Challenging Experiences and Assignments
  • 20% Developmental Relationships
  • 10% Coursework and Training

When creating a plan for yourself, or co-creating with someone who's development you are supporting: 

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  1. Identify 1-2 growth areas. 
  2.  Optimize your leadership development plan by balancing a blend of 70-20-10 development options. 
  3. Clarify what growth/success looks like. Clearer outcomes build motivation, accountability, and success. 

Discover Opportunities

70%   |   20%   |   10%

Challenging Experiences and Assignments (70%)

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


Developmental Relationships (20%)

Leadership Coaching (20%)

Mentorship and Advising (20%)


Coursework and Training (10%)

Leadership Training (10%)

Independent Study (10%)

  • UI Libraries (Harvard Business Review and other journals)
  • Books, Blogs, Listservs, Webinars, etc.

Continued Education (10%)

  • Conferences and Events
  • Tuition Assistance
  • Professional Certifications
  • Continuing Education Credit


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 or to request a leadership development plan tool.