Front Line Supervisors Program Helps New Leaders Put Skills Together

The deadline for applications is April 28

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Irish Hamilton, administrative coordinator for the Department of Head and Neck Surgery and Communication Sciences.

“I was like a deer in headlights basically,” Hamilton said. “When you’ve never done something like this, you have to try and learn on the fly.”

Hamilton learned how to take her experiences and skills and put them together to become a more effective leader with the Front Line Supervisors Program, which is offered by Duke Learning & Organization Development, a unit in Duke Human Resources.

Offered at no cost, the program is open to new managers with at least three years of continuous service to Duke. The deadline for manager nominations and application packets is 5 p.m. April 28.

The Front Line Supervisor Program is designed to develop Duke University and Duke University Health System staff members in entry-level supervisory roles such as administrative leads, shift supervisors or team leaders. The program, which is part of the Professional Development Academy, offers instruction in business acumen, people management, project management and more.

“I’ve always been a team player and didn’t want to think I was any different from the others,” said Hamilton, who was part of the program’s 2021 cohort. “But I also understood that, as a supervisor, I did need to separate myself just because of the fact that I was a leader. But being in this helped me better understand that role and showed me how to balance that.”

Grady Arnao, associate director of admissions for the Fuqua School of Business.

The six-month program is a mix of classroom coursework, individual coaching and a series of personal assessments. Participants will gain an understanding about their own leadership style, how to tailor it to fit the team they lead and how this knowledge can be applied to real-world work situations.

“This is a very deep experience,” said Assistant Director of Duke Learning & Organization Development Gina Rogers, who organizes the program.

Grady Arnao, associate director of admissions at the Fuqua School of Business, took part in the 2021 edition of the Front Line Supervisors Program. In addition to learning how to make the most of his leadership style, Arnao said the program opened his eyes up to the importance of understanding the individual journeys of his team members. As a manager, he said, it’s his responsibility for his team to achieve its goals, and for individual team members to move toward theirs, too.

“This program was able to give me a lot of perspective about how to work with people from different walks of life, and it helped me along the way, too” Arnao said.

Find a list of professional and technical development course options at the Duke Learning & Organization Development website.

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