ACS Leadership Development System® Descriptions

Course Descriptions

The ACS Leadership Development System® is a competency based, integrated framework of learning modules designed to help members develop into highly skilled leaders. To view the full course descriptions and pricing go to http://www.acs.org/leaderdevelopment.

The curriculum focuses on four core leadership tracks (which have been listed according to whether they are online or facilitated courses):

Emerging Volunteers Track

Emerging Volunteers Online Courses

  • ACS and You
    Are you new to ACS or new to an ACS leadership role? Understanding the structure of the organization, the responsibilities of the leaders, and the opportunities to volunteer or lead in this complex organization is very important, as you get involved. This course will help you learn about ACS and begin to see where you fit, how you can benefit personally and professionally, and how you can contribute in setting the future direction of ACS. Learn more.
  • Becoming an Effective Contributor (Enroll Now)
    You are considering volunteering in ACS, you know that it is a great opportunity to get involved, network, and contribute to the Society, however, you don’t understand what it entails and what is expected. This course helps you gain information about projects and volunteer assignments so that you can clearly understand the scope of the project, resources, timelines, and expectations, in order to make the best decision about volunteering opportunities. Learn more.
  • Matching Interests with Goals (Enroll Now)
    Many of us would like to get more involved. But, with numerous other demands on our time, we need help finding the right opportunities to meet our needs. Matching Interests with Goals is a unique online course that helps you gain a better understanding of what you want; what interests you; what will help you move your career in the direction you want; and what you can bring to the project. As you take the first step to getting involved, take a moment to match your skills with the specific ACS project and leadership role that will be valuable, both personally and professionally. Learn more.

Emerging Volunteers Facilitated Courses

  • Engaging Colleagues in Dialogue (Enroll Now)
    Have you ever found a project to go awry only to learn that miscommunication was the cause? Good communication skills can make all the difference in your success as a leader. This course helps ACS leaders improve their one-to-one communication skills from both sides of the communication exchange – as sender and receiver. You will assess your own communication skills through conversations with colleagues (within ACS and in your workplace.) Learn more.

Emerging Leaders Track

Emerging Leaders Online Courses

  • Managing Projects Effectively (Enroll Now)
    Missed deadlines, cost overruns, and unattained goals, all result from projects not being managed effectively. Whether in our jobs or on a volunteer project team, we do not have the luxury of unproductive projects. Learn a practical 5-step process that will improve your ability to lead projects to completion – on time, within budget, optimizing your resources, and achieving your goals. Learn more.
  • Running Productive Meetings (Enroll Now)
    Who likes spending their time in meetings, especially when they are not well managed? There is a skill to running effective meetings. Do you know what it takes to conduct an effective meeting and involve team members in the decision-making and activities? Learn how to leverage this key leadership tool to make the most of their time, talents, and resources to effectively and efficiently accomplish team projects. Learn more.
  • Understanding Members’ Interests (Enroll Now)
    Leading in a complex professional association like ACS can be challenging, particularly if you are unfamiliar with the diverse group of members and their diverse interests. Yet, understanding the members can mean the difference between having a clear vision for your unit and wasting valuable time and resources on misaligned priorities. Learn about ACS membership both from data that is available and research techniques for gaining greater understanding of member interests. Learn more.

Emerging Leaders Facilitated Courses

  • Engaging & Motivating Volunteers (Enroll Now)
    One of the greatest challenges facing a volunteer leader is recruiting and engaging volunteers to help accomplish the project/team/committee goals. It requires leaders to understand what help is needed, what skills are required and what form of motivation will truly excite the volunteer to commit to the project. Learn practical tools to engage a volunteer and make the assignment successful and professionally rewarding, so the volunteer will participate in future assignments. Learn more.

Developing Leaders Track

No Online Courses | Facilitated Courses

Developing Leaders Facilitated Courses

  • Fostering Innovation (Enroll Now)
    We are constantly challenged to come up with new ideas, approaches, and solutions, yet most of us feel ill-equipped to do this effectively. With a systematic and proven process to generate ideas you can lead your team to develop new ideas. Gain the understanding and tools to tap into your own innovation style and stimulate innovative thinking among your committee members. Learn more
  • Coaching and Feedback (Enroll Now)
    Anyone who has tried coaching without proper training will tell you it is not as easy as it looks. Yet, coaching effectively is central to your success as a leader, the success of the volunteers, and ACS. It is a key skill that will help you increase performance, expand the skills of your team, improve relationships and morale, encourage creativity, and promote achievement. This course provides leaders with a proven process, practical tools, and a hands-on opportunity to coach volunteers and employees more effectively. Learn more.
  • Collaborating Across Boundaries (Enroll Now)
    Leaders in many roles in the Society (especially at more senior levels) need to be able to work effectively with leaders and members in other roles and units to accomplish their objectives. This course provides leaders with strategies and tools to make collaboration more productive including developing common goals, ensuring equity between what parties bring and what they gain from the effort, gaining members’ commitment, and establishing trust and resolving conflict. Learn more.
  • Leading Change (Enroll Now)
    Change is a constant today, yet it is often met with resistance. Leading change—whether it is a change in priorities, direction, or people—is critical to your success as a leader in your profession and within ACS. This course provides leaders with a step-wise process to lead change and guide committee members, division members, and local section members more effectively through the change process for greater results and efficiency. Learn more.

Advanced Leaders Track

Advanced Leaders Online Courses

  • Succession Planning (Enroll Now)
    In volunteer organizations such as the ACS, where leadership turnover is continuous and frequent, it is vital to have a highly effective succession planning process. Effective succession planning ensures that your accumulated knowledge and experience is not lost and lays the foundation for smooth leadership transitions. Learn practical skills necessary to ensuring the future success of your section, division, region or committee as the baton is passed. Leaders will create their own succession plans for the leadership role they currently hold. Learn more.

Advanced Leaders Facilitated Courses

  • Leading without Authority (Enroll Now)
    Leading in a volunteer organization comes with many challenges, not the least of which is having no direct authority over the volunteer members. Therefore, leaders need to be able to engage and influence members to get things done even when they may be putting up barriers or have different viewpoints. Learn practical tools to help you gain cooperation without formal authority and motivate your committee, local section, or division members to accomplish important Society goals. Learn more.
  • Developing Communication Strategies (Enroll Now)
    This course focuses on how to be more successful in communicating with others about issues of importance to you--especially in cases where you want them to take action in response to your communication. Working in small interactive groups, you’ll have the chance to develop and practice your own effective communication strategy. Most importantly, you’ll learn how to apply your new communication skills to a variety of situations in your workplace, in your community and at ACS. Learn more.
  • Strategic Planning (Enroll Now)
    Setting direction and creating the strategic plan for a local section, national committee, division, or region, is a key responsibility of senior ACS leaders. Yet, many of us lack the experience in plan development, receive minimal assistance in setting direction, or are unclear of how to align the section, division, or committee’s goals to those of the Society. This course will help you improve your understanding of the planning process while giving you the opportunity to start developing a plan that aligns with the ACS Board of Directors’ strategic goals. Learn more.
  • Extraordinary Leaders (8-hour facilitated course)
    In a volunteer organization like ACS and in the workplace, great leaders can significantly impact the productivity of a team, the effectiveness of a local section, and the performance of a committee. Being a competent leader starts with knowing what it takes to be a great leader and gaining an understanding of your own strengths. The ACS Extraordinary Leader course provides a model for effective leadership that will help you achieve exceptional results. As part of the program you will participate in a 360° feedback process that gives you personal feedback on your leadership competencies. You will then use this feedback to create a personal plan for developing your leadership strengths to become an extraordinary leader. Learn more.

Full Course Descriptions and Pricing

(NOTE: some facilitated courses listed are sponsored by specific ACS Local Sections and are free-of-charge. Please contact representatives listed within the Facilitated Course Schedule for more information).

ACS and You

Online Course – Self-Paced

ACS Member Price: FREE | Non-Member Price: FREE

Take the course. Once you select this link, the course will start in your browser window. (You do not need to login to take this course.) Once the course opens, select the “Help” link for assistance navigating the course.

ACS and You is compatible with any Macintosh or Windows computer that has any version of Firefox or MS Internet Explorer version 7.0 and above.

This course describes the mission of ACS and the history of the organization. It provides a thorough description of the structure of the organization; the purpose and main activities of each structural unit (local sections, regions, divisions, and committees); and the responsibilities of leaders in each role. It also describes the events ACS sponsors, the purpose of each, and the kinds of resources ACS makes available to its members. Finally, it provides a brief overview of the ACS LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT SYSTEM™.

Instructional Objectives

After completing this program, a member or potential member will be able to describe:

  • The history and mission of ACS
  • Business issues facing the ACS
  • The structure of the organization and the main functions of each unit
  • Opportunities for participation as a volunteer and as a leader (with the personal and professional benefits they can expect from this participation)
  • The supporting resources the organization makes available to its members
  • The leadership learning system designed to support volunteers as participants and as leaders.
Engaging Colleagues in Dialogue

Facilitated Course – 4 hours

ACS Member Price: $150 | Non-Member Price: $300

Remember the “telephone game” you played as a kid? One child would start by whispering something to another, and the message would be passed through 10 or more until it reaches the last child. Then, you compared what the last child heard with what the first child said. A roar of laughter always followed as everyone observed the gapping difference in the 2 messages.

Yet, in today’s communications we rarely take the time to check our understanding and that of those we are talking with. Would we laugh or be concerned with the misunderstandings that have taken place? As leaders, one of our greatest tools is our ability to engage others in meaningful conversations. This skill becomes even more essential in volunteer organizations, like ACS.

Engaging Colleagues in Dialogue is a four-hour, hands-on course that helps ACS leaders improve their one-to-one communication skills. Leaders will learn how to improve both sides of the communication exchange: first working to understand what is being communicated and second, working to be better understood in your own communications. You will even have an opportunity to assess your own communications skills through conversations with colleagues (within ACS and in your workplace.)

Participants will:

  • Learn that good communication is truly a two-way street. Without solid understanding and practice, your communications can lead to misunderstandings.
  • Track your own communication skills prior to the course, and examine how you performed on the six dimensions of the communications model.
  • Learn three skills that help you to understand the other person’s intended message better, versus relying on your own interpretation.
  • Learn three skills to help you be better understood.
  • Gain real-life practice and individual advice on things to focus on in your conversations.

In your role as a leader, you will observe that engaging colleagues, volunteers, and other leaders in effective dialogue is central to your ability to complete key projects, lead committees, and achieve success for your team, ACS, your employer, and yourself. Don’t underestimate the value of strong two-way communications and fall into the trap of the “telephone game” hindering your ability to understand and be understood, register now for Engaging Colleagues in Dialogue.

Who Should Attend This Course?

This course is designed for emerging volunteers in the Society. The Engaging Colleagues in Dialogue course is for those members who are interested in volunteering and wanting to build foundational leadership skills. Members who may have some experience in leadership roles but are seeking to increase their effectiveness will find this core course of great value. As communication skills are so fundamental to any volunteer and leadership role, we encourage all leaders and volunteers to attend this course. You’ll gain skills that are highly transferable in your volunteer and professional role.

Becoming an Effective Contributor

Online Course – Self-Paced

ACS Member Price: $25 | Non-Member Price: $50

A self-governed, membership-driven, professional organization, ACS gains its strength and value from the volunteers that help run and lead it. However, often the questions asked by new members and members new to volunteering are:

  • Where do I start?
  • How do I become an effective volunteer?
  • How do I find a volunteer project that I would enjoy?
  • How do I match my skills to the right volunteer project?

While volunteering is a great opportunity to get involved, network with others, and contribute to the Society, you may not understand what it entails and what is expected. Becoming an Effective Contributor is designed to help you become an effective volunteer.

In this self-paced, online course, you will learn how to assess your own interest and abilities, so you can determine what projects are right for you. You will also learn how to gain information about projects and volunteer assignments so that you can clearly understand the scope of the project, resources, timelines, and expectations to make the best decision about volunteering opportunities.

Without these skills you may find yourself in a volunteer assignment that isn’t fulfilling and doesn’t utilize your unique skills and talents – a no-win situation for you and the Society. Becoming an Effective Contributor helps you take control of your volunteer activities.

From the convenience of your home or office, you can learn:

  • How to assess what you can bring to a volunteer assignment and what will be most fulfilling.
  • How to identify the volunteer tasks that are most appropriate for your skills and interests you identified, so you can enjoy your volunteer assignment and gain valuable experience.
  • How to examine tasks with keen questioning techniques to clarify expectations, scope, resources, and timelines of volunteer assignments.
  • 3 key reporting approaches to use to ensure your volunteering efforts on are the right track.

ACS’ tradition of excellence in meeting member needs is a product of the excellent volunteer members and leaders. Take this step to build the skills necessary for becoming an effective volunteer.

Who Should Participate in This Online Course?

This course is designed for emerging volunteers in the Society. Becoming an Effective Contributor online interactive course can be taken at your convenience, when and where you like to learn. It is specifically valuable to those members who are new to ACS and those new to a volunteering within the Society. A prerequisite of the course is Matching Interests with Goals.

Matching Interests with Goals

Online Course – Self-Paced

ACS Member Price: $25 | Non-Member Price: $50

Program Contents
The purpose of this course is to encourage members (new members and “veterans”) to volunteer for projects and leadership positions by developing a better understanding of what they want and what they can do.

The first part of the program is a self-assessment of the member’s abilities, interests, and career aspirations. The second part of the program provides a framework for the member to “map” his or her abilities and interests against types of ACS projects and leadership roles in the Society. It could also be used to create a personal development plan or “map” through the Leadership Learning System. The types of volunteer opportunities correspond to the ones identified in the program titled “ACS and You.”

Instructional Objectives
After completing this program, you will be able to:

  • Assess your abilities and interests
  • Describe the types of volunteer and leadership opportunities in the Society
  • Prioritize leadership and volunteer opportunities in the Society against your interests and abilities so you can seek out “stretch” assignments that will provide personal growth opportunities
  • Create a personal development plan that elements of the Leadership Learning System can address

Competencies Addressed

  • Setting clear priorities, milestones, and actions
  • Linking personal work to the vision and direction of ACS
Managing Projects Effectively

Online Course – Self-Paced

ACS Member Price: $25 | Non-Member Price: $50

How many times have you been involved in a project where:

  • The goals were unclear and efforts weren’t focused
  • Critical timelines weren’t met
  • Budgets were over spent
  • The right people with key skills and knowledge weren’t on the project team
  • And in the end, the project result didn’t accomplish the need.

This can be frustrating and costly for those involved in the project as well as the organization. With the increasing complexity of business today and the increasing number of projects, the ability to manage projects effectively is a must.

Managing Projects Effectively, an online, self-paced course examines the “task side” of project management. Members will learn a practical 5-step process that will help them manage each project successfully.

Specifically, you will learn how to:

  • Define a realistic project scope
  • Establish goals that clearly communicate what needs to be accomplished
  • Identify the appropriate people and funding resources required
  • Develop a plan of action that involves all members of the project team
  • Track progress and adjust the project plan as needed

Successful projects don’t happen on their own, they require a skilled leader to set clear goals and ensure they are met. Managing Projects Effectively will help you improve your ability to lead projects to completion – on time, within budget, optimizing your resources, and achieving your goals. As a leader, you will gain practical skills that you can immediately apply to your work environment and your leadership role in the Society.

Who Should Participate in this Online Course?

This online course is designed for emerging leaders in the Society. Managing Projects Effectively online interactive course can be taken at your convenience, when and where you like to learn. It is specifically valuable to those members who are new to leadership roles within the Society.

Running Productive Meetings

Online Course – Self-Paced

ACS Member Price: $25 | Non-Member Price: $50

How many times have you:

  • Been stuck in a meeting that seems to go nowhere?
  • Attended a meeting where the purpose and objectives were unclear and no one took charge?
  • Participated in a meeting where no one was prepared and team members were disengaged?

Most of us hate to get stuck in meetings, believing they are a waste of time and resources. This is often due to them not being run effectively. However, if you have participated in a well-run meeting you know the difference and appreciate the results that were achieved.

Running Productive Meetings helps you develop the understanding and skills to conduct successful meetings. You will learn how to leverage this key leadership tool to effectively and efficiently accomplish team projects.

In this self-paced, online course, you will learn the different types of meetings that are available to you and when to use each for achieving your objectives. As well, you will learn how to prepare agendas for the specific meeting types so you can keep the team focused and on-task. Finally, you will have a chance to understand what it takes to conduct an effective meeting and involve team members in the decision-making and activities.

Specifically, from the convenience of your home or office you can learn:

  • The 6 different types of meetings available to you and when to use each for the greatest results.
  • The 3 roles members play in a meeting – facilitation/leaders, recorder, and team member – and the responsibility of each role.
  • The best way to prepare for a meeting.
  • How to effectively conduct a meeting and gain input from key stakeholders.
  • How to involve all members – those who are participating as well as those who may be disengaged and disruptive.
  • When meetings are not appropriate or even required.

As a leader, you owe it to yourself and your team members to develop strong meeting skills that make the most of their time, talents, and resources.

Who Should Participate in this Online Course?

This online course is designed for emerging leaders in the Society. Running Productive Meetings online interactive course can be taken at your convenience, when and where you like to learn. It is specifically valuable to those members who are new to leadership roles within the Society.

Engaging and Motivating Volunteers

Facilitated Course – 4 hours

ACS Member Price: $150 | Non-Member Price: $300

So, you have been elected to chair a committee, lead a local section or division, or direct a key project. Now the challenge lies in engaging members to volunteer to help with the activities, but where do you begin? Have you considered the best way to engage volunteers, have you considered….

  • How to ask others to step up and volunteer?
  • How to delegate and share responsibility for the project?
  • How to keep projects moving forward?

One of the greatest challenges facing a volunteer leader is recruiting and engaging volunteers to help accomplish the project/team/committee goals. What’s more, is that a good leader recognizes that engaging volunteers is more involved than signing people up to work on a project. It requires leaders to understand what help is needed, what skills and talents are required to accomplish the project and what form of motivation will truly excite the volunteer to commit to the project.

This hands-on, four-hour course will provide ACS leaders with practical tools they need to engage a volunteer in a way that makes the assignment successful and professionally rewarding, so the volunteer will be inclined to participate in future, more ambitious assignments.

Instructional Objectives
After completing this program, a member will be able to:

  • Outline the scope of responsibilities for an assignment so the leader can create a ‘spec’ for the volunteer position needed.
  • Recruit the right volunteer with the right skills to match the task at hand.
  • Describe your expectations and resources available to the volunteer to complete the assignment.
  • Motivate the volunteer to keep them involved, excited, and their contribution level high.
  • Measure progress during the course of the assignment and keep the project moving forward.

Who Should Attend?
This course is designed for emerging leaders in the Society. Engaging and Motivating Volunteers is for those members who are new to leadership roles and need additional guidance in making early leadership assignments successful. We encourage those who are currently leading or who are planning to lead a new project and need assistance in gaining volunteer support to participate in this course. You’ll gain skills that are highly transferable in managing projects and leading teams in your professional role.

Understanding Members’ Interest

Online Course – Self-Paced

ACS Member Price: $25 | Non-Member Price: $50

All really great leaders demonstrate two very different but highly complementary skill sets:

  • The ability to articulate a vision or direction for the group that focuses the energy of people in a common direction,
  • The ability to understand the interests, values, talents and concerns of individual members of the group so that the vision represents a direction in which individual members want to go.

The course will cover:

Overall current demographics of the Society, and understanding the demographics of a given unit in the Society. This part would include attention to diversity demographics, as a foundation for attention to inclusion as a leadership characteristic.

Techniques for understanding the interests and talents in a given unit in the Society. These techniques include a basic survey of how to conduct:

  • One-on-one interviews
  • Focus groups
  • Surveys
  • How to translate insights into direction for the unit
  • The importance of and techniques for communicating results back to the membership

Instructional Objectives

After completing this program, a member will be able to describe:

  • The current demographic data on membership in the Society, and what those demographics indicate about potential areas of interest
  • The advantages and disadvantages of three main research techniques (interview, focus group, survey)
  • How to conduct each of the three types of research
Fostering Innovation

Facilitated Course – 4 hours

ACS Member Price: $150 | Non-Member Price: $300

We have all heard the old adage of doing something in the same way over and over will not produce different results. The very basis of Chemistry, your profession, and ACS challenges you to advance your thinking, identify new solutions, and design new approaches continuously. Yet, it is not easy changing the way you or those you work with look at an issue and create new ideas. Imagine if you could:

  • Tap into a systematic method for creating for new approaches.
  • Eliminate personal and organization barriers that inhibit your ability to think more innovatively.
  • Have a proven process to generate ideas.

We all have the capacity to innovate. Yet, sometimes we are blocked because we don’t have a process that will help us think outside the box, or we are unwilling to challenge traditional approaches, or communication barriers inhibit us. Whatever the reason, the objective is to gain the tools to help you and those you lead stretch your ability to develop new ideas.

In this four-hour course you will learn that innovation doesn’t happen by chance but can be managed. The understanding and tools you gain will help you learn how to tap into your own innovation style as well as learn how to stimulate innovative thinking among your local section, division, regional meeting or national committee members.

Instructional Objectives
After completing this program, a member or potential member will be able to describe:

  • The structural, personal, and communication barriers to innovation.
  • That everyone is capable of generating ideas and we are innovative in different ways.
  • Four different approaches to developing ideas and how to encourage people to innovate no matter what their preferred innovation approach.
  • The 4 main questions that serve as the basis for innovation.
  • How to help people open to new possibilities, challenge traditional approaches, and encourage diverse perspectives.

Who Should Attend This Workshop?
This workshop is designed for leaders in the Society who need to rely on innovative thinking, ideas, and approaches to move a group of volunteers in a new direction or a project forward. Those leaders who are responsible for making significant changes to current processes, or are asked to create new ideas and approaches for addressing key issues, or who need to make a significant impact, will benefit greatly from this course.

Coaching and Feedback

Facilitated Course – 4 hours

ACS Member Price: $150 | Non-Member Price: $300

Myth: Coaching is easy; anyone can coach and give feedback. No special training is needed.

Correction: Coaching is straightforward if you have the mindset, a proven process, and tools to coach and give feedback effectively. Improper coaching will leave you with missed deadlines, frustrated team members, and unmet goals and expectations.

Leading volunteers, team members, and employees to achieve goals and objectives requires leaders to effectively coach and provide actionable feedback. While, we all think “I can do this…” or “It’s simple, just give them feedback…” coaching and giving feedback properly requires a solid process and tools. “Winging it” won’t produce the outcome you are seeking and will result in lost time, low morale, difficulty retaining participation, and low productivity.

This hands-on, four-hour course will provide ACS leaders with a proven process and practical tools to help coach volunteers and your own employees or team members more regularly and more effectively. As a participant, you will work on real coaching opportunities to help you practice addressing the development and performance issues you have identified.

Participants will:

  • Gain an understanding of what coaching is, why it is important, and why we don’t coach more often.
  • Learn the differences between coaching in a volunteer organization and coaching in an academic or industrial setting.
  • Learn a proven 3-step process for coaching.
  • Gain real-life practice and advice on a genuine coaching opportunity that will be addressed during the course.

Coaching effectively is central to your success, the success of the volunteers, and to ACS. It is a key skill that will help you increase performance, expand the skills of your team, improve relationships and morale, encourage creativity, and promote achievement and action among the team.

Who Should Attend This Course?

This course is designed for developing leaders in the Society. The Coaching and Feedback course is for those members who are developing their leadership skills, have some experience in leadership roles and are seeking to increase their success and effectiveness in their leadership assignments. We encourage those who are currently leading or who are planning to lead a new project and need assistance in gaining the most from their volunteers to attend this course. You’ll gain skills that are highly transferable in coaching your staff or team members in your professional role.

Collaborating Across Boundaries

Facilitated Course – 4 hours

ACS Member Price: $150 | Non-Member Price: $300

As an experienced ACS leader you have likely worked outside your committee, regional meeting planning committee, local section or division to accomplish a major project. In this experience have you been:

  • Concerned that the goals between your efforts and the other groups are misaligned and you seem to be working cross-purposes?
  • Frustrated that what you bring to the collaborative effort is not in balance with what you are getting back?
  • Apprehensive that you have the right people with the right skills working on the project and have their full commitment to see the project through?

Leaders in many roles in the Society (especially at the more senior levels) need to be able to work effectively with leaders and members in other roles and units both within ACS and in other organizations to accomplish their objectives. This hands-on, four-hour workshop will provide leaders in ACS with strategies and tools they need to make collaboration across organizational boundaries both more productive and more rewarding.

Instructional Objectives
After completing this program, a member or potential member will be able to describe:

  • The core components required to achieve successful collaboration across organizational borders.
  • How to develop common goals that ensure collaborative efforts.
  • How to perform a “value analysis” of resource contribution, and ensure equity between what parties bring and what they gain from the collaborative effort.
  • How to identify the right people – core and adjunct team members.
  • Strategies for how to engage people, gain their commitment, and connect with their business and personal interests.
  • How to help champions emerge and develop their skills to drive the project.
  • Strategies for establishing trust and resolving conflict.

Who Should Attend This Workshop?
This workshop is designed for leaders in the Society with considerable levels of leadership experience. We encourage those who are currently leading or who are planning to lead a project or initiative that will require collaboration across an organizational boundary—either within the Society or between the Society and another organization to attend.

Leading Change

Facilitated Course – 4 hours

ACS Member Price: $150 | Non-Member Price: $300

Almost any initiative today in the workplace or within an ACS committee or project team involves change. It could be a change in priorities and direction, people, or goals and objectives. And, with change often comes resistance. How many times have you been on the receiving end of:

  • People pushing back because the committee is given a different set of goals to achieve?
  • Projects stalling because there has been a change in the direction?
  • Confusion due to personnel changes on a committee or project team?

It is not easy leading amidst change. It requires leaders to help local section and technical division volunteers, national committee members and regional meeting volunteers move through change by confronting reality, connecting with the vision of the future, designing a new approach, and engaging others to take the steps to move the project ahead.

This four-hour course provides leaders with a step-wise process to lead change and guide volunteers more effectively through the change process for greater results and efficiency.

Participants will gain a skill that can be used daily in both volunteer leadership roles as well as in your profession. Specifically, ACS leaders will learn:

  • Why organizations and individuals tend to resist change.
  • A 3-step process for leading change amongst volunteers in a team or work group.
  • How to maintain a clear vision of the strategic direction and instill a strong sense of direction and purpose in all volunteers.
  • How to keep everyone on-track and focused on top priorities.
  • The importance of and how best to communicate new insights into key issues, problems and opportunities the committee faces.

Who Should Attend This Workshop?
This workshop is designed for leaders in the Society who are currently in or moving into significant leadership roles in the Society. Particularly, those involved in projects that continually change—or are soon to face changes—in direction, member involvement, and objectives. We encourage those who are leading projects such as change initiatives, projects requiring working with other groups, or new initiatives that will likely experience changes in the course of completion to attend this program.

Leading without Authority

Facilitated Course – 4 hours

ACS Member Price: $150 | Non-Member Price: $300

As an experienced leader in a volunteer organization like ACS, you know that one of the biggest challenges in leading a project, committee, and local section is that you have no direct authority over the other volunteer members. As a volunteer leader you may have experienced:

  • The challenge of having to influence people who have different styles or views.
  • Needing to get a task force organized and committed to a project but find they aren’t cooperating and they’re putting up barriers.
  • Kicking off a new project, knowing what needs to be done but unable to get the buy in and support to carry it out.
  • The challenge of getting new volunteers to participate in the local section or division activities because they are too busy with other professional and personal obligations.

Leaders in many roles in the Society find themselves without formal or “positional” authority and therefore need to be able to engage members to get things done. This 4-hour workshop provides practical tools to help you gain cooperation without formal authority and motivate your committee, local section, or division members to accomplish important Society goals.

Instructional Objectives
After completing this program, a member or potential member will be able to describe:

  • When the use of “influencing skills” is needed, when they’re not, and when they will and won’t be effective.
  • How to understand and use the two dimensions of influence: the “business” side and the “relationship” side.
  • Frameworks to understand what really counts for the people you want to engage, and strategies you can use to help them get what they want.
  • An approach to establishing and building a relationship of trust with someone whose help you need to get things done in your organization.

Who Should Attend This Workshop?
This workshop is designed for leaders in the Society who are currently in or moving into significant leadership roles in the Society. Particularly, those involved in projects where the only means to accomplish them is through the involvement of other members. We encourage those who are leading projects such as change initiatives, projects requiring working with other groups, or strategies that extend throughout the organization to attend this program.

Developing Communication Strategies

Facilitated Course – 4 hours

ACS Member Price: $150 | Non-Member Price: $300

This half-day workshop focuses on how to be more successful in communicating with others about issues of importance to you---especially in cases where you want them to take action in response to your communication. Examples of actions you might want as outcomes of your communications:

  • Provide more funding for science education
  • Attend a National Chemistry Week event
  • Attend your local section meetings
  • Volunteer in your local section
  • Provide funding (sponsorship) for a local section activity
  • Hire or promote you

How to develop and execute effective communications strategies is not a mystery, and it is not “fuzzy”. This workshop is highly interactive. You will receive helpful tools and work in small groups to practice while you learn:

  • The 4 elements of an effective communications strategy
  • A simple process for developing effective communications strategies
  • The key questions to ask (and answer!) in developing effective communications strategies
  • A proven process to apply to communications in your local section, your community, your other volunteer activities, your family, and at work.”

Who Should Attend This Course?

We encourage you to attend this course if (1) you want to be more successful in communicating with others, (2) you are seeking professional advancement, or (3) you are currently leading or planning to lead a new committee or ACS project.

Succession Planning

Online Course – Self-Paced

ACS Member Price: $25 | Non-Member Price: $50

Have you ever stopped to wonder…

  • Who will lead the local section in the future?
  • Or how many current division leaders will still be there in the next 5 years?
  • Or where will the talent for leading the key committees come from?

Succession planning is rarely given the attention that other leadership requirements receive. Yet, the truth is, promoting the wrong person for a key leadership role can result in a very costly mistake. In volunteer organizations such as the ACS, it is even more vital to have a highly effective succession planning process because leadership turnover is more frequent and identifying and developing new leaders can be more of a challenge.

Done effectively, succession planning preserves your legacy as a leader and ensures that your accumulated knowledge and experience is not lost. It also lays the foundation for smooth leadership transitions ensuring productivity remains high during changes in leadership. This is why ACS has a tradition of having past, present and future Presidents working together and why ACS believes that succession planning is just as critical for all leadership roles in the Society - - at local sections, divisions, regions, and committees levels.

In this 4-hour course, you will learn practical, straightforward ways to build your leadership pipeline. Leaders will gain skills critical to ensuring the success of their section, division, region or committee in the future as they have passed the baton.

Specifically, ACS leaders will learn:

  • The importance of succession planning, particularly in a volunteer organization.
  • How to define the requirements for the next leader and identify potential successors.
  • To create a personal development plan to groom the candidate for the new leadership role.
  • Create a succession plan for the leadership role you currently hold

Leaders will have an opportunity in the course to create their own succession plans for the roles they currently hold and as they prepare for a new role in the Society. Leaders will see how without a plan it is nearly impossible to develop an effective strategy to ensure leadership continuity in the coming years.

Who Should Attend This Workshop?

This workshop is designed for members who currently hold or are preparing for senior leadership positions in local sections, national committees, divisions, regions or on the Board of Directors.

Strategic Planning

Facilitated Course – 4 hours

ACS Member Price: $150 | Non-Member Price: $300

As a senior leader for a local section, national committee, division, or region, one of your key responsibilities is creating the strategic plan for the unit. Yet often, leaders lack the experience in plan development, receive minimal assistance in setting direction, or are unclear of how to align the section, division, or committee’s goals to those of the Society.

Strategic Planning, a 4-hour hands-on course, helps improve your understanding of the planning process. From the structure to the contents of the current strategic plan you will gain an awareness of the impact strategy has on your work and the organization’s success. You learn how to become a “partner in planning” with the Board of Directors as you develop a plan for your unit that aligns with the Board’s strategic goals.

Leaders will gain a valuable skill that is critical to their success as a section, division, region or committee leader. Specifically, ACS leaders will learn:

  • The Society’s strategic management process and how to use this framework for planning and developing the unit’s strategic plan.
  • How to translate the Board’s high-level goals into plans and activities appropriate for their section, division, region or committee.
  • To recognize and deal with the differences between organizational units as each develops its own strategic plan.
  • The Importance of communicating with the board on the strategic plan they are developing for their organizational unit.

As part of the course, leaders will work in pairs, triads or small groups to begin applying the principles of strategic planning and the Board-level framework to the development of a strategic plan for their organizational unit. Leaders will see how this process of moving ownership of the strategic plan from the Board to leaders in units throughout the Society will lead to greater success for the Society and their section, division, or region.

Extraordinary Leaders: Turning Good Managers into Great Leaders

Facilitated Course – 8 hours

ACS Member Price: $650 | Non-Member Price: $800

The old adage of “Leaders are born and not made” holds little truth today. The ability to lead is not just a natural gift but a concrete, learnable skill that can be developed. Unfortunately there exist many questions about leadership that continue to puzzle even the best managers, including:

  • What makes a great leader?
  • Do I need to excel in all the leadership competencies equally to be a great leader?
  • If I focus on correcting my weaknesses, will I be on my way to being a great leader?
  • Is there a real difference in the results of a good leader versus the results produced by a great leader?

Great leaders do make a great difference. Research illustrates that great leaders can significantly impact employees, customers, and ultimately the bottom line. In a volunteer organization like ACS, great leaders can impact the productivity of a committee, the effectiveness of a local section, and the involvement and engagement of members to volunteer in Society projects.

As a senior leader in the Society, knowing what it takes to be a great leader and gaining an understanding of your own strengths can be invaluable in your leadership efforts. The ACS Extraordinary Leader program provides you with a model for effective leadership that will help you achieve exceptional results. As part of the program you will participate in a 360° feedback process that will give you personal feedback on your leadership competencies. With this information you will create a personal plan for developing your leadership strengths to become an extraordinary leader.

Instructional Objectives
After completing this program, a member or potential member will be able to describe:

  • Utilize 360° feedback to identify key strengths and possible neutralizers.
  • Create a personal development plan that focuses on building strengths.
  • Learn the relationship between leadership effectiveness and bottom line results.
  • Imbed leadership development in your daily volunteer activities and current work priorities.
  • Learn about the 16 leadership behaviors that separate the highest performing leaders from the rest.

Who Should Attend This Workshop?
This compelling workshop was designed for ACS leaders with considerable levels of leadership experience. This program is designed for experienced leaders who are ready to hone their leadership strengths for bringing greater value to the Society, their local section, division or committee, and to the members as a whole.

Research Based
This program, based on the best-selling book The Extraordinary Leader, by Drs. Jack Zenger and Joe Folkman, draws on 20 years of research and data from detailed statistical profiles on more than 25,000 managers in a wide range of companies and industries.

Measurable Results
Using the insights and tools of the ACS Extraordinary Leader Program, you can expect measurable results from leadership development. Organizations that have measured changes over time report statistically significant improvements in the 360° feedback scores of participants.