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Frequently Asked Questions

What are some of the most frequently asked questions about Leaders in Action? Click the answers below to find out the answers.

What is Leaders in Action?

Leaders in Action (LIA) is an executive development training program for current executive and upper-level managers employed by the Southern California human service agencies aspiring to executive and director-level positions. The program is a collaborative partnership between the Southern Area Consortium of Human Services (SACHS), San Diego State University, and the Academy for Professional Excellence.

Do I have to currently be employed in a Southern County Human Service Agency to participate in Leaders in Action?

What is involved if I participate in Leaders in Action? What am I committing to?

All LIA participants are required to:

  • Attend (with your supervisor) the ½ day Orientation.
  • Attend and actively participate in all 15 days of scheduled classes.
  • Complete a 360 Assessment where your supervisor, peers, and subordinates rate your performance in various leadership tasks and skills.
  • Create an Individual Development Plan (IDP) that identifies steps to achieve career goals, based on 360 feedback and temperament survey.
  • Participate in individual leadership coaching provided throughout the training program.

What is required from supervisors who send their employee(s) to Leaders in Action?

The supervisor’s role goes beyond simply sending their employee to the training. Supervisors are a critical factor in influencing their staff’s professional development (transfer of skills and knowledge learned occurs back at the workplace). For the greatest impact on their employee and the organization, supervisors must mentor and coach employees as they attempt to apply what they have learned to the workplace. Therefore, demonstrating support for their staff who participate in LIA is essential.

Supervisors can actively demonstrate support for their participants by:

  • Providing sufficient coverage for your LIA participant while they are away from the office for classes.
  • Attending LIA training-related events, such as the orientation and graduation.
  • Ensuring time for discussion about career development plans highlighted in your employees Individual Development Plan, new insights gained in the training, and opportunities to apply new learnings.
  • Providing opportunities for participants to apply new skills and knowledge. For example, expose participants to high profile committees and projects at your county or identify other state or regional activities where they can gain leadership experience (such as CWDA meetings and committees).
  • Encouraging pursuit of promotional opportunities and development of career tracks within your agency.

How do I apply for participation in Leaders in Action?

Is my participation guaranteed if I apply?

No. LIA participants are selected from a pool of interested applicants who have completed the Application Process. The final selection of candidates for the training group is mutually agreed upon by county representatives and LIA staff. This will ensure an appropriate level of candidates and a diversity of backgrounds and experiences is represented in the classroom.

How many training slots are available for my county?

The number of training slots allocated to each county varies according to county size and agency need, but the range is from 2 – 5 candidates per county for each LIA training, and the total classroom size is approximately 30 people.

How do I know if I have sufficient experience to be a competitive candidate for the Leaders in Action program?

Contact your county’s LIA Liaison (Director’s Admin.) to assess whether the position you currently hold constitutes an “upper-level management position” and/or whether your background and experience match the level of the standard candidate. In general, most candidates have at least 3-5 years of mid- to upper-level management upon application to the program.

Who has completed the LIA training from my county?

See the LIA Alumni Page for a list of employees in your county who have participated in LIA.

Who can I contact with my questions about Leaders in Action?

You can either contact your county’s LIA Liaison (Director’s Admin) or the LIA/SACHS Program Manager, Alice Kennedy (

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