The Institute

This year’s LeaderShape Institute℠ (formally known as Mason LeaderShape) will take place on May 22-27, 2017 at the Bishop Claggett Center in Buckeystown, Maryland.  Click here to apply to participate in the 2017 LeaderShape Institute Program.  The deadline to apply is: April 21, 2017. 


Frequently Asked Questions

Question: Are we supposed to accommodate our own place to stay since school will be out?

Answer: Students will be staying over night at the Bishop Claggett Center in Buckeystown, Maryland. We will be using this facility as our official retreat center for LeaderShape. If you are participating in LeaderShape, all students are REQUIRED to stay at the retreat center. Meals will be provided. We will provide transportation via charter bus from Mason to the Retreat Center and from the Retreat Center to Mason. Students are NOT ALLOWED to bring their own cars. Students are required to participate in 6 days of LeaderShape.

Question: Is there a registration fee involved to participate?

Answer: If selected to participate in LeaderShape, students will be asked to pay a $75 registration fee.  We can accept cash or check ONLY.  Checks can be made payable to George Mason University.

Question: Is it just for Mason students, or others as well?

Answer: The LeaderShape Institute is open to Mason students ONLY.

For Faculty/Staff/Graduate Assistants: If you are interested in serving as a Cluster Facilitator for this year’s Institute℠ program, please contact Lisa Snyder, Associate Director at

Click here for a job description and more details about serving as a Cluster Facilitator.

For LeaderShape Alum wanting to apply to be an On-Site Coordinator: Contact Lisa Snyder at for an application. 

  • As an On-Site Coordinator, the primary support group is the faculty, not the Family Clusters. The On-Site Coordinator “sets the stage for learning” instead of being hands-on in the learning. A successful candidate will not be trying to duplicate their LeaderShape experience, but rather will work to provide a LeaderShape experience to the participants of that session.

Click here for a job description and more details about serving as an On-Site Coordinator

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What is the LeaderShape Institute?

The LeaderShape® Institute challenges participants to lead with integrity while working towards a vision grounded in their deepest values. Participants explore not only what they want to do, but who they want to be. Dynamic, challenging, and exciting, the week is intended to produce a breakthrough in the leadership capacity of participants—benefiting them individually, as well as their respective communities and the organizations they will go on to lead and serve in the future.

What is the Impact?

Sharing the impact of the Institute experience is tremendously valuable to LeaderShape®. It gives voice and meaning to the experience of each individual who participates in this program and those impacted by it. When looking at results, we conduct both internal and external reviews of the Institute on an annual basis.

The experience of participants at the Institute is what helps create change in the world. When participants have a positive experience, they leave with the knowledge, confidence and skills to make an impact. Every participant who attends the Institute is asked whether the session was a valuable experience in developing their capacity to lead. Our historical average is “6.40” on a 7-point scale with “7” representing that they “strongly agree” with that statement.

We think it also important to put voice to these numbers. Click here to hear from the participants’ perspective how the program impacted them. As campuses and organizations that partner with LeaderShape® to provide the Institute experience, it is important for us to share a little insight into how this program has impacted their organizations and communities. Click here to read more.

Research has always been impactful for LeaderShape® and the development of our programs. The Kellogg Report is a historical document that we share to give insight into the impact of the program on participants. LeaderShape began a long-term study of the Institute’s impact in 2013 that continues to expand as more institutions request this information. The Institute is LeaderShape©’s six-day immersion program that challenges participants to lead with integrity while working towards a vision grounded in their deepest values. Participants explore what they want to do and who they want to be.

Who is the Institute for?
The curriculum was created for individuals who are committed to taking their leadership to the next level and who want to make a significant impact on campus, in their communities, and in the world.

Those who attend generally do so through an affiliation through the college or university they attend. We are fortunate to work with so many wonderful campus and organization partners who are committed to the development of ethical leaders. We also have the opportunity to welcome participants even if there isn’t institutional or organizational involvement.

How is the Institute different from other conferences and residential programs?
Everyone who attends the Institute engages in the same activities and contributes to the same conversations. While the involvement of the individual is honored and expected, everything during the Institute is approached with a sense of community. Everyone is viewed as a learner and as a teacher. This belief is evident as the community is created through the contributions of everyone at the Institute, with time spent in meaningful conversation serving as its foundation.

Unlike conferences, participants don’t only leave the six days with a few tips and ideas. Graduates of the Institute experience a breakthrough in their leadership capacity.

How will we spend our time during the Institute?
Everything in the curriculum is anchored to four themes: community, inclusivity, integrity, and vision. Therefore the work that we do during the six days is tied, in some way, to these concepts.

We participate in large group activities, in small group exercises, in conversation with one another, and in personal reflection. We set out to discover our most deeply held values and greatest passions and how they can come together to give our lives and work purpose. We learn how developing a vision and plan of action can create lasting change. We reflect on how our personal styles and life experiences influence our leadership and our relationships. Those who graduate from the Institute leave as an agent of positive change in the world.

Why six days?
Six days is a lot of time to give – and we ask that time of participants because we see such value in the extended time together. Six days allows us to remove ourselves from the day-to-day demands of life and focus more intently on discovering who we want to be. It gives us the chance us to move beyond the masks of our composure and embrace the opportunity to share our authentic selves. Six days for a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Six days to make the experience your own.

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® believes in the possibility of and is working towards the creation of a just, caring, and thriving world. If everyone lives and leads with integrity and if everyone holds a healthy disregard for the impossible we can get there! We aren’t alone in the desire to live in this type of world! Participants from the Institute engage in this extraordinary work and make a difference in their communities and in the world.

About LeaderShape

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LeaderShape® is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to creating a just, caring, and thriving world where all lead with integrity and a healthy disregard for the impossible. LeaderShape® works to do this by having conversations that matter. To grow this community, and achieve our mission, LeaderShape offers three programs: Catalyst, Institute, and Resilience. Each program encourages participants to live in possibility. We want to live in possibility and, by doing so, lead others to do the same. In other words…to lead, live. Our programs support people in their life pursuits and encourage them to make an impact by the way they live their lives.