Best Practices in Leadership Project

What makes a good leader?  The Voices of the Staff Leadership Development Team continues to explore that question.   We seek to speak with effective leaders and ask them about lessons learned from their experiences and what they believe contributes to good leadership. 

Download this PDF discussion guide to get started!

From our archive of video interviews we compile video vignettes on a variety of leadership topics.  We continue to add to the site from time to time so check back. Many of our interviewees have been drawn from past and present winners of the Work/Life Balance Champion Award. We believe you will find the videos useful.

Ideas for using the videos 
Here are three ways we imagine you might use these videos; let us know if you find other uses!

  • To spark self-reflection for one’s own leadership development
  • To start a discussion in a training class or group setting of supervisors
  • To launch a discussion with your staff about your own leadership style (see Video Guide below).

Building Trust


Observations from University supervisors on how they build trust with their employees (3:26)

  • Deborah Apsley, School of Information
  • Mark Lemak,  Department of Dermatology
  • Esrold Nurse, LS&A
  • Robin Russell,  8-C, General Surgery
  • David Stockson, Architectural Services
  • Olidia Thomas, Briarwood Family Medicine


Making An Open Door Policy Work


An open door policy can encourage openness and transparency with the employees of that company. As the term implies, employees are encouraged to stop by whenever they feel the need to meet and ask questions, discuss suggestions, and address problems or concerns with management. An open door policy serves to foster an environment of collaboration, high performance, and mutual respect between upper management and employees. It is a quality management practice and mechanism that serves to sustain employee empowerment and morale, while maintaining a vital effect on improving efficiency, productivity, growth, and corporate ethical standards. (Video length: 4:06)

  • Ana Austin, Ross Business School
  • Beth Ann Blanchard, UM Children’s Center
  • Bob Harris, UMH Facilities Project
  • Mark Lemak, UMHS Dermatology
  • Olidia Thomas, Briarwood Family Medicine
  • Jessica Flaherty, UM Children’s Center