What is Leadership Greater Chicago?
Leadership Greater Chicago is a nonprofit organization that builds relationships among individuals and organizations to cultivate, maintain and mobilize a diverse leadership pool for greater Chicago. To accomplish this, we
- EDUCATE—We select approximately 35 people annually to participate in an intensive ten-month Fellows Program to study the key challenges facing the Chicago region: community awareness, global Chicago, education, race and ethnic relations, housing, crime and violence, healthcare and philanthropy and volunteerism.
- CONNECT—The Fellows Program brings together diverse men and women with multiple perspectives, and builds relationships based on trust and understanding. We foster connections between people of many races and ethnicities, professionals in different occupations, and residents of communities throughout greater Chicago.
- MOBILIZE—Fellows describe their experience as eye opening and life changing. They do more than learn about the region's challenges—they become part of a network of leaders from throughout greater Chicago who are working for change.
Who participates in LGC?
Since 1985, LGC has competitively selected over 750 men and women as LGC fellows. They include, among others, corporate executives, government officials, entrepreneurs, school principals, doctors, lawyers, clergy, community organizers and directors of nonprofit organizations. Fellows are typically sponsored and financially supported by their employers.
Does the Fellows Program provide leadership training?
The Fellows Program is not leadership training in the traditional sense. But Fellows find it to be a remarkable leadership-development experience. Fellows are exposed to leaders from throughout Chicagoland—both emerging leaders in their class, and established leaders who share their experiences. During the program, they consider complex urban problems and come face to face with decision-makers who are finding solutions to them. They have meaningful discussions with Chicago's mayor, other government officials, corporate CEOs and civic leaders. Leadership is examined constantly through the lens of the challenges facing the Chicago area.
What are the benefits of sponsoring a Fellow?
LGC sharpens Fellows' abilities to lead by giving them an opportunity to interact closely with a diverse group of people with multiple perspectives. Fellows are exposed to a solid network of executives and decision-makers throughout metropolitan Chicago. Sponsoring a Fellow heightens the visibility of both the participant and the sponsoring organization. Companies, organizations and public agencies find that sponsorship provides an opportunity to elevate their civic profile while they expand employees' leadership potential and ability to make a contribution to greater Chicago.
What does LGC look for in candidates?
LGC seeks applicants who have demonstrated leadership ability and commitment to civic and community affairs. Most are between 28 and 42 years old. Fellows are generally articulate, curious, committed individuals who care about their communities and hope to make a difference.
What is the time commitment for Fellows?
During the 10-month program, fellows attend two day-and-a-half-long retreats and eight all-day meetings on the first Friday of each month; as well as community site visits; meetings with civic, government and business leaders; and cultural events.
What is the sponsor's commitment?
Sponsors support their employees in the Fellows Program by giving them the time to participate and contributing to cover the cost of participation.
For-profit and larger nonprofit sponsors are expected to contribute $17,500. The financial responsibilities of smaller nonprofit organizations, government agencies and self-employed Fellows are adjusted appropriately.
What is the application process?
Applications are due in April of each year. All applicants must apply online. Each applicant must have at least two nominations, one from his or her employer (or sponsor). All applicants are interviewed by a panel, and selection is made based on applicants' qualifications and the goal of balancing the class in terms of profession, race, ethnicity, gender and geography. Applicants may apply more than once.
How does an organization become a sponsor?
Your organization can become a sponsor by nominating an employee for the Fellows Program. If appropriate, the sponsor's chief executive officer or board chair should nominate the individual. Individuals are encouraged to sponsor a Fellow whose employer is unable to support his or her participation in the program. If you are interested in doing so, contact LGC to identify candidates in need of sponsorship.
How can I get more information?
View our on-line roster of fellows and learn more the Fellows Program, or call the office at 312-565-0300.