Flagship Program

Our Programs

Flagship Program

Established in 1984, the flagship program helps connect and develop servant leaders to become catalysts for positive change. It’s an immersive community experience that explores issues and opportunities.

  • Applications accepted January through March
  • Approximately 55 annual participants
  • 10-month duration
  • Transformational program that includes orientation, retreat, monthly sessions and Nashville state leader visit

Nominations Are Opened

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Time Commitment

The 10-month program includes two August commitments: orientation and overnight retreat. Subsequent months include 10 monthly classes from 8 a.m.-6 p.m.; an overnight Nashville state government visit; team community project; and two required local government meetings.

TUITION COST

Tuition for Leadership Knoxville is $4,500. Tuition assistance and payment plans are available. A limited number of partial, need-based scholarships are granted to participants from non-profit organizations.

APPLICATION AT A GLANCE

First, individuals must be nominated by March 31. Self-nominations are accepted. The online application link will be emailed to eligible nominees and must be completed by the deadline. Candidates are notified between July and August.

THE BEST CLASS EVER! View our current Leadership Knoxville class members.

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LEADERSHIP KNOXVILLE IN THE CLASSROOM

Participants in the flagship program are enriched through hands-on experiences that explore local government, education, economic development and the arts. Personal leadership skills are honed while learning more about the community, its history, opportunities and challenges. With the benefit of new perspectives and connections, participants are prepared to serve more effectively in various leadership roles across the region.

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LEADERSHIP KNOXVILLE
IN THE COMMUNITY

In a thriving region ripe with successful businesses, supportive nonprofits, abundant educational institutions and robust technology innovators, we strive to immerse and connect participants in the local landscape and develop servant leaders who will take action to contribute to the ongoing success of East Tennessee.

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FAQS

The flagship program helps connect and develop servant leaders to become catalysts for positive change. It’s a 10-month immersive community experience that explores issues and opportunities.

Established in 1984, the program is transformational for both participants and the organizations they serve and lead. Participants will explore local government, education, economic development and the arts while developing personal leadership skills and learning about the culture, history and current climate of our region. With the benefit of new perspectives and connections, participants are prepared to serve more effectively in various leadership capacities across the region.

Leadership Knoxville participants are established, influential leaders and executives within the community who have a passion for servant leadership, seek to develop their leadership skills, desire to explore different experiences and points of view and are open to building relationships with others who are equally committed to making East Tennessee a great place to live, work and play.

 

The following qualifications must be met at the time of the application deadline:

  • Applicants must be at least 28 years old.
  • Applicants must be a resident of the Greater Knoxville area for at least one continuous year.
  • Applicants cannot be a candidate for public office.
  • Applicants must be willing and able to commit to the mandatory retreat and the time necessary to complete the program. See a detailed full program schedule here.

A lot! Participation in the flagship program of Leadership Knoxville offers a unique opportunity to be part of a 10-month experience during which you will develop skills as a leader and learn more about Knoxville and our surrounding region. You will have the opportunity to network and form lifetime friendships with a cross section of local leaders.

Many graduates share that their experience has been a game changer for them both personally and professionally. We’ve received consistent feedback that participants have learned more about themselves and return to their organizations with enhanced leadership skillsets. Graduates agree that they have learned something new about their community and come away with a greater understanding of servant leadership. Our goal is to provide an environment that sparks collaboration with diverse partners and greatly expands each participant’s network of professional colleagues to serve as resources in their endeavors. We find that so many graduates commit or re-commit to meaningful community involvement and public service.

One key component of the experience is the relationships formed and the ability to expand your network across a diverse spectrum of community leaders. Graduates are invited to become a part of the Alumni Association which offers opportunities to participate in educational, social and networking events as well as other Leadership Knoxville programs. Our alumni become part of an ever-expanding network of leaders that they can engage with on both a professional and personal level.

A better, more connected leader. The program offers unique opportunities to meet fellow community leaders, establish connections and expand one’s circle of influence while learning a great deal about themselves and our community. These experiences provide pathways for participants to have a broader and more profound understanding of Knoxville and the surrounding region, a deeper appreciation for civic engagement and an increased awareness of myriad ways to become effective contributors to the future success of our thriving community. Participants gain a heightened appreciation of the value of collaboration and servant leadership while honing their leadership skills.

It’s imperative that we learn to work as a collective, cohesive body with a holistic understanding of our community’s needs and opportunities. Companies and organizations that invest in developing leaders stand to grow their foundation of a strong local network while deepening their connections to the community with the benefit of strengthening the commitment of leaders who participate in the program.

That’s okay! We welcome applicants who live and work in the Greater Knoxville region who are committed to civic and community leadership roles.

The 10-month program includes two mandatory August commitments: orientation and overnight retreat. Subsequent months include 10 required monthly classes from 8 a.m.-6 p.m.; an overnight Nashville state government visit; team community project; and two required local government meetings.

Details:

  • One full day mandatory orientation session in August
  • A mandatory, overnight retreat in August that departs on Friday and returns Saturday
  • An overnight stay to Nashville to visit state leaders in March that departs Monday morning and returns Tuesday evening
  • Ten full-day monthly sessions September-May
  • Additional participation in occasional programs and activities outside of class
  • Team community project
  • Two required local government meetings, choosing from
    • Knoxville City Council Meeting
    • Knox County Commission Meeting
    • Knox County School Board Meeting
    • City-County Planning Meeting
  • Optional activities include
    • Community visit to a local school
    • Ride along with the City of Knoxville Police Department
    • Dinner with the University of Tennessee’s Chancellor
    • Mayors’ Leadership Luncheon

There is an allowance for a limited number of hours of excused absences for the program year. Anyone that exceeds the allowed absences will not graduate from the class or receive recognition for participation.

Attendance at the opening retreat in August is mandatory to continue participation in the Leadership Knoxville class. Individuals who arrive late or who are absent from the retreat will not be allowed to continue with the program. There is an allowance for a limited number of hours of excused absences for the remainder of the year. Anyone with more than the allowed absences will not graduate from the class or receive recognition for participation.

Leadership Knoxville’s class members are diverse, and every effort is made to take cultural observances into account when the class schedule is developed, but not possible in every instance.

We encourage you to begin working on your application well before the deadline. Reflect on your talents, accomplishments, service and goals for our community. Carefully consider what you hope to gain for yourself, your organization and the community as a result of your participation.

The online application can be saved and updated at any time prior to submission, but you can also draft your responses offline and enter them all at once. If you have assets available that detail your achievements such as a resume and service history, you can likely complete the application in about an hour.

A diverse and anonymous Selection Committee is appointed by the Leadership Knoxville Board of Directors to review all applications and choose participants that reflect the diversity of our region.

Apply again! We strongly encourage those who previously applied and were not selected to apply again. Many Leadership Knoxville alumni were selected to participate after subsequent applications. Each class is limited to 45-55 participants, and we receive hundreds of applications. Previous applicants may reaffirm their interest and update their application by logging into their online application each year prior to the March deadline. Experienced civic and community leaders recognize that a long-term perspective and perseverance are fundamental to success.

Because the Leadership Knoxville Flagship Program is an intensive class for honing leadership skills to work effectively with diverse groups of constituents and in complex leadership environments, the curriculum is most successful when the class composition reflects the talents and diversity of our region. The Selection Committee selects individuals for each class to reflect the area’s geographic, ethnic and professional diversity. Leadership Knoxville classes bring together individuals from the public, private and nonprofit sectors reflecting multiple neighborhoods, interests, backgrounds and religions. Therefore, the Selection Committee reviews the whole composition of the class when selecting applicants.

Tuition for the Flagship Program is $4,500.

Selection to Leadership Knoxville’s Flagship Program is made without regard to an applicant’s financial circumstances. To ensure qualified and diverse representation, Leadership Knoxville offers financial aid for individuals who are representatives or employees of nonprofit organizations who demonstrate a need for assistance. Financial aid requests are considered only after the class selection process is complete and will in no way impact consideration of your application. Payment plans are also available for class members who wish to pay tuition over time.

Financial aid requests are to be submitted at the time of application. Requests submitted after the application deadline will not be considered. Before requesting financial aid from Leadership Knoxville, applicants must consider all other potential sources for tuition assistance, such as contributions from their employer and other organizations with which they are associated. After all other potential sources of tuition assistance have been identified, financial aid for up to 50% of the tuition cost may be available.

Many Leadership Knoxville class graduates say participation in the class has given them an incalculable return on their investment in terms of their personal and professional development that will continue to benefit them for years to come.

When you are notified that you have been selected to participate in the program, you will be asked to make a deposit to secure your position in the class. You will also be notified of any financial assistance awarded on your behalf. Upon acceptance, please contact the program director of the flagship program to verify any payment plans and financial assistance.

Talk with Leadership Knoxville alumni and members of our board about their personal experiences. If you have more questions, contact the Program Director of the Flagship Program. Thank you for your interest in Leadership Knoxville.