Leadership is an action not a position.

ASPIRE is a learning experience for aspiring leaders. This four-month program consists of online asynchronous and required synchronous learning sessions. The program will develop individual contributors who do not currently manage others to cultivate a leadership mindset. The learning experience is to help participants learn to lead from where they are.


“I was selected to participate in the inaugural ASPIRE: Cultivating a Leadership Mindset Program. The experience was one that I would recommend that all aspiring leaders take prior to assuming a management role, if possible. The program not only challenges your way of thinking but arms you with the tools to develop a growth mindset in understanding that there are different approaches one can use to solve a problem.”

“The impact for myself and others was the challenge of thinking outside of your comfort zone. Developing the understanding that you do not have to be a people manager to be a leader, but you can lead from whatever seat you have in the organization. Also, that representation matters because inclusivity challenges the “norm” and leaders come in all forms.”​

Curriculum Topics

In ASPIRE, participants will learn how to cultivate a leadership mindset to better contribute to and uphold organizational strategic themes:

  • Amplifying Impact
  • Championing Innovation
  • Connecting Inclusively
  • Expanding their access
  • Cultivating Well-Being
  • Leading by Example

No matter their position or where they work at Tech.

The Framework

ASPIRE uses a Competing Leadership Approaches framework to help aspiring leaders develop a leadership mindset. These approaches include: Collaborate, Compete, Control, and Create. We found that this model, based on the Competing Values Framework of organizations developed by Quinn and Rohrbaugh, provides the foundation, or four cornerstones, for the different approaches leaders take to address complexities and change, and represents the seemingly competing areas within an organization.

Action Inquiry

Participants will learn how to use Action Inquiry as a guiding tool. Action Inquiry is a disciplined leadership practice that increases the wider effectiveness of our actions. It involves a “listening into” the situation for clues of how our action is impacting others and to assess any need to correct its course.

Collaborative Learning Experience

ASPIRE uses a collaborative learning approach. Participants will be placed in cohorts representing different departments across the Institute. Participants will also have the opportunity to engage with their current supervisors and become co-learners. Supervisors will be sent weekly discussion guides to engage their ASPIRE participants to discuss how to implement key learning.


Who Can Participate?

Any full-time employee who is not in a supervisory role is eligible to participate.

Please note, applicants must be able to commit to all the dates listed in the program guide. Review the Application and Program Guide, to ensure your commitment before applying. Eligible participants should be in good standing in terms of performance with no disciplinary issues in the last six months.

When is the deadline to apply?

The deadline is Aug. 14 by 5 p.m. Review the Application and Program Guide, check the dates against your and your supervisor's schedule. If you are confident you are able to participate, complete the program guide online.

We will notify participants by August 28. For more information, please email


How should I discuss this with my manager?

Your supervisor will need to indicate they agree to your commitment to participate and complete the entire learning experience. Additionally, if you are accepted to the program, your supervisor is required to attend the kick-off session. Check out the Convince Your Manager flyer that lists reasons to help them decide to agree to your participation.

Is the program free?

There are no costs for each accepted participant. However, because space is limited, departments will be charged $750 if a participant does not complete the program.