Water Leadership Program

The Water Leadership Program helps emerging leaders to develop the ability to exert influence, drive change and advance challenging integrated water management projects – abilities associated with the most effective integrated water management leaders.

Water Leadership Program

Applications close 9 November

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Scholarships now open.
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Applications are now open for Water Leadership Program scholarships.

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Program overview

Designed to build your capacity to continually develop as a water industry leader over your career, this nine-month program features a balance between academic and real-world approaches to learning including:

  • mentoring activities with experienced water industry executives
  • a sound research and theoretical basis, including conceptual models of effective water leaders, leadership processes and leadership development
  • 1 to 1 coaching sessions with specialist leadership coaches who work in the water sector
  • a mix of face-to-face and online delivery modes, which involve a variety of highly interactive activities
  • the use of individual leadership development plans to ensure that participants focus their developmental activities, practise the application of new knowledge and tools in the workplace, get feedback and local support, and reflect to accelerate learning
  • the use of leadership-focused case studies from the water sector
  • peer review of program design, content and evaluation by leading industry practitioners and academics.

A flexible program

This program is offered part-time over nine months and includes two face-to-face intensives. The program is flexible, to cater to professionals who are currently working. As a participant in the program, you will:

  • complete pre-training exercises, reading and an online 360-degree feedback process
  • attend a face-to-face intensive in Brisbane for five days in February, with a second optional intensive for two days in July (an online alternative is provided)
  • build an individual leadership development plan, which includes a leadership project
  • engage in regular one-on-one coaching and mentoring sessions;
  • complete monthly activities between face-to-face intensives (e.g. online training and discussion forums) and assessment activities.

Professional outcomes

The Water Leadership Program is designed for emerging water leaders at the project to middle management level. The program is customised for the water sector to equip participants with:

  • the ability to drive change when addressing ‘wicked problems’
  • exercise influence
  • improve their capacity to demonstrate many of the leadership behaviours needed for future executive roles
  • and develop an enhanced ability to mentor and manage within their individual work context.

Who should enrol?

Project and middle managers with:

  • at least three years of experience in the water industry
  • a desire to complement their technical and management skills with advanced leadership capacities

As a participant you will have opportunities to identify key leadership issues relevant to your individual context. This means that you’ll find the program highly beneficial and relevant regardless of where in the world you come from.

Are you ready for the WLP?

We have developed a self-assessment tool to help you to determine if the Water Leadership Program meets your current professional development needs, if you are ready to undertake this program now, and what your potential benefit from the program may be.

Benefits to participants

As a participant you will develop:

  • improved ability to drive change, especially when addressing ‘wicked problems’ that involve integrated water management
  • enhanced capacity to exercise influence in a variety of contexts
  • new tools to help you continue to develop as a leader over your career
  • greater self-awareness and improved ability to mentor and coach other developing leaders and staff
  • opportunities to gain knowledge and guidance from researchers and highly respected executives from the water sector
  • improved capacity to demonstrate many of the leadership behaviours needed for future executive roles
  • new social networks with emerging and executive water industry leaders.

Benefits to your employer

Research indicates that networks of skilled water leaders are a major factor in driving change and helping water organisations meet the complex challenges of the 21st century. According to the feedback gathered from participants in the last three rounds, we conservatively estimate that organisations fully funding staff to participate should see a positive return on investment in less than one year (on average).

The program helps emerging leaders to strengthen their skills in:

  • initiating and driving change
  • implementing more integrated and sustainable water management practices
  • leading high-performing, cross-boundary, multidisciplinary teams
  • exercising influence across various organisational boundaries
  • strategically building and using social networks
  • anticipating, planning for, and using ‘windows of opportunity’ to drive change
  • using various influence strategies and models of change.

Two enrolment options

There are two ways to develop your water leadership skills and knowledge at the International WaterCentre:

  • the Graduate Certificate in Water Leadership, which is a formal postgraduate program enrolled through Griffith University
  • the Water Leadership Program, which is a professional development program, enrolled through the International WaterCentre.

Both programs are identical in content and delivery, except that the Graduate Certificate in Water Leadership requires a postgraduate-level leadership project to be completed.

Find out more about the Graduate Certificate in Water Leadership

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