Detroit Regional Chamber > Chamber > Nine Reasons to Apply for Leadership Detroit

Nine Reasons to Apply for Leadership Detroit

November 5, 2021
Applications for the 2021-2022 cohort of Leadership Detroit are currently open, and the deadline to apply is rapidly approaching: Tuesday, Nov. 23. Here are nine reasons why you should apply.

Engage in Intimate Discussions with Leaders Who Can Influence Change

The unique aspect of Leadership Detroit is that it offers participants more than lectures from experts. Each cohort member is encouraged to engage in frequent open dialogues and question the status quo with peers and experts. Because each cohort comprises leaders in different industries with various backgrounds and experiences, class discussions are typically filled with new ideas, perspectives, and insights into topics, increasing the chances of change being made due to enlightenment. For example, a discussion during the Public Safety and Media session can inspire a leader in the K-12 sector on ways to improve outcomes for young people in their district. 

Discover Ways to Impact Work Outside of Your Industry

“Leadership begins at the end of your comfort zone,” according to Lolly Daskal, one of the most sought-after executive leadership coaches in the world. Being a great leader means contributing to and making a difference in and outside of your industry. Leadership Detroit will provide you with that opportunity. As a member of Class XLII, you will be a part of a diverse cohort and have ample opportunities to network with professionals in industries different than yours. You will learn about topics outside of your business sector and discover ways they can be impacted by your work. 

Open New Doors and Create Unique Connections with Classmates

As a member of Class XLII, you will make lasting connections with your classmates that may not just open new doors but may also create new ones you hadn’t previously considered. For example, Dwan Dandridge, co-founder and chief executive officer of Black Leaders Detroit, had a vision to provide financial support to Black-owned visionaries. His Leadership Detroit Class XLI classmates Jim Tenzillo, vice president at Invest Michigan, and Jack Elsey, partner and chief executive officer at Detroit Children’s Fund, now serve Dandridge’s Ally Council, committed to creating access for Black entrepreneurs. 

Learn About and Find Your Own Your Leadership Style

The main goal of Leadership Detroit is to help high-potential leaders grow into top leaders — but no two leaders are the same. There are different leadership styles, and Leadership Detroit will help you find your style by examining the 15 areas of focus in Conscious Leadership. Throughout the entire program, the Chamber will provide a space safe for members of Class XLII to thoroughly explore their leadership styles from a holistic perspective.

Explore Difficult Subjects in a Non-Judgmental Space

One important quality of a top leader is being able to discuss difficult and, at times, controversial subjects with the ability to confront their own privilege to address inequities, understand how to accept opposing viewpoints as true, and genuinely listen to oft-unheard voices. An example of when difficult subjects will be discussed during Leadership Detroit is during the Race, Diversity, and Equity session. The session’s goal is to increase Class XLII’s awareness of the barriers people of diverse groups experience, and the cohort will be tasked with personal reflections and genuine dialogue with one another. 

Access a Network of Almost 2,000 Alumni

Leadership Detroit is a prestigious program in the business community in Southeast Michigan. It has helped mold top leaders in various fields, so all participants will have someone in their field to connect to. Some notable graduates include:

  • N. Charles Anderson, President and Chief Executive Officer, Urban League of Detroit and Southeastern Michigan 
  • Roxanne Brinkerhoff, Chief Executive Officer, Detroit Institute for Children
  • Loretta V. Bush, President and Chief Executive Officer, Authority Health 
  • Melanie Duqesnel, President and Chief Executive Officer, Better Business Bureau Serving Eastern Michigan
  • David Egner, President and Chief Executive Officer, The Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation 
  • Patrick J. Fehring, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Level One Bank 
  • Elliott Broom, Vice President of Museum Operations, Detroit Institute of Arts 
  • Benjamin Kennedy, Vice President of Programs, Kresge Foundation 


Collaborate with Peers to Develop Solutions for Systemic Change

Although the Chamber will help individual members of Class XLII cultivate their personal leadership styles through Leadership Detroit, it will also encourage group work as the best change often happens when multiple minds come together, whether personal growth, organizational growth, or systemic growth. 

Get Involved in Other Organizations

In addition to creating connections with classmates, you will have the opportunity to meet and network with organizations that host Class XLII for sessions and experts who facilitate discussions. You may discover new opportunities to collaborate, volunteer, or grow your career through these organizations and individuals. 

Learn How to Be an Effective Leader

Being a leader is not easy. It comes with a lot of responsibilities. The open and honest discourse throughout Leadership Detroit will help you feel more comfortable asking the hard questions, having tough conversations, and always trying to learn more. You will feel both humbled and driven by what you can learn. 

The first step to applying for Leadership Detroit Class XLII is being nominated or self-nominating. Learn more and get started at