The L-MAP, Leadership and Management in Action Program (L-MAP), is a new active-learning training program for postdocs to build a leadership, management, and inclusive teamwork skillset. Trainees work in teams on experiential case studies and activities in the L-MAP curriculum, led by a facilitator with expertise in leadership training. The program meets weekly for 6 weeks and is capped with a writing a leadership statement. Trainee participants are selected through an application process.

L-MAP introduces postdocs to the interpersonal and psychological foundations of leading teams and managing people. It responds to the unique position of these trainees, who may be practicing leadership for the first time and who typically lack formal authority within the research environment.

This training program was developed based on real-world research on the leadership and team dynamics challenges that postdocs regularly encounter in the scientific research environment. Using real-world scenarios and current research on leadership and team dynamics, L-MAP highlights professional behaviors and communication strategies that can be used in a variety of leadership and management scenarios.

The L-MAP training program uses an active-learning format based on discussion of authentic case studies drawn from the experiences of postdocs from diverse backgrounds. Case study training facilitates learning through active problem-solving and allows participants to change attitudes, behaviors, and decisions related to conflict management, communication strategies and navigating organizational hierarchies.

There are 6 units in the L-MAP training program

  1. Professionalism and Professional Identity
  2. Leading Without Authority
  3. Negotiation
  4. Working in Teams
  5. Inclusive Organizational Cultures
  6. Writing your Leadership Statement

Each unit builds on interpersonal and communication skills presented in previous units. Participants begin by practicing discrete skills early in the program and move toward analyzing increasingly complex leadership scenarios toward the end.

Development and pilot testing of L-MAP is supported by a grant from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund.