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Building Strengths: New Director Role for Dr. Leigh Shamblin Extends Leadership Development College-wide

Dr. Leigh Shamblin has a new role at Poole College: director of leadership.
Dr. Leigh Shamblin has a new role at Poole College: director of leadership.

Leigh Shamblin, a professor of practice in the NC State Poole College Department of Management, Innovation and Entrepreneurship (MIE), has been named director of leadership for the college, effective July 1. This new position reflects the college’s commitment to providing opportunities for all members of the college to advance their leadership capabilities.

In her new role, Shamblin is building on work she has already been doing at Poole College, including development and delivery of the McLauchlan Leadership Series for select students in the NC State Jenkins MBA program, leadership development programs offered through the MBA Online Residency Program and NC State Executive Education, and Designing Your Life workshops for undergraduate students.

“Leadership development is fundamental to helping prepare all of our students to be successful in their careers and, more importantly, their lives,” said Bradley Kirkman, Gen. H. Hugh Shelton (Ret.) Professor of Leadership and MIE department head. His research and teaching focus on leadership development.

“Programs Leigh has led thus far have been very well received by our MBA and executive program participants,” he said. “As director of leadership, she will continue to help refine and develop additional leadership opportunities for our MBA and other master’s level programs – and to help us to take our leadership development efforts to the next level, college-wide,” Kirkman said.

Identifying Individual Strengths

In addition to her work with the college’s graduate management programs, Shamblin will work closely with Dr. Tamah Morant, teaching professor of economics and associate dean for undergraduate programs, and others in Poole College’s Office of Undergraduate Programs to create leadership development opportunities for undergraduate students.

Poole College's first-year students are completing an online self assessment at one of NC State's computer labs as part of their orientation.
Insight gained in the online self-assessment Poole College’s first-year students are completing as part of their orientation will be applied as they begin their academic studies.

The incoming class of 2022 are already benefiting from her expertise, as she began collaborating with the Undergraduate Programs Office staff earlier this summer to introduce the new Poole College students to one aspect of leadership development: understanding their personal strengths. The students are completing an online personal assessment, using CliftonStrengths for Students during the second day of their orientation sessions on campus this summer.

“This particular assessment provides a starting point in the students’ leadership development path,” Shamblin said. Results of the assessment will be among the resources used in the college’s M100 (introductory management course) to help students understand what they are naturally good at,” she said. Additional tools will allow the students to build evidence of their leadership competencies, information that they can then share with potential employers, Shamblin said.

“Results of these assessments will also help us know what to focus on as we develop future leadership programs in the college,” she said. “Our goal is for every single student in Poole College to develop his or her leadership skills. At the very least, we should all be able to feel confident in leading ourselves.”

“We are focused on giving our students the tools they need to be successful after graduation,” Morant said. “Creating intentional opportunities for students to understand their individual strengths and competencies and develop their personal leadership skills and styles is critical to this effort. Having Dr. Shamblin move into the role of director of leadership is a great move for the college as we develop these opportunities for all of our students. Her passion and commitment to leadership development and exploration of personal leadership styles are contagious.”

In time, leadership development resources will be made available to staff and faculty in the college, “so that everyone has an opportunity to grow,” Shamblin said.

Support for this expansion of leadership development at Poole College is made available through a strategic, multi-year partnership with VF Corporation announced earlier this year.

About Leigh Shamblin

Dr. Shamblin came to Poole College in 2014 with significant experience in international economic development leadership and business development roles in industry and the U.S. Agency for International Development, and leadership roles in executive education at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. She has a doctorate in education from NC State University, an MBA from the UNC-Chapel Hill Kenan-Flagler Business School, and a bachelor’s in business administration from the University of North Carolina-Asheville.