Anyone in the Puget Sound community can apply to Leadership Tomorrow. Past classes have included for-profit business professionals and community volunteers as well as non-profit leaders, government staff and officials. If you know of a candidate that you think would be a valued participant, please refer them to the program. If you'd like to apply, we invite you to complete an application. You do not need to be nominated to apply. Some tuition assistance is available for individuals who are self-employed, employed by a small business, unemployed, or employed by the non-profit or public sector, and would otherwise be unable to participate.
$4,000 (We recommend at least $400 be paid by the participant personally. For information on tuition assistance refer to the Tuition Assistance Request Form in the application packet.)
Corporate Internal ProcessesSome corporations have an internal application process for selecting applicants from their organizations. If you are unsure if yours is one of these companies, please contact us at 206-389-7267.
Each Leadership Tomorrow class is selected through a competitive process conducted by a Screening and Selection Committee. Approximately 72 individuals are chosen each year based on strong criteria including: a commitment to civic involvement and to the Puget Sound region, the potential for community leadership and an individual's professional as well as personal achievement. Because diversity is an important goal, other factors affecting the final make-up of the class, including employment sector, age, ethnicity, gender, and geographic location may be considered. Candidates must have their employer's permission in order to be considered.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Leadership Tomorrow (“LT”)?
LT is the leading community leadership development organization in the Pacific Northwest. The nine-month program is designed to cultivate and engage emerging and existing leaders to work collaboratively for the benefit of the Puget Sound region. The curriculum examines critical issues that impact the region’s numerous and diverse neighbors. During the program, participants expand their leadership skills while gaining a greater commitment to the community.
Who can apply to LT?
Anyone from the Puget Sound region can apply to compete for the 72 spaces each year. Tuition assistance is available.
Is the application process competitive?
Yes. Each year LT receives many more applications than can be accommodated.
How many people have gone through LT?
More than 1,600 have graduated since 1984.
Who participates in LT?
The class is generally comprised of 60% private sector (large and small companies), 20% non-profit sector, and 20% public (government) sector participants. Most are mid- to senior-level professionals and the average age is 38-40. In recent years, the youngest participant was 22 and the most senior was 62. The class usually splits evenly between males and females with between 35% and 40% people of color. Recent classes have included representatives from five counties in the Puget Sound Region. Diversity is a key goal of Leadership Tomorrow and the program recruits widely, from a variety of communities, in order to select a class reflecting the rich diversity of the region.
What qualities does LT look for in a participant?
Ideal candidates are those who show promise of holding significant leadership positions within their own companies and organizations and are committed to making the Puget Sound region a better place to live and work. They must also be prepared to commit their personal time and energy while they participate in the program.
How do employers benefit from sponsoring an applicant?
In a 2012 survey, 93% of employers who sponsored participants observed improved leadership skills in their employees and 97% felt the investment in the program was worthwhile to their company. In general, employers of all kinds benefit from the employee’s improved leadership, and team and problem-solving skills. Through their employee’s involvement, employers gain access to a broad network of prestigious leadership contacts across all sectors, and extensive knowledge of the issues facing the region. The consensus is their employees learn the “who’s who” of the region and the value of the power of individual influence around regional change.
Is it required that participants miss work?
Individuals who work a traditional week can anticipate missing one day away from their office each month due to required attendance at day-long forums and overnight, two-day retreats.
What is the time commitment?
Participants spend about 96 hours in the program from September through June. This includes the two-day retreats and the eight monthly, day-long forums. Additionally, participants will have about two hours of pre-reading (homework) each month, and spend their own time on two separate small group projects.
How much does LT cost?
Tuition is $4,000 for the year, plus miscellaneous expenses such as transportation to and from Challenge Days and retreats. All hotel accommodations and meals for the local two-day retreats are included in the tuition.
How much of the tuition do employers typically pay?
We recommend that both the participant and his/her employer contribute to the cost of the program. Typically, participants pay at least 10% of the tuition.
What if a person is unable to pay their portion of the tuition? Is tuition assistance available? How is it awarded?
Participants can apply for tuition assistance at the same time they apply for the program, using the tuition assistance request form included with the application. Tuition assistance is available to small business, non-profit or public sector professionals, or those not employed. Participants employed by large, private-sector companies are not eligible for assistance. Awards are funded through the LT Founders’ Scholarship Fund and are for participants who demonstrate a need for assistance. Since 2000, LT has awarded more than $235,000 to small business, non-profit and public sector professionals as well as those not employed.
How does LT define small business?
Small business is defined as sole proprietors and those businesses with 25 or fewer employees.
How much tuition assistance is available?
The amount of assistance ranges from about $500 to a maximum of $3,000, and is typically around $1,500. The number of requests received each year and the amount of funds available determine the award limits. LT awards approximately $28,250 in tuition assistance each program year.
When is tuition due? Are there payment plans available?
Tuition is due at the end of August, prior to the program starting, unless a participant makes other arrangements. Payment plans (for up to ten months) are available. Final payments through the payment plans are due in May, in order for the participant to graduate.
Is there a tuition refund policy if an employee withdraws during the program, or leaves a company?
LT will reimburse 50% of the tuition costs if the participant withdraws prior to September 1st. Due to the nature of the program, reimbursements are not available after September 1 and both the participant and his/her employer will be liable for any unpaid tuition balance.
Do applicants from corporate sponsors or partner organizations gain priority selection status?
No. Sponsorship or partner relationships with LT do not provide a competitive advantage and have no bearing on the selection process.
Does an individual need their employer’s permission to apply to LT?
Yes. All participants must have their employer’s permission to participate and the employer must sign a document that verifies their authorization. Some employers use an internal process to select the candidates who will apply from their company.
What happens if an individual changes employers during the LT program year?
The participant must have permission from their new employer in order to complete the program.
How do applicants prepare for the application and interview process?
We recommend that applicants review the target competencies list included with the application prior to applying. Most successful applicants invest a fair amount of time in preparation before completing the application. To improve interview chances, we recommend attending the candidate orientation evening (see application for details on dates and location).