Developing Leaders to Support Ongoing Transformation

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  • Launching of the Parks Leadership Development Program.
  • Program reinforces and develops new leadership and management skills that reflect and support ongoing, positive transformation.



Leadership Parks Development Program participants work in small groups at Marconi Conference Center.

Recently, the California Department of Parks and Recreation (State Parks) launched a new pilot program to enhance the department’s leadership capabilities. Twenty-five staff from the field and headquarter units were selected to participate in a seven-week training format designed to reinforce and develop new leadership and management skills that reflect and support ongoing, positive transformation.

The Parks Leadership Development Program (PLDP) is the first of its kind to blend aspects of State Park’s existing management practices course with a robust soft-skills curriculum developed exclusively for the department by CSU Sacramento’s College of Continuing Education.

The instructional expertise leveraged through this new relationship includes experts from State Parks as well as external, professional educators with backgrounds in park and recreation management, leadership development, business and marketing, and organizational dynamics. The curriculum is designed to address the multi-disciplinary challenges park leaders face today and into the future to deliver high-quality park and recreation experiences grounded in the department’s mission.

PLDP will be facilitated at multiple locations in California so that participants have the opportunity to observe real-world management challenges within a region of California or park district. In addition, this approach will help facilitate networking and dialog around best practices and the applicability of some of the following leadership topics:

  • Effective Communication
  • Critical Thinking and Decision-Making
  • Team-Building and Motivation
  • Organizational Leadership
  • Ethics and Personal Credibility
  • Crisis and Risk Management
  • Innovation and Strategic Planning

This program is the first Transformation Effort of many to modernize the department’s training program. Other projects in development include a mission-based training needs assessment and a revamp of the “Introduction to State Parks” training course for new employees.

Updates on the training programs will be provided to you as they become available. Questions on PLDP can be sent to


Communication and leadership consultant Tom Rogers leads a discussion during Parks Leadership Development Training.


  • Stay abreast of the Transformation Team’s progress on their website.
  • The Transformation Team is interested to know your ideas, thoughts and comments. Let us know what you think.
  • Connect with us on Twitter and Facebook and stay updated on #TransformationTuesdays!


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