Frequently Asked Questions

What is the mission of Leadership San Luis Obispo? We are a diverse corps of leaders advancing the educational, cultural, health and economic interests of SLO County citizens.  We will:

  • Develop and maintain a diverse corps of leaders with dynamic and innovative visions of the future.
  • Inform, challenge, inspire and motivate leaders to enhance their effectiveness.
  • Provide an open forum for relationships between corporate, cultural, educational, agricultural, health, non profit, environmental and political leaders.
  • Serve as a vehicle for research, planning and community information.
  • Encourage and guide Leadership SLO graduates to remain engaged in Leadership SLO for the long term.

What is Leadership San Luis Obispo’s history?

At the beginning of 1991 we realized that the same pool of people were called upon relentlessly to serve in leadership positions. Clearly, there was a need to encourage and enable new leadership in the community. Leadership San Luis Obispo resulted from this need to have a ongoing flow of informed and motivated community leaders.

Leadership San Luis Obispo’s Class 1 convened in January 1992 with 38 participants. Now over 700 individuals have graduated from the program. These graduates have gained the knowledge and confidence to effectively lead the community into the future by meeting and interacting with current leaders, working on their own individual leadership styles, studying issues and contributing to finding solutions to complex problems.

What does Leadership San Luis Obispo achieve?

Leadership San Luis Obispo graduates can be found throughout San Luis Obispo County where people are working together to improve our community. They’re out pursuing their passions and galvanizing the community on prominent issues.

Several graduates hold public offices, such as mayor, city council and school board members. Many alumni serve on advisory bodies and boards of directors. At the almost 500 non-profit organizations in San Luis Obispo County, you’re likely to find a Leadership San Luis Obispo graduate active as a volunteer or board member.

They’ve spent thousands of hours as volunteers for a broad range of community service and non-profit organizations.

They’ve been at the forefront of local ballot initiatives.

Our hope is that Leadership San Luis Obispo graduates will take what they’ve learned back to their organizations, participate in the civic activities and volunteer in leadership positions throughout the community.

Participants will continue to receive mailings, including Alumni News, which includes updates about alumni events and workshops. It also provides a forum for the alumni to express their views on current issues and promote events in which they’re involved.

What is the structure and the content of Leadership San Luis Obispo?

Leadership San Luis Obispo requires a serious commitment of time and energy. Each year, a diverse mix of approximately 35 people participate in the 10-month program, which meets for a 2 ½ day opening retreat in January, then meets once monthly on the second Friday of each month February through October. Each monthly session is all day, from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., with each session designed to cover core subjects impacting the community.

Each session is highly participatory, with participants working in both small and large groups. They experience role playing around key issues and are introduced to a variety of existing leaders with different backgrounds and with different points of view. Participants are taught to recognize their leadership style and practice basic leadership skills including public speaking, consensus building and critical thinking. Each class is encouraged to discuss typically divisive issues in a non-hostile, supportive environment.

Our Generous Major Sponsors





Scholarship Sponsors