“I’m starting with the man in the mirror. I’m asking him to change his ways and no message could’ve been any clearer. If they wanna make the world a better place, take a look at yourself and then make a change.” These Michael Jackson lyrics may be familiar to some. For me, this chorus comes to mind when I’m conducting professional development sessions.

I firmly believe growth happens at the edge of introspection and self-development. I see the value in taking time to objectively learn more about ourselves, specifically “how” and “why” we do what we do. Research has shown the most effective leaders are those who understand themselves, their strengths and vulnerabilities.

Paul Sean Hill, a former flight director and director of mission operations for human spaceflight at NASA, shared that successful leaders may get comfortable with their own reputation. There is the tendency to focus on past personal or professional triumphs or thinking a team’s success is a result of their leadership alone. Continuing down this path may cause leaders to make poorly thought-out decisions, lose the ability to take risks, or become numb to the realities around them. Sometimes, a failure can snap leaders out of these patterns, but even that requires a leader to be honestly introspective and own up to their mistakes.

I am passionate about helping leaders unlock their leadership potential by performing optimally and finding ways to elevate others along the way. I am excited to say we strive to do just that at the Academy for Advancing Leadership through consultant services and professional development. Time and time again, I encounter leaders who view the assessment process as a waste of time or get fixated on one nuance or another. My approach is to encourage leaders to widen their lenses to avoid taking the bait and missing the cues. As tempting as it may be to spend time defending one’s actions, it is important to remember an assessment provides an accurate representation of a person by highlighting perspectives and differences.

There are no right or wrong answers. There is no good or bad behavioral style. Each leader is unique and has a valuable role within an institution or organization. Good assessments create a robust story of who the leader is, how they are likely to act in a given situation, what motivates them to do what they do, and which ways they demonstrate their acumen. With knowledge from the assessment, leaders may better understand their behaviors related to problem solving, influencing others, emotional intelligence, and otherwise engaging in today’s environments.

More than ever, leaders want and need to get it right. We all know the stakes are so high. The way things were once done will no longer work. Change is what we face. We must be open to continuous introspection to lead effectively.


Felicia L. Tucker-Lively, Ph.D., M.P.H.
Vice President, AAL

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The AAL Story


The Academy for Advancing Leadership (AAL) is a health and higher education consulting firm. We work with organizational leaders to achieve their goals through strategic planning and professional development. We have helped over 150 institutions and thousands of leaders advance in their fields. Unlike other firms, our clients engage directly with accomplished and seasoned experts to achieve objectives with agility.


Celebrating Almost Two Decades in Business

Launched in 2005, AAL is a collaborative of scholars, educational specialists, and consultants providing services that help leaders in businesses, nonprofits, and academia pursue excellence, the application of knowledge, the discovery of ideas, and the quest of lifelong learning. The AAL team strives to build long-term relationships based on superior service, mutual trust, and intellectual inspiration. We focus on professional development, consulting services, and the application of assessment technologies and informatics to solve our clients' challenges. We hope to get to know you and assist with your personal, professional, and organizational growth.

N. Karl Haden, PhD

President of AAL


Advancing health and higher education.


AAL builds and strengthens your unique value through results-driven consulting and professional development.

Core Values

Scholarship through continuous learning, discovery, dissemination of knowledge, and interprofessional collaboration.

Innovation through risk-taking and disruption of the status quo.

Integrity through doing the right things for the right reasons.

Excellence through superior quality, client satisfaction, and the assessment of outcomes.

Philanthropy through volunteerism and financial contribution.

Success Stories

“I've taken quite a few leadership courses and seminars; none come close to the material involved and coordination AAL. Sprinkle a little genuine interest in seeing us succeed and well intentions and you have the best leadership mentors PERIOD.”

Dr. Khaled Hussein

BronxCare Health System

“The program was very valuable in the way that it gave us some real tools, some real opportunities and ways to evaluate ourselves and our own approaches to leadership and then gave us an opportunity of how to apply that to interprofessional education. I think that was the best … the applicability of the tools that were provided to us and how we can utilize those were just amazing. It was very valuable and an opportunity to evaluate yourself with the tools that they provided to give an introspective look into your own leadership style and what other people thought of your leadership, and that was very powerful.”

Dr. Kevin Brueilly

Wingate University Levine College of Health Sciences

“I think the program was excellent. There were many excellent sessions. They were very stimulating. They kept us moving, very thought provoking. I thought the program overall was well designed, and as I said very thought provoking. For the inaugural program, it was well put together. You could see the passion in the instructors, who were very well versed in the topics that they talked about. I’m really pleased to be a part of this, and as a social worker, I really got a great sense of how interprofessional education can be very instrumental in terms of social workers working in healthcare settings. I think this is the wave of the future, and this program will gain traction in the future. I’m just glad to be a part of it.”

Dr. Martell Teasley

University of Utah College of Social Work

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