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ASU Lodestar Center Blog

Takeaways from the American Express Leadership Academy Alumni Summit

I am a proud 2010 graduate of The American Express Leadership Academy at the ASU Lodestar Center. As such, in January, I was granted the opportunity to apply to attend the second annual American Express Leadership Academy Alumni Summit. I was selected as one of 50 network delegates from around the globe to convene in New York on April 4 and 5 to participate in a variety of workshops and panel discussions designed to enhance alumni relationships and vital leadership skills. Today I am pleased to have the occasion to fulfill my pledge to share my experience and newfound knowledge, further supporting the development of the sector’s leadership pipeline. 

What is the number one skill you think 21st century leaders need for social impact? Do you feel Cultural Intelligence (CQ) should be a core competency incorporated in hiring practices? As a graduate of any leadership program, how do you intend to carry forward and/or implement shared ideas, skills developed, resources acquired and lessons learned to benefit your community? Do you feel you have a powerful online network which appropriately reflects your industry? Are you contributing to advancing the sector’s impact on society? This is a mere sample of some of the questions and topics tackled by world class leaders and partnership organizations in our limited time together.

In addition to thought-provoking presentations and challenging discussion, the Summit truly was a rare opportunity to contribute to the formation of how alumni and various other leaders and partner agencies, from more than 70 leadership academies in nine countries, might maintain working relationships, share resources and collaborate on community solutions, well beyond their participation in and completion of their respective programs. Despite our limited time, much progress was made. With the support of the Corporate Social Responsibility division at American Express, regional networks continue to recruit, train and engage an impressive cadre of emerging leaders. I would offer that American Express quite accurately identified and can quite confidently proclaim the hashtag dedicated to this initiative: #amexleads.

Below are five resources gathered from the Summit which I would encourage you explore:

  • Build Your Brand on LinkedIn in 6 Steps -
  • Cultural Intelligence by Julia Middleton
  • Give and Take by Adam M. Grant
  • The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni

Critically important to the continued progression of my own career, The American Express Leadership Academy at ASU Lodestar Center should be a serious consideration for organizations looking to further empower and develop their own staff and for individuals seeking to expand their networks, hone their leadership skills and tackle important nonprofit and social purpose issues.

What skills do you think 21st century leaders need for social impact? I say self-awareness, execution and integrity.

Brigitte Dayton is Vice President of Operations for the Catholic Community Foundation for the Diocese of Phoenix. She is a 2010 graduate of the ASU Lodestar Center's Generation Next Leadership Academy (now known as the American Express Leadership Academy) and Class 35 of Valley Leadership Institute. Brigitte was recognized as SoScottsdale/Uptown Magazine’s – 20 of the Most Influential Valley Professionals Under 40 and Phoenix Business Journal’s Forty Under 40, Class of 2015. Born in Vancouver, B.C., also having lived in Mexico and multiple U.S. cities, Brigitte moved to Phoenix in 2006.  She feels very fortunate to have the ability to be so deeply engaged in such a growing and dynamic state and is actively committed to shaping a bright future for coming generations.


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