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Lindsay tackles leadership program head-on

March 04, 2009

If you want something done, just ask Candyce Lindsay to take on the challenge.

With great enthusiasm and diligence, she will see the project through.

And that’s just how she approached the Leadership Development Institute sponsored by the National Council of University Research Administrators (NCURA).

Lindsay, assistant director of Sponsored Projects Service, recently completed NCURA’s year-long leadership training program, which turned out to be more than she expected.

“I originally thought it would be a cakewalk,” she said. “Then I felt like I was in graduate school.”

Ten executives in the sponsored-research area from 10 universities were chosen for the program.

“We started in January 2008. There were monthly conference calls, and we had substantial homework assignments. There were two in-person meetings,” Lindsay said.

The institute taught us “how you can be a phenomenal leader, whether you are a manager or not,” she added. “You look at the things in your life and see how they formed you. It teaches you how to be the best leader you can be in your life.

“I describe it as an expedited course in self discovery and professional growth, while building long lasting professional and personal relationships.”

(One of the modules included taking the Myers-Briggs test for personality types. Lindsay is an ESFJ, for those who are interested.)

In addition, those in the class had to complete an actual project.

“I created a guide for new employees in Sponsored Projects Service. We didn’t have anything like that,” Lindsay said.

Lindsay earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology with a minor in biology from Simmons College, Boston. She worked as a housing administrator, interim director and program administrator for a mental-health organization, then was an analyst at a for-profit healthcare management company before joining ASU.

She also has volunteered as a board member and grant-writer for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation and the American Heart Association, and has served on the Tempe Library Advisory Board.

After she was “downsized” at the healthcare management company, she decided to apply for a job at ASU.

The Office for Research and Sponsored Projects Administration had a position, and hired her as a grant and contract liaison.

There was plenty of on-the-job training. “Research administration is not something you go to school to train for,” Lindsay said.

In the past nearly seven years, Lindsay has worked her way up the ladder and is now assistant director of sponsored projects service for ORSPA.

Her main challenge as a leader is delegating work to others, she said. “I ask myself how I can encourage others to act and be clear about what I expect and let them go and do it. I’m trying to sit on my hands.”

Her fellow LDI students reminded her when she slipped, she said. “When I was overwhelmed with actions that others could take care and I hadn’t delegated, the folks in the class would say, ‘Have you delegated lately?’”

Lindsay is not through with her leadership training. “I need to hone my own skills if I want to continue in leadership at ASU,” she said. “I just signed up for Leadership in the New American University.”

In her spare time she watches her sons in their sports activities, and with the support of her husband, continues to volunteer with the Komen Foundation, and is active in her church – where she is also practicing not “doing it all.”