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LSP Company Photo Spring 2023
Wilbur O. and Ann Powers College of Business

Leadership Signature Program

Leadership Signature Program

Program Description

Leadership Signature Program

The Leadership Signature Program (LSP) is one of nine signature programs for the Wilbur O. and Ann Powers College of Business. The signature programs are designed to distinguish Clemson business education as a destination school for students wanting to focus on business-critical competencies.

As the central component of the Leadership Signature Program (LSP), the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education (CHE) approved a Leadership Certificate in November 2021 to identify those who have completed all program requirements. The certificate will be prominently displayed on their academic transcripts.

This new Leadership Certificate is a 12-credit undergraduate certification available to business students seeking to develop their leadership capabilities while also contributing to others' development. The academic certificate requirements involve six credits of traditional leadership-focused courses plus six credits of experiential leadership development through a multi-semester, progressive leadership practicum. The one-credit per semester practicum is the cornerstone element of the flexible, three-year program. Students may enroll for one semester, as desired, and are not committed to the entire three-year certificate. Students are encouraged to pre-register for the Practicum during their first (freshman) year at Clemson.

Read student testimonials to see what our students are saying about the Leadership Signature Program!

You can also view our first Zoom information session from Tuesday, April 5, 2022, to learn more about this new leadership development program.

LSP Company Group photos Spring 2023.
End-of-Semester Networking Event - Spring 2023
  • Who are we?
    • Organized as a student-led "company" to gain progressive leadership experience and help shape your professional identity.
    • Integrated horizontally (by major) and vertically (by academic year).
    • Mission: Cultivate mission-driven leaders charged with making a positive impact on the world.
    • We may not produce a high quantity of external goods or services, as our focus is to produce high-quality leaders.

    Leadership organizational chart represents a student-led "company" to gain progressive leadership experience and help shape your professional identity.

    Organizational Chart

    Typical company: 0-10% Leadership Development

    Our company: 90-100% Leadership Development

  • Leadership Values and Skills

    Value - inspires desired behavior if instilled in a leader:

    • Responsibility to make a difference
    • Approachable, servant leader
    • Brave and trustworthy
    • Inclusive and collaborative team-builder
    • Cross-cultural, global citizenship
    • Data-driven decision-making and team-based problem-solving
    • Continuous development mindset involving critical thinking
    • Measurable results and positive impact on others

    Skill - learn and master through study and experience:

    • Communication: listens, speaks, writes efficiently and effectively; advocates
    • Professional: adheres to standards, responsible/disciplined, objective/composed
    • Organizational: plans/coordinates, manages resources (time, $, human, physical)
  • Leadership Development Progression

    Experiential learning via progressive (nested) experiences:

    • Lead SELF: participate in weekly activities and complete assigned functional tasks focused on our Leadership Values and Skills (new Year 1 Leaders)
    • Lead OTHERS: lead a weekly activity and/or coordinate completing assigned functional tasks (returning Year 1 Leaders)
    • Lead TEAMS: lead others throughout the semester by providing expectations, guidance, and assessment/feedback for activities and functional responsibilities (Team Leaders: Project and Department Leaders)
    • Lead LEADERS, ORGANIZATIONS, and CHANGE: lead other leaders throughout the semester to achieve organizational goals and affect internal and external change (Executive Leaders)
  • Leadership Practicum
    • Weekly products and activities (discussions & exercises): Introductions, self-awareness, negotiation, Amazing Race, Escape Room, building diverse teams, team-based problem-solving, mentor maps, Outdoor Lab
    • Inherent company activities: Self-assessments, expectations, feedback, absences, promotion/hiring, conflict resolution, communications, logistics, info management, budgeting, marketing, proposals/plans/debriefs
    • External production: Community service, partnerships, competitions, research
    Students playing with hula hoop
    Students working in groups in classroom
    Students working with ClemsonLife program

LSP in the News


Pilot programming for LSP began in the Spring of 2021 for 17 initial students, growing to 34 in the Fall of 2021 (100% increase), 50 in the Fall of 2022 (50% increase) and 65 in the Fall of 2023 (30% increase).

The scalable program is modeled on key aspects of existing leadership programs and courses, including executive leadership programs from industry, the non-military components of Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) officer development and other sources to create a safe learning environment for students to experiment, take risks and grow as leaders.

The new program was made possible by the generosity of the Powers family gift and some key industry partners. Specifically, Dan Hawkins ’91, founder and CEO of Summit Leadership Partners and Chair of the Dean's Senior Advisory Board, was especially instrumental in initially developing the program and providing executive-level resources, expertise and much-needed financial support to enable the program's early successes.


Keith Balts, Colonel (retired), USAF, is a professor of practice in leadership and serves as the Director of the Leadership Signature Program.

Ann Marie Alexander, lecturer and co-instructor, joined the program in Fall 2023.

Gail DePriest, senior lecturer and Director of Executive Leadership and Corporate Relations for the MBA program, joined the program in Spring 2021.


Interested business students should pre-register for the Leadership Practicum as early as possible, as students are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. Enrolled students will formally apply for the certificate after their first year in the Practicum. Everyone is encouraged to follow our program activities on Instagram and LinkedIn.

Wilbur O. and Ann Powers College of Business
Wilbur O. and Ann Powers College of Business | 343 Chandler L. Burns Hall, Clemson, S.C. 29634