About FLA

Since August 2004, FLA has provided top sophomores in Warrington with personal and professional development opportunities. What began as a small program for 30 students has expanded to serve 100 sophomores each year.

The Florida Leadership Academy develops future leaders and polished professionals by providing opportunities for personal growth and networking. Students will explore leadership principles, practice professionalism, serve the community, and put their skills to the test in a business case competition. FLA utilizes the Emotionally Intelligent Leadership (EIL) model to help students: 1) understand that we all have the potential to lead, and 2) further discover the leadership potential within themselves.

Program Objectives

FLA is a hands-on leadership program for second-year business majors which aims to:

  • Engage you actively in your learning through self-exploration and skills development
  • Polish your professionalism through consistent practice of foundational skills such as punctuality, dress, time management, and accountability
  • Present Emotionally Intelligent Leadership (EIL) as a framework, a toolbox, and a guide for seeing the unique capacity in yourselves to make a difference in the lives of others
  • Build your muscle memory for leadership through deliberate practice that leads to developing second nature skills
  • Help you begin to see your environment – UF, the classroom, student organizations, the Gainesville community, and the workplace – as learning laboratories for the practice of leadership and professionalism
  • Provide relationship building and networking opportunities with your fellow FLA mentees, mentors, advisory board members, guest speakers, employer sponsors, and UF alumni

Our Foundation

FLA uses principles from the Emotionally Intelligent Leadership (EIL) model developed by Marcy Levy Shankman, Scott J. Allen, and Paige Haber-Curran. EIL consists of three overarching facets and 19 capacities.

  • Consciousness of Self
  • Consciousness of Others
  • Consciousness of Context

See the EIL full model and descriptions.

Friday Sessions

Leadership and the development of leadership skills is a highly personal process that is rooted in having the time and setting to practice and refine. FLA meets on 10 Fridays each semester (fall/spring) for three-hour sessions. Each Friday session is led by a seasoned professional from various sectors including corporate, governmental, nonprofit, and higher education. Guest facilitators share their experiences, lead discussions and engage FLA in hands-on experiential learning activities. Each semester, students are divided into small groups and assigned a mentor from the previous year’s graduating class. These mentor groups allow FLA students to develop a peer network within the program and build teamwork skills. Each Friday session also includes a networking luncheon to further network and deepen relationships. To learn more about our sessions, check out our Calendar page.

Our Pillars


Career Development

This principle focuses on the process of acquiring knowledge and transferable skills through a holistic understanding of the past and current workplace. As a group, we try to analyze the behavior of leaders within their organization and tie it to future success. Awareness, development, and use of career-related skills is key to successfully mastering this principle of the program. The Florida Leadership Academy selects qualified speakers that will inform students and help to develop career-related skills.

Two students converse over lunch

FLA students in class

Personal & Professional Growth

Personal and professional growth are fundamental to the Florida Leadership Academy. It is important for students to develop their critical thinking, communication, and problem solving skills in order to enhance their effectiveness in every segment of their life. Through the mentor groups, our goal is to ensure every member of the program reflects on their career goals and develops a network of high-achieving students for the future.


Business Ethics

In the business environment, students will be exposed to a number of situations that will test their judgment. Stories, such as Enron and WorldCom, are key examples of business leaders that demonstrated poor ethical standards. The development of core values help the student to deduce a standard code of ethics. Thus, our goal is to empower students to create high ethical standards for themselves and their peers. Through a business ethics simulation and discussion, students will feel empowered to become positive role models through transparency and authenticity.

Three FLA students in discussion around a table

Group of students participating in a civic engagement activity

Civic Engagement

The Civic Engagement pillar provides a unique way for FLA members to explore their individual passions, while also making a positive impact on surrounding communities. Movements created by engaged students can lead to transformative change by building the foundation for corporate social responsibility. As global corporations evolve, corporate social responsibility and dedication to service is becoming just as important as the bottom line. Through our legacy project with GRACE marketplace, semesterly Servant Leader Projects, and community service socials, members have the chance to build a foundation of corporate social responsibility while making an impact on the local Gainesville community.