NACo High Performance Leadership Academy

The NACo High Performance Leadership Academy is an innovative, completely online 12-week program created to equip frontline county government professionals with practical leadership skills to deliver results for counties and communities. (Click here to learn about NACo's Enterprise Cybersecurity Leadership Academy.)

With a robust curriculum developed by the Professional Development Academy in partnership with Fortune 1000 executives, public sector leaders, world-renowned academics and thought leaders, including General Colin Powell and Dr. Marshall Goldsmith, HPLA was designed specifically for the unique challenges and opportunities of serving in county government.

What makes HPLA innovative?

Unlike other webinar-based distance learning programs that emphasize solo learning, HPLA is built around interactivity and community, while retaining the convenience of self-paced learning. The program is guided by an expert moderator to help keep participants on track, and a world-class faculty of prominent public, private and academic sector leaders deliver engaging and though-provoking sessions.

HPLA focuses on five practical skills:

  • LEAD: Engage teams and stakeholders to foster positive climates and exceed common expectations
  • ORGANIZE: Plan, lead and execute organizational change more effectively and consistently
  • COLLABORATE: Establish alignment and strong partnerships through building stronger relationships
  • COMMUNICATE: Create clarity, confidence and community
  • DELIVER: Measure projects and processes to deliver results aligned with county and community priorities

A world-class faculty of prominent public, private and university sector leaders will deliver each course. All module content is guided by an expert moderator.

Who should participate?

Anyone in county government can participant, but HPLA is designed for entry- to mid-level county professionals, particularly those who manage teams or are preparing to in the future.

What is the time commitment?

HPLA is built to accommodate busy work schedules with self-paced learning. Each 12-week HPLA course is divided into 4 three-week modules. Each module includes a one-hour live webinar and one-hour breakout discussion, plus daily assignments ranging from 3 to 35 minutes. (Live webinars are recorded - so don't worry if you miss one!) 

In addition to videos, reading, writing and reflection, participants are placed in a small group cohort where they'll build their network, receive support from peers facing similar challenges and opportunities and celebrate successes. 

For HPLA enrollees' managers

Managers will receive regular dashboard reports outlining the progress of their HPLA enrollee(s). We encourage managers to meet with participants and review the program content as it relates to individual development plans. 

When is the next cohort?

NACo is currently enrolling for the April and August 2020 cohorts. 

What is the cost?

The enrollment fee is $1,995 per participant. The first enrollee from each NACo member county will receive a one-time NACo scholarship of $1,000 and a $500 discount. As outlined in the table below, additional enrollees receive a discount based on the number of enrollees per county.

Enrollees Retail Price Discount Enrollee Cost

1st Enrollee Per County




2nd – 19th Enrollee Per County




>19th Enrollees Per County




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