Late last month, County Chief Information Officer Greg Marrow walked Durham County's first Leadership Academy cohort through project management. The interactive session had Academy members smiling. Nodding. And engaged. Engagement and collaboration are key goals of Leadership Academy, a new strategic initiative with 17 members representing 13 County departments. This year's theme is "You Can Lead from Anywhere," and Academy members will be learning about skills like time management, decision making and ethics. They'll put those skills to use through team projects housed in various departments. "These collaborative opportunities reinforce the participants' ability to lead from their current position by presenting a potential solution for a current issue or devising an innovative approach to a current practice," said Human Resources Manager Cheala Garland-Downey, who helps manage Leadership Academy. The current cohort will meet twice a month through September. Other curriculum topics include: business writing, dealing with change, public speaking, conflict resolution, and more. "The Academy equips our employees with core leadership skills needed to ensure our organization represents accountable, efficient and visionary government," Garland-Downey said.