We have dedicated our lives to transforming ordinary people into world-class leaders who have the skills to go out and help others do the same. Our Leadership Academy provides your future leadership team with the content that we wish we had been taught when we were middle managers.
Baseline modules are listed below. Additional modules can be developed or modules can be combined to create customized learning solutions specifically tailored to your unique requirements. Contact us to find out more about our Leadership Development Program & Training Courses.
1. Leadership 101
This class provides a clear definition of what constitutes effective leadership and examines the roles and responsibilities of a leader, the characteristics of effective leadership, and the key attributes any leader should possess. We will examine highly effective leaders such as those found in Special Forces, various industries, and well known and respected social and political leaders to examine what works and what you should avoid at all costs. We conduct an interactive discussion of the differing traits of leaders (visionaries and innovators) and contrast that with managers (goal oriented and results driven), the responsibilities of both, and when each style is appropriate. We explore in depth the concept that “True Leadership is the Exercise of Influence in the Absence of Authority”©. The class will include exercises and discussions about several key aspects of leadership and how to learn and develop these skills and traits.
2. Management 101
This class examines the role and responsibilities of a manager, the characteristics of successful management, and the key attributes that ensure effective and efficient utilization of resources, talent, and time to accomplish specific goals and objectives. In today’s changing business environment, it is no longer enough for a Manager to meet the old trifecta of cost, schedule and quality. Those are still important, but with customers’ ever increasing options, and their growing demand to “be in the know”, a good manager cannot win new business – or maintain existing contracts without going beyond what has always worked in the past. This course will discuss those additional requirements and how to satisfy them. Powerful simulations and exercises teach practical skills in prioritizing limited resources and conflicting requirements. Personality profiling skills are taught with emphasis on practical applications to help the student learn to effectively manage their employees, as well as influence their boss and peers to ensure greater success. Do’s and Don’ts from Lessons Learned are shared with the class and with each other to gain greater insight into how to manage effectively in almost any situation.
3. Understanding and Using Organizational Culture
Your organization has a unique and dynamic culture that has developed over time based on past leadership styles, old habits, and workforce comprised of people who have been there for 20+ years as well as newer and younger employees with a decidedly different set of values. This culture sets the norms for employee attitudes and performances, and can make or break a company as it strives to achieve world class performance. Understanding the overall culture, with both individual and organizational ethics, and learning how to change the culture from the “old way” to the “new way” is critical. How you can accomplish this change while maintaining the highest ethical conduct as you are incorporating world class ideas and concepts into your organization is the basis of this course. Exercises include a survey on the culture as well as the perceived ethics of your organization.
4. Implementing Change Initiatives and Surviving the Resistance to Change
This course will begin with a discussion of all of the past and present initiatives undertaken by your organization and exploring Root Causes of the perceived successes/failures of each one. It will include the "five whys" technique to drill down on those failures and successes in order to ensure Lessons Learned are employed in the future implementation of any initiative in order to better guarantee success. Some of your Lessons Learned are guaranteed to be about resistance to change and effective change management. We will teach you how to recognize the Four Levels of Resistance and how to overcome them. Based on Rick Maurer's book on change resistance "Why Don't You Want What I Want", this course will include exercises on recognizing types of resistance, understanding the reason for the resistance, and handling the types of resistance, as well as a proven path to eliminate or mitigate resistance as you begin to implement your changes.
5. Identifying and working with Personality Types
Studies have proven that every individual has a preferred way to assimilate and convey information, as well as a preferred style of interacting with other people. This course will teach you how to conduct a personality assessment of yourself and others using the Wilson Social Styles for Personality Profiling. Along with learning your personality profile, you will learn a quick and effective way to determine other individual’s profiles and learn how to accommodate their styles. This accommodation includes learning how to communicate effectively with each of the Styles and why it is necessary to do so. We also teach you how to improve your ability to effectively deal with others in the organization (your leadership, peers, and subordinates), how to improve your ability to influence others to more effectively implement your ideas and projects.
6. Dealing with Difficult Employees
You didn’t HIRE difficult employees, so what drove them to turn to this behavior? This course is about determining root causes of their behavior and developing effective ways for you to understand, respond and resolve. This course will discuss what an organization needs to do to get all employees working toward the same strategic goals and objectives. It will involve innovative simulations and some role-playing as each participant practices dealing with a disgruntled employee. Each participant will learn several new techniques and insights to deal with multiple specific disruptive or inappropriate behaviors to improve your ability to successfully manage your team.
7. Pay for Performance Compensation Strategies (P4P)
P4P has become a hot topic in the business world and in government organizations. This course will look at pilots and implementations that are currently underway or in place, the benefits achieved by those pilots, the lessons learned to include evaluating how to implement this in your workplace while balancing ethics versus results. This class will practice defining quality indicators and measures for developing an effective P4P system. The course is designed to assist you in determining if P4P is right for your organization and how to tie P4P to your strategic plan.
8. Managing Financial Performance for Non-Financial Managers
Far too many new managers receive P&L statements or financial reports without fully understanding the information they contain or how to use the data to make effective decisions. Students will gain an understanding of how to read these reports, interpret their meaning, and develop the ability to use the data to make effective decisions. In addition to understanding financial metrics and reporting, we help the student understand and speak the language of Return On Investment and Business Operations. Exercises will include defining financial concepts such as “The Big Five” Cost, Sales, Orders, ROIC and EBIT; defining how financials are gathered for an organization and practice in setting up effective program management plans for your organization. We will also provide training on the how-to of setting up and managing a specific budget for their area of responsibility.
9. Succession Planning
Understanding how to identify, evaluate, and grow talent to assume greater roles and responsibilities in your organization is a critical skill for the business leader. Identifying what is required to perform all the tasks and capabilities for the role is only the first part of the equation! Who is going to understand all of the tasks and responsibilities of that person - it's usually much more than the job description. Many times, we look for someone to train to replace us who has a personality exactly like our own. We will discuss the pros and cons of that strategy, and map the job responsibilities and your organizational needs to the Wilson Social Styles. Also in this course students will learn how to accomplish this critical task and practice developing a succession plan for their organizational role, with milestones for training, piloting, etc.
10. Effective Communication Skills
Employees at your organization need to be able to communicate effectively up the chain of command as well as down the chain of command. What is often overlooked is the ability to effectively communicate with one’s peers across the organization. All of these are essential for one to be successful in today’s environment. We will cover the many different styles of communicating as well as strengths and weaknesses of each. In addition to learning effective techniques of multi-media communications, this course will give students practice in developing presentations, using effective presentation skills, and practice in presenting material while being videotaped. Videotaping with feedback is one of the most valuable tools in learning who you are in front of a group, including your manner of speaking, dress, and those annoying little habits you don't even know you have. Each student will receive feedback from the entire class as well as the instructor, and the video tape will be given to the student.
11. Conducting Effective Meetings
Too many times meetings are called, attended, and ended without measurable results from the money spent. It costs $$ every time you pull a group together for a meeting. Just think back to your latest meeting – multiply the average salary per participant times the number of minutes spent. Did the outcome of the meeting come close to returning that investment? Too many times the answer is a resounding “no”! Effective meetings will come much closer to achieving that goal. Students will learn how to set up an agenda, whom to invite, when/how to accomplish the logistics for setting up the meeting; how to set ground rules, how to keep the meeting on track, how to deal with disruptive behaviors and distractions, setting expectations and goals, and improving accountability for results. Each participant will receive practical insights, effective techniques and real-world experience.
12. Effective Writing for Business Leaders
Before putting the keyboard to use, students should know how to effectively communicate with the written word and to whom the message is being communicated. This class will practice the etiquette for writing, how to use effective phrasing, and how to improve their ability to get their message across. Differing types of communication styles as well as differing formats and technologies will be evaluated. We will explore the strengths and weaknesses of each writing style and/or media used to learn when to use each technique for maximum effectiveness. For instance, is email really an effective communication tool? When is face-to-face the ONLY effective approach? Topics such as social media for business communications will also be discussed.
13. Conducting Effective Performance Appraisals to Motivate and Provide Accountability
The ability to provide performance evaluations that accomplish their intended objective (improvement of the employees’ capabilities) is a critical skill for Managers/Supervisors. This course will teach the student how to effectively communicate both the positive information and the improvement needs of a performance evaluation. Through in-class simulations and examples, students will practice taking the emotionalism out of performance evaluations and provide effective coaching to employees to enhance their performance. Included in this course are some “triggers” to watch for when working with an employee you want to motivate, and how to keep from de-motivating them. Students will discuss their personal motivators/de-motivators, and compile a list of terms to use, behaviors to practice and special situations to be aware of during the evaluation. Students will also learn the importance of accountability in an organization and the impact this aspect of behavior can have professionally. In addition, we will explore different concepts and techniques used to correctly apply corrective action plans if required by the evaluation.
14. Team-Building Skills to Build Trust, Earn Respect, and Enhance Relationships
This course is about building trust and learning how to gain the respect of the people with whom you work most closely. We will discuss the different types of teams and the five things every team needs to be successful as well as the five stages of team building. It is a very interactive course, with students having to rely on each other to accomplish different objectives. Each activity is built around a different skill such as communication, team work, problem solving, or trust. People will typically only follow those they trust and respect. Learning to define and understand these concepts is a key skill to developing the traits of good leadership. Converting these behaviors into effective relationships that allow ideas to flourish and change to occur is critical to the health and development of both the organization and the individual.
15. Effective Coaching and Counseling
Growing and developing our employees is a critical skill in today’s market. Coaching is a term that is heavily used, but not clearly understood by many. There is a specific set of rules/guidelines for coaching. Your students will learn those effective techniques and skills for providing both positive coaching and constructive criticism and counseling. These two methodologies combine to create stronger employees who are better motivated to assume additional responsibility in the future. Students will learn about how to structure the coaching session and how to effectively prepare for the meeting. They will also learn the roles and responsibilities of both the coach and the “client” to ensure maximum results and achieve sustained results. Included in the techniques are the setting and communication of responsibilities and accountability for both the coach and the person being coached.
16. LEAN, Six Sigma Overview
Students will be given an understanding of the time-tested principles of LEAN, Six Sigma and Theory of Constraints, and how they are inter-related in providing the most effective transformation to Process Improvement in support of your organization's LEAN Six Sigma initiative. It is our belief that all of the above programs are merely tools in one large tool box. This course will look at many of those tools and when it is appropriate to use a LEAN tool versus a Six Sigma tool versus a Theory of Constraints tool. The training is centered around the simulation of a project where participants are presented with a process baseline that contains large amounts of rework, travel, paperwork and waste. They are then given some basic tools of Lean and Six Sigma and Theory of Constraints and given a chance to LEAN the process, get rid of the bottlenecks and take the variation out of the process to show the power of those tools.
17. Basic Human Resources (HR) Law
Students will learn about Business Law as it pertains to HR and the key insights into understanding the most common aspects that impact and affect managers and leaders today. We will examine the key elements of the rules and regulations that they need to fully understand in order to make effective decisions and remain in compliance with the legal environment. This course can be easily modified to comply with each state, a well as local laws and regulations for a specific client or area. We can work to ensure that specific areas of concern or need are addressed in the course as appropriate and desired for your organization or your student.
18. Understanding and Applying HR Policies
Students will learn how to apply and implement the complex and often confusing array of rules and regulations they face in the course of normal day-to-day work. Case studies and examples will be used to help the student fully understand why these policies are needed and how they will help the organization achieve their objectives within the structures and boundaries established. The student should progress from seeing these regulations as “roadblocks” and “constraints” to an understanding that these tools and guidelines can help all succeed and prosper. This course can be easily modified to comply with each specific client or geographical area. We can work to ensure that specific areas of concern or specific policies and procedures are addressed in the course as appropriate and desired.
19. Hiring for Success
We all have experienced the disappointment of a hiring decision that “just didn’t work out”. Students will learn a structured approach to ensuring your organization hires the right candidate for the right position. They will learn how to: verify / validate the need for a new hire; determine the “urgency” for the position; multiple methods of posting / advertising for candidates; reviewing / selecting candidates for an interview; preparing for and conducting an effective interview; evaluating the results after all the interviews; conducting the follow up interview; making an offer; do’s and don’ts after the acceptance; preparing for and minimizing the “six month slump” and eliminating “buyer’s remorse” on the part of your new hire!
20. Effective Time Management
In a world of often conflicting requirements, shrinking time lines, and accelerating change, figuring out how to de-conflict the chaos and making the most of your time, efforts, and energy is more critical today than ever before! Studies have shown that a typical manager has around 15 minutes to deal with any one crisis before the next one is on the phone or at his/her door. As we all know, being a manager is not just about managing crises – it’s supposed to be about developing our people. This course will help you understand your personal productivity; implement a values-based time management strategy, and how to best focus your energies. We provide you with effective techniques to effectively plan your day, week, and month based on your personal goals and objectives as well as your bosses, and the organizational goals. Students will practice time management planning for their own roles and responsibilities at your organization.