Leadership Development Courses

Individual Leadership Coaching

Foundational Individual Leadership Coaching

The purpose of this program is to enhance any leader’s leadership and management effectiveness through tailored, individual support. The CliftonStrengths assessment tool is used to increase self-awareness and to guide the coaching process. While no two coaching partnerships are alike, common elements include: goal-focused conversations, feedback, journaling assignments, targeted reading, skills practice, and self-observation exercises.

The leader will work with their coach to create a development plan to guide the coaching process. The development plan will include the leader’s strengths to better leverage, areas to improve, feedback received, and measurable goals to improve leadership effectiveness.

Coaching Progress Meetings (Optional): Two coaching progress meetings will be conducted with the leader, the leader’s direct supervisor, and the coach. These meetings will be held at the beginning and end of the coaching partnership. These meetings are designed to:

    • Discuss the overall goals of the coaching partnership, share relevant feedback, and finalize a development plan aimed at continuous improvement,
    • Discuss high-level themes, progress and needed support, and
    • Share outcomes and next steps.

Advanced Individual Leadership Coaching

To take any individual’s leadership capabilities to the next level, this advanced coaching support uses the Leadership Circle 360 Assessment tool. This helps expand a leader’s understanding of their impact on others through constructive feedback from bosses, peers, direct reports, and others. This feedback informs leadership development goals and strategies for leveraging existing strengths and minimizing or managing areas of overused strengths and/or weaknesses.

Coaching Progress Meetings (Optional): Two coaching progress meetings will be conducted with the leader, the leader’s direct supervisor, and the coach.  These meetings will be held at the beginning and end of the coaching partnership.  These meetings are designed to:

    • Discuss the overall goals of the coaching partnership, share relevant feedback, and finalize a development plan aimed at continuous improvement,
    • Discuss high-level themes, progress and needed support, and
    • Share outcomes and next steps.

Comprehensive Courses


Skills for Every Leader

This program offers a solid introduction to several critical areas of effective leadership, including:

    • Self-Awareness: What makes an effective Leader?, Emotional Intelligence: Building Self Awareness, The Impact of Positive Feedback, DiSC Profile Discussion and Debrief
    • Interacting with Others: DiSC and Communication, Skills for Effective Listening, Emotional Intelligence: Relationship Awareness and Management, Ladder of Inference, Conflict Dynamics Profile, Navigating Difficult Conversations
    • Engaging Others: Situational Leadership, Strategies for Delegation, Motivation and Influence Strategies, Leading and Managing Change, Change Curve
    • Developing Self and Others: Resiliency for leaders, Managing Physical, Emotional, Mental and Spiritual energy, Self-care, Building Resilient Teams, Coaching Skills for Leaders, Coaching at Different Levels, When to Tell, Teach, and Coach; Grow Model
    • Building Community: Teams in High Performance, Stages of Team Development, Creating Psychological Safety, Leading Virtual Teams, Strengths Based Leadership (using CliftonStrengths 2.0), Using Your Unique Strengths Every Day, Action Planning, Learning Reflection.

These core capabilities quickly enable increased effectiveness of leaders at any level.

Executive Overview: Skills for Every Leader

The seminar described above, Skills for Every Leader, exerts an especially powerful effect on participants when their bosses know what is being taught and how to support it. This two-hour Executive Overview does exactly that.

Deep Expertise Courses

Leading Strategic Change

Designed for Leaders and critical contributors of large change/transformation initiatives. This course provides a logical framework for implementing large-scale organizational change. Most project plans answer questions such as: “What do we want done, by when?” This framework complements such concrete plans by answering important "How" questions, such as: “How do we get people to embrace the change?” Specifically covered are the five phases of change: Mobilize, Diagnose, Design, Implement, and Sustain, and how to employ eight transformational tools in the latter four phases. The methodology taught in this seminar ensures that graduates can provide specific, meaningful additions to project plans such that organizational change happens swiftly.

Executive Overview: Leading Strategic Change

This Executive Overview is for senior leaders and stakeholders who drive or sponsor major organizational change initiatives. This overview provides executives with a framework for successfully supporting and enabling successful major transformational change initiatives. The seminar emphasizes the pivotal role of executive oversight and sponsorship in the change process. In addition, it provides executives with knowledge of the eight “transformational levers” that must be aligned to assure the success of large change initiatives.

Collaborative Leadership

Collaborative Leadership Immersion (CLI) is a very hands-on offering. It provides mid-level leaders the opportunity to learn and practice the tools needed to more fully leverage every team member to collaboratively solve problems and make decisions requiring the full team’s cognitive diversity and emotional support. Leaders will leave this program well equipped to design and facilitate more effective team working sessions.

Topics include:

    • Understand and apply a variety of models for collaborative leadership;
    • Improve your ability to “read” group dynamics and identify the most appropriate skills to use;
    • Gain knowledge about fostering group decision-making with successful outcomes;
    • Understand the elements of planning and designing successful meetings;
    • Learn powerful facilitation tools for increasing team effectiveness;
    • Learn tools and intervention techniques for effectively handling difficult situations;
    • Build a productive and open atmosphere of cooperation, trust, and high performance

Programs to Support Intact Teams (at any level)

Strengths Based Leadership

Participants will discover individual and group strengths using the CliftonStrengths assessment. In this interactive workshop, participants will learn about their unique individual strengths and how best to leverage them to produce excellent results. In addition, participants will explore how the interplay of strengths shapes the dynamic of teams. Specific team challenges and development opportunities will be discussed with the goal of enhancing individual and team engagement.

Rapid Team Alignment (Setting Goals and Aligning Effort)

This three-day workshop is highly tailored to ensure that the leaders of an organizational or project team embrace the same understanding of exactly what the team is trying to achieve, and who is accountable for what element of the strategy to get there. All portions of the workshop — education, tools, templates, and in-session work — are aimed at aligning the team to execute its strategy.

The tangible output of the workshop is a high-level map of the team’s goals and the major strategies for achieving those goals, with individual names on each major strategic outcome. Groups also find that the session discussions are as beneficial as the tangible outputs, as the leadership team can engage in robust dialogue, uncovering and resolving any disconnects, and building a common understanding and commitment to the decisions made.

Participants: The principles and tools are highly scalable and may be used at any level within the organizational hierarchy. We recommend that group participants include the leader and the individuals directly accountable to that person, often called the “leadership team.” This is usually a small handful of people.  Attendance of others tends to inhibit the candor requisite for success, so we recommend limiting any attendance beyond this group.

Workshop Results: Most teams find that, following this workshop, they now understand what the leader is trying to accomplish better than they ever have before. In addition, this experience provides hands-on education for critical leadership skills. At the end of the workshop, the team will have, in draft form, the organization’s high-level goals, and the primary strategies for achieving those results.

Project/Initiative Leadership

Success Principles for Project Management

This workshop lays a superb foundation in the principles of project management. Through hands-on exercises and stimulating presentations, it engages both beginning and seasoned project managers in the learning process.

While teaching standard project management topics (risk, CPM, WBS, etc.) this course also teaches other key factors in project management – some of the hidden leadership and management elements that spell success or failure.

Topics include:

    • Managing Yourself (as the project leader)
    • Managing Your Team
    • Managing Your Organization
    • Managing the Work

Executive Overview: why Projects Fail: And Five Things Executives Can Do About It

Executive project leadership is one of the most significant factors in project success or failure. It is at this strategic level that the greatest leverage is available and most often overlooked.

This half-day seminar describes five strategic alternatives – or at least prerequisites – to more expensive, tactical nostrums such as software packages, intricate methodologies, and training infinitum.

Topics include:

    • The purpose of the project: understanding, articulating, and communicating the point of the project. This is an intellectually and politically demanding imperative.
    • Internal project executives and external project sponsors/customers: the thorny but necessary chore of sorting out these respective roles and accountabilities.
    • Authorization of the project manager: a decision that hinges on whether the project manager role is really that of a coordinator, or indeed that of a manager who can be expected to lead the team to success.
    • Project configuration: structural issues such as who is accountable to whom for what? When is an ad hoc management relationship preferable to a customer-supplier model? What must be included in internal service level agreements to make them work?
    • Organizational learning policies: when project mistakes continue to recur, it suggests that the common project management tactic of “lessons learned” has yet to be institutionalized. Simple and straightforward ways to do so are explained.

Accountability for Project Success

Accountability is the conduit for achievement within the all organizations ‑ especially cross-functional project organizations. To the extent that accountabilities are clear and effective, projects and major initiatives succeed. Conversely, almost every failed initiative has problems with clear accountability.

Initiative and project leaders must not only be able to give crystal clear direction but must know how to apply appropriate and positive accountability systems to ensure work will actually get done. This intensive two-day course helps them do that, elevating “accountability” from a cliché to a practical course of action.

Topics include:

    • Proactive leadership: the first step in creating an effective accountability system
    • Diagnosing accountability: the three factors that must be present
    • Accountability to senior management versus responsibility to customers
    • Aligning authority with accountability
    • Two keys to successful cross-functional management
    • Requisite elements of effective customer/supplier agreements
    • Behavioral coaching and reinforcement: techniques for strengthening the accountability process
    • Accountabilities and authorities of Project Management Offices (PMOs) - an introduction

Tools and templates are provided throughout the course to ensure that concepts learned become concepts applied - immediately after class.

Project Planning and Control

Planning, scheduling, and controlling - these are the essentials of project management. This course offers a foundation in the well-established principles, tools and techniques required for effective planning and control. Participants in this course will find the knowledge gained in this course immediately applicable to any size project.

This course requires no expertise in project management software. However, students who do use project management software will find themselves much better armed once they understand the concepts behind the software - the concepts taught in this course.

Topics include:

    • Developing an appropriate project goal (ultimate measure of success)
    • Identifying the major deliverables required to achieve success
    • Determining and documenting a project’s scope
    • Basic techniques for planning and scheduling project work
    • Calculating the critical path for a project
    • Methods for compressing the time required to complete a project
    • Critical elements of risk identification, mitigation, and control
    • Methods for managing project changes
    • Methods for developing and implementing project lessons learned

Tools and templates are provided throughout the course, to ensure that concepts learned become concepts applied - immediately after class.

 Rapid Team Development

A team is a collection of individuals who need one another to succeed. Unfortunately, the individuals on project teams do not always know how to work together. Worse, they may arrive at the project with conflicting agendas. Project timelines do not usually permit haphazard, gradual, or “natural” formation of these individuals into a high performing team. Indeed, the “teaming” of these individuals must be engineered, and swiftly.

Many projects also have what we call extended team members - vendors, consultants, and suppliers. This requires additional leadership expertise to establish appropriate agreements, build relationships, and monitor work to ensure successful completion. Rapid Team Development offers tools to help leaders quickly build and maintain high performing teams.

Topics include:

    • The stages of team development
    • The seven most important things a project manager can do to quickly build and maintain an effective team
    • Methods for managing effective team meetings and communication
    • Structured methods for team problem solving and decision making
    • Critical elements of successful vendor/supplier management
    • Techniques for establishing and maintaining effective relationships

Tools and templates are provided throughout the course, to ensure that concepts learned become concepts applied - immediately after class.

Targeted Topic, Short Courses

Communicating Effectively

This interactive virtual workshop uses the DiSC assessment tool to uncover individual communication styles. Participants will learn not only about their own styles, but also the styles of others, and how the diversity of styles impacts the dynamic of working in teams and groups. Participants will specifically explore how their communication style both helps and hinders effective communication; participants then learn practical strategies for improving their communication style and working more effectively with other styles.

Communicating Effectively with Senior Leaders

This seminar is designed to provide middle managers with insights into effective executive-level communication. The principles and tools offered facilitate increased executive support, clearer guidance and more effective decision making.

Topics include:

    • Understanding executive-level communication needs
    • Communication approaches
    • Tips for briefing senior leaders/executives
    • How to bring solutions, not just problems, to decision makers

Resiliency for Leaders

Now, more than ever, leaders are called upon to navigate a VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous) world. To help provide support and guidance, especially during these dynamic times, we have designed this 2-hour interactive virtual workshop around resiliency. In this workshop, we will discuss and learn strategies for managing the current challenges facing us as leaders—physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Topics include:

    • Resilient leadership
    • Energy management and self-care
    • Being a resilient role model for others
    • Sustaining resiliency through building individual and team habits

Having Difficult Conversations

Organizational progress slows when leaders avoid difficult conversations — which is a very human thing to do! Such conversations might include giving tough feedback to an employee, approaching one’s boss about wanting to take on more responsibility, or bringing up a controversial idea at a team meeting. In this interactive workshop, we explore what makes these conversations so hard and how to engage more confidently in them. We look at what is going on inside our brains as we navigate these conversations and why they can quickly become so emotional. In this workshop, participants learn strategies for navigating difficult conversations; and each person creates a plan for having a particular conversation they’ve been avoiding.

Coaching Skills for Leaders

In this interactive workshop, we will explore the difference between telling, teaching, and coaching and identify which situations are best suited for a coaching approach. Participants have the opportunity to hone their advocacy and inquiry skills through a small group exercise designed to enhance the ability to ask powerful, open-ended questions that stimulate the learning and development of others. Using a proven coaching model, we will practice coaching and being coached. Participants leave the session with an action plan for incorporating coaching skills and behaviors into their leadership skillsets.

Foundations for Building Collaborative and Innovative Teams

Using Gallup’s Q12 engagement model as well as research from Amy Edmonson’s book Fearless Organizations, participants will learn strategies for how to create psychological safety on their teams to drive engagement, collaboration, innovation, and creativity on the teams they lead. Participants will work with a partner to create an action plan for the teams they lead and coach each other on how to sustain engagement of their teams over time.

Foundations for Leading and Navigating Change

In this interactive virtual workshop, participants learn strategies for leading and navigating change in an organizational environment. Dynamics of change, what people need during change, the change curve, and planning for successful change will be discussed. Participants will discuss the changes they are currently navigating and will work with a partner to improve their leadership effectiveness in leading amidst these changes.

Brain-Based Leadership

Participants will explore concepts of neuroscience and how they impact leadership effectiveness:

    • Emotional regulation
    • Mirror neurons
    • Biases in decision making
    • Managing social threats and rewards
    • Mindfulness techniques and practices

Participants will leave with greater knowledge of how their brain works, at work, and how to use this knowledge to further their focus, effectiveness, and engagement in their work.

Building Influence

Participants will explore their own influencing strengths and challenges, discuss how credibility and influence is created and sustained internally and with customer organizations, and explore ways to maximize their influence in these environments. The concept of Channels of Influence from Michael Broom’s book The Infinite Organization will be explored in an interactive discussion using breakout rooms and participants will explore influence models in a case study.

Engaging and Motivating Others

Participants will learn strategies for engaging and motivating others. The focus will be on fostering intrinsic motivation with a focus on strengths and positive feedback and creating conditions where inspiration is likely to happen. Concepts from Dan Pink’s research in his book Drive – The Science of Motivation, and from Dare to Inspire, by Allison Holzer, Sandra Spataro, and Jen Grace Baron will be discussed. Participants will first focus on how to boost their own levels of engagement and motivation and then will focus on how engage, motivate, and inspire others. The session will end with a brainstorming session to generate specific, actionable ideas for engaging and motivating employees.

Recognizing and Mitigating Biases in Decision Making

Participants will learn why biases exist in our thinking and how, if left unchecked, they can hinder our clear thinking and effectiveness without us even realizing it. Participants will learn David Rock’s SEEDS model for biases and explore common biases that affect our thinking and decision making every day. Participants will learn that bias in our thinking exists regardless of how intelligent we are. They’ll identify habits to regularly check themselves for biases in their individual and team decision-making processes. Participants will work with a partner to think through a real decision they are facing in their lives and will coach each other on how to reduce bias in their thought processes.

Leveraging Team Brain Power Through Effective Inquiry

Participants will have the opportunity to practice asking open-ended powerful questions in this interactive virtual workshop. Types of questions, domains of questions, and the value of asking versus telling in developing others will be explored. Participants will learn to expand and enhance their inquiry skills as a means for engaging the maximum brain power of the individuals and teams they lead. Participants will leave with an action plan for expanding their inquiry skills in their daily interactions.

How to Handle Angry Customers

Loud, angry people can become loyal supporters when their complaints are handled in an active, problem-solving style. There are tremendous benefits in handling anger well, but it's difficult to do because angry people cannot listen to reason. In this seminar participants learn how to move angry people from anger to problem‑solving quickly, calmly and with minimal disturbance.

Seminar Purpose

    • To understand the psycho/social underpinnings of anger
    • To develop effective methods for dealing with angry or distraught people
    • To increase confidence in handling angry disturbances with finesse

Skills Include

    • Establishing control in difficult situations
    • Managing your own anger
    • Responding to the "quiet" angry person
    • Handling both "normal" and "manipulative" angry people

Competency inspires confidence. And people who have confidence that they can handle angry people actually encounter fewer angry people. They understand the impact of their behavior on others and calibrate their responses to avert unnecessary conflicts.

The employee who handles angry people well reduces his or her own stress, while communicating an image of competence to people who observe or experience the smoothly handled conflict.