LEAD Academy Course Descriptions

The first workshop series will be offered in May/June 2019. What does it mean to LEAD? Explore the course descriptions below and view the LEAD Academy course chart. Find registration information on the workshop schedule page.

L: Learn about Yourself

Managing Your Work
Moving into a leadership role brings many new challenges, including how to manage those who were once your peers. This course provides many strategies to:

  • Establish yourself as a leader
  • Understand your learning and organization styles to manage your workload
  • Manage up the organization by influencing without authority
  • Use professional emails and messages designed to get responses
  • Solidify the development of your team
  • Know when and how to have difficult conversations

Strengths-Based Leadership
Using an assessment from the book Strengths-Based Leadership, participants identify their innate strengths and use those to identify and tap into their authentic leadership style. You’ll explore ways to:

  • Understand how you use your strengths in the workplace
  • Tap into your natural leadership style to approach your work
  • Embrace the leadership styles of others to complete work

Channeling Change
Although there are often jokes about how slow government is to change, government entities can lead change in the form of regularly scheduled elections and new laws, policies, and mandates (both funded and, our favorite, unfunded mandates). But just like in other industries, change also comes from new technology, staff turnover, mergers or realignment, and it can even bubble up internally in the form of continuous improvement. Leaders need to understand their own reactions to change so that they can help others through changes. This course will help you:

  • Identify your own go-to reaction to change and how that affects your work
  • Explain the change curve, its phases, and how it rolls out
  • Understand your role in helping people navigate through change

Use Your Ethics to Navigate Local Government Systems
In your supervisory role, you’ll need to build your awareness of situations calling for ethical conduct and identify practices which lead to principled behavior. Fortify your own ethical muscles and build an ethical organizational culture through active participation, reflection, and case study by learning how to:

  • Address ethical issues with elected officials
  • Navigate close relationships
  • Communicate through government structures

E: Engage Others

Positive Communication
Start with an assessment that will help you understand your own preferred communication style. Then, discover ways to understand how others like to send and receive communication as you:

  • Learn to assess the communication styles of others through observable behaviors
  • Understand how to leverage communication styles to give and receive feedback
  • Discover how to modify messages to communicate in times of stress and conflict

Leading Stakeholders through Change
Gaining and keeping the support of key stakeholders is essential to the success of any change initiative or project. If you are using the same email to report to everyone, you are probably missing opportunities to keep different stakeholders invested and enthusiastic about your initiatives and projects. This course connects change theory to communication strategies to:

  • Help you identify and analyze your key stakeholders
  • Determine the messages stakeholders need to hear and when they need to hear them
  • Choose the best mode of communication for each stakeholder

Coaching 101
Coaching helps you to develop your team. Understand formal vs. informal coaching, and how to choose the best option for each situation to apply the three steps of coaching. Learn and practice coaching to:

  • Reinforce positive performance
  • Address problem performance
  • Communicate support

Getting Past “No” Using Negotiation
Most of the work day may be described as trying to get things from others: a task completed, a form filled out, a signature, or a decision. Learn how to use your personal power rather than position power to influence situations. Understand the five steps of negotiation so that you can quickly connect for a “yes” to get the job done. Develop your skills as you:

  • Learn to negotiate with personal power instead of position power for mutual interests
  • Minimize actions that provoke a negative response
  • Employ active listening to hear obstacles to requests
  • Ask questions to clarify values and move forward

A: Act for Effectiveness

Running a Meeting
Running a quality meeting that produces actionable items begins long before anyone arrives at the meeting: the preparation for the meeting can be more important than the meeting itself. Help reduce the number of meetings that waste time by learning how to:

  • Analyze situations to determine the need for a meeting
  • Establish meeting purpose before inviting participants
  • Properly prepare to get what you need from the meeting
  • Manage meeting follow-up on actionable items

Leading Through Conflict
The resources of time and money are scarce, so often our first reaction to a request is, “no.” To find solutions, you need to engage in dialogue that is both assertive and cooperative and tap into your expertise to discover solutions and present options to customers that allow for a win-win. Finding opportunities to collaborate will generate value and improve relationships for both you and your organization. Learn to lead through conflict as you:

  • Understand the Power of “Yes”
  • Understand the Power of “No”
  • Learn about win-lose scenarios and their cost
  • Recognize win-win possibilities

Labor Relations Skills: Understanding Contract Framework
The key for the success of any local government supervisor is effective labor relations skills. Success begins with understanding the formal relationship between management and labor as established by the collective bargaining agreement. Learn the rules that govern contract administration, grievance handling, the administration of discipline, and labor arbitration by exploring:

  • Strategies for effectively administering the labor contract
  • How to maintain management authority through best management practices
  • Ways to clarify ambiguous contract language
  • Methods of demystifying "past practices"
  • How to prepare and navigate grievances and arbitration
  • Effective use the roles of advocates, human resources, and consultants

Meeting Customer Expectations
The first mistake that many leaders make is thinking that because they are not in the business of selling they do not have customers. The work you do serves a purpose, and that purpose identifies who your customers are and the expectations they have of you and your team. Learn to identify the customers that you serve, discover the five most common customer expectations, and ensure that you and your team are meeting customer expectations as you:

  • Understand the dynamics of customer satisfaction
  • Identify customers (both internal and external)
  • Ensure understanding of customer needs and communicate them to business partners

D: Develop the Organization

Influencing Culture
Workplace culture typically falls into one of four types. These types are neither positive nor negative, but you need to understand your culture so that you can capitalize on its strengths and avoid the pitfalls. To do this, you need to:

  • Learn to assess your culture
  • Approach culture strategically to address the changing external and internal pressures of your work environment
  • Understand how culture encourages or stagnates change

Encouraging and Developing Others
Your employees want a connection between their work and the organization. Learn practical strategies for enhancing employee engagement focused on how to make people, teams, and your organization better. This course uses the Gallup Press Book 12 Elements of Great Managing to understand how great managers encourage and develop others at work. Participants will develop skills and strategies to:

  • Learn the elements of great management and employee engagement
  • Develop skills in discipline and corrective action
  • Sharpen abilities in managing difficult conversations with positive outcomes

Employee Life Cycle Part 1: Recruit, Hire and Onboard
Learn best practices of the employee lifecycle and explore the elements of the typical selection process from job posting through onboarding a new employee. You’ll gain a deeper understanding of public sector staffing and the increasingly complex regulatory environment. Plus, you’ll develop a toolkit of ideas and an action plan to improve you own hiring processes now or in the future as you:

  • Understand the typical selection process in public sector organizations
  • Explore the regulatory environment in public sector staffing
  • Learn practical strategies to enhance employee onboarding

Creating High-Performing Teams
High-performing teams do not just evolve over time: they are intentional and their formation is directed by the team leader. For anyone wanting to improve a team’s performance, it’s important to:

  • Understand the essential ingredients of successful teams
  • Use your learning to identify opportunities to improve your teams
  • Learn about team development and how to guide it
  • Practice using basic teamwork tools

Want to know more? See a full listing of upcoming workshops.

Return to the main LEAD Academy page.