Course Outcomes

This leadership development course will:

  • Provide participants with an understanding of leadership and how it differs from management.
  • Explore the benefits of becoming a learning organization.
  • Assess participants’ leadership styles.
  • Explain how to put multiple models and theories into practice.
  • Develop the participants’ ability to articulating values, inspiring others to share a vision, employ systems thinking, and lead change effectively.

Course Overview

This interactive leadership workshop is an intensive two-day program designed to provide participants with an understanding of leadership and a handful of practical tools they can take back and immediately implement. The course covers such topics as the difference between leadership and management, the value of becoming a learning organization, leadership styles and situational leadership, Peter Senge’s five disciplines, Jim Kouzes’ and Barry Posner’s five practices, the importance of building two-directional trust and William Bridges’ work on change. Throughout the program, special attention is paid to translating the academic theory into practical action.

Program Objectives

At this program’s conclusion, participants should be able to:

  • Explain the difference between leading and managing.
  • Identify leadership behaviors that will strengthen themselves and their teams.
  • Describe what it means to be a “learning organization.”
  • Translate academic theory into practical actions.
  • Clarify and communicate their values and beliefs.
  • Inspire others to embrace a common vision.
  • Seek opportunities to change and improve.
  • Build trust.
  • Act as a catalyst for change.

The following outline highlights some of the course’s key learning points. As part of your training program, we will modify content as needed to meet your business objectives. Upon request, we will provide you with a copy of the participant materials prior to the session(s).

Workshop Outline

The Basics: Leadership Versus Management

This program begins with a discussion about leadership and how it differs from management. First, participants will craft a definition for both terms. Next, working through a sorting activity, the group will consider a range of traits and determine whether they are typically associated with leading or managing.

The Learning Organization: Leveraging Knowledge

If you don’t learn you can’t evolve. It’s that simple. This part of the workshop explores the concept of a “learning organization,” a term first used by Richard Pascal in the 1980s and popularized by Peter Senge in his best-selling book, The Fifth Discipline. During this part of the course, we’ll define what it means to be a learning organization, articulate the benefits, look at examples of success, and explore barriers that can prevent an organization from learning or cause it to regress. Participants will also examine three essential building blocks present in a learning organization and assess their team’s current way of working and how closely their group’s practices mirror those found in organizations that value learning.

Take Five: The Five Disciplines

This part of the course looks at Peter Senge’s five disciplines: personal mastery, mental models, shared vision, team learning, and systems thinking. In this seminar segment, participants will take part in a range of activities around those concepts: articulating a personal vision and values, working with mental models, understanding inference, creating a shared vision, inspiring commitment, and developing collective thinking skills. This portion of the course also includes MIT’s classic beer game, a simulation that explores how systems impact decision making and behavior.

The Right Combination: Leadership

Depending on the environment, the people, and the goals they want to achieve, skilled leaders know the importance of adjusting their approach. In other words, they are able to read a situation and adapt accordingly. This part of the workshop looks at a range of leadership styles. During the first exercise, participants will weigh the benefits and drawbacks of each approach, and they will determine when one might make sense over another. Following that activity, group members will complete a leadership styles profile. That instrument will help them identify their primary style, secondary style, style range, and adaptability. Using that information, group members will then craft a plan to develop their skills.  

The Routine: Five Practices and Ten Commitments

The next portion of this program looks at thought pioneered by Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner, two well-known researchers who have done a tremendous amount of work on leadership. They have identified five practices leaders should have in their skill sets: modeling the way, inspiring a shared vision, challenging processes, enabling others to act, and encouraging buy-in and an esprit de corps. During this part of the workshop, we will explore each of the five practices, why they matter, and what they look like in practical terms.

Catch You If You Fall: Trust

If employees don’t believe their leaders are reliable, truthful, and capable, they won’t give it their all. This course component explores the ins and outs of trust as it relates to leadership. We will discuss what employees want from their leaders in terms of trust and the actions leaders can take to satisfy those needs. Of course, trust is a two-way street. This part of the program also looks at actions employees can take to build trust with those they support and how managers can establish a dialogue to encourage trust in both directions.

Learning New Steps: Change Basics

Managing change well is a key part of good leadership. In this final program module, we will take a close look at William Bridges’ change cycle and actions leaders can take to effectively manage transitions. First, we will explore Bridge’s three phases: ending, losing, and letting go; the neutral zone; and the new beginning. Next, participants will consider a case study and plan a change strategy based on their understanding of how effective leaders plan for and lead change. 

At this comprehensive program’s conclusion, participants will have a fundamental understanding of leadership theory, and they will have identified actions they can put in practice back on the job to better lead their teams.