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Taking Leadership Training to a New Level

Good news, you have just learned that you are receiving a promotion to a leadership position in your organization. In most organizations learning how to lead a team is done by coaching and on the job training, which many believe is inadequate to create great leaders. According to Don Welch, Merit Network’s CEO and president, this informal approach was one of the major motivators behind his search for a leadership training program that would provide an excellent set of skills for leaders. The program that he found was Academy Leadership.
Academy Leadership
Academy Leadership courses are based on leadership development programs used at the nation’s military academies and is facilitated by service academy graduates with senior executive experience. Don Welch was so impressed with the Academy Leadership program that he did not just recommend it to others he signed up to be one of their instructors and began teaching the course at Merit.

Since 2012, Merit Network has offered it Members and others from the private sector, interested in a top notch leadership program, the opportunity to take the Leadership Excellence and Executive Coaching class at Merit’s offices in Ann Arbor, MI, with Don Welch as the instructor. The class sizes are small to allow for significant one on one interaction between the instructor, and other participants as well.

The course starts with participants completing a questionnaire titled Energize2Lead™ profile. This tool provides actionable information that leads to better communication, better leaders and better teams. The Energize2Lead Profile™ identifies what types of activities energize each leader, improves understanding of how to build trust and to identify the strengths and blindsides of others around us.

Participants are taken on an eye-opening journey of self-discovery to uncover what kind of leader you want to be. One of the tools participants walk away with is a written document they create, outlining their personal leadership philosophy. I can tell you from personal experience that going through the process of writing your personal leadership philosophy, getting feedback from other participants and the instructor, can be a career altering experience.

Theresa Rowe, CIO, Oakland University attended the course and stated “As an experienced leader, I appreciated the fresh perspective and insights I got through this course. I especially like reviewing and articulating my personal leadership approach and strategy. I came back to my job feeling re-invigorated and excited – sort of a fresh start. I highly recommend the course.”

With most courses, once you finish instruction, shake the instructor’s hand, and walk away with your class materials your learning experience is over. Not so with Leadership Excellence and Executive Coaching. Now it’s time for the Executive Coaching, where you can expect Don Welch to follow up with you to see how your newfound skills are being incorporated into leading your team, coaching you through challenges, sharing articles with past participants or engaging in a discussion forum on leadership topics. You might feel like you just joined a new club, and you have.

Some participants came away so excited about the course that they encouraged leaders working in their team to sign up to take the course as well. Sue Korzinek, Director, Information Technology, Grand Valley State University said “The Leadership Excellence course engaged my current senior staff and provided valuable tools for continued growth and progress towards our goals. It was especially effective to have all of my senior staff present at the same time to align goals and work together as a team, while each person was still able to bring their own style and ownership to the course. It has been 6 months since our senior staff attended the Leadership course and we are still talking about the tools and having ongoing discussions about how we can work together better as a team and pass along what we have learned to the next level of supervisors.”

If you have an interest in taking your leadership skills to the next level, make sure to enroll in this course. The next sessions of Leadership Excellence and Executive Coaching will be held at Merit’s offices in Ann Arbor on February 11-13 or April 29 – May 1, 2014. Visit the Academy Leadership web page.

Merit also offers two onsite options for those that would like their team to learn these skills without leaving the office. The On-Site Leadership workshop is a six-hour workshop that will cover the “Know Your Team” which includes the Energize2Lead™ profile for each participant as well as working with the team to write a Personal Leadership Philosophy.

In addition, Merit offers a 3 hour workshop that will cover the Energize2lead™ profile for each of your participants. Those interested in hosting a workshop at their site should contact Merit Professional Learning at [email protected] to arrange for a date and time.