CEDaR – Consulting & Workforce Development

Management Development:
Creating Leaders at all Levels

According to the Center for Creative Leadership (2009), many managers have voiced the concern that the talent they have is not the talent they need. Businesses, governmental agencies and non-profit organizations are all in need of leaders who can successfully navigate the rapidly changing world of work. However, merely promoting the most technically proficient employees does not adequately prepare them for their new roles and challenges.

Purdue North Central’s College of Business can help. Our highly skilled faculty can facilitate a number of leadership development workshops designed specifically for your group. Our custom program typically includes numerous three hour modules that address your most pressing needs. Central to this process is an active, problem-solving approach that incorporates your real issues at hand. The program of study includes:

  • Identification of objectives most applicable to the needs of the client, not only enhancing the growth of each individual but teamwork within the organization as well. All topics listed are available for customization.
  • Presentation of contemporary theory and practice, combined with facilitation of small group discussion, action, reflection and reporting back by the participants.
  • Utilization of an iterative process to reinforce learning and ensure application on the job. All too often, participants return from training and get swept back up into their daily routines. Throughout our series, participants are held accountable for application. Reflection and “follow-up” is a part of the process.
  • Client-centered approach to learning that incorporates the client organization’s standards and policies
  • Interactive class assignments and exercises for practical application using common workplace scenarios. With reinforced new knowledge and skills, participants see the relevance and immediate application of instruction to their worksite and are encouraged by the results that emerge from their own involvement and efforts. 

Custom Topics from A-Z

Appreciative Inquiry

Participants will learn about the Appreciative Inquiry theory, which searches for the best in people, their organizations, and the relevant world around them. It deliberately seeks to discover people’s exceptionality – their unique gifts, strengths, and qualities. In its broadest focus, it involves systematic discovery of what gives “life” to a system when it is most alive and most effective. At the conclusion of this session, participants will be able to:

  • Explain the benefits of using an appreciative approach to change in contrast to a deficit based approach.
  • Discuss the process of appreciative inquiry
  • Ask questions that strengthen a system’s capacity to anticipate, capture and heighten positive potential.
  • Use an appreciate approach when working through an issue within their immediate workgroup.

Change Management

This session emphasizes fundamentals of change management, the change process, and obstacles to changes. This module also covers managing and adapting to change, coping with uncertainty, and moving forward. At the conclusion of the session, participants will be able to:

  • Apply the fundamentals of change management.
  • Implement the change process and handle obstacle to change.
  • Manage change through creativity, developing commitment, and communication.
  • Adapt to change, cope with uncertainty and move forward.

Coaching for Success

This module provides techniques for ongoing performance feedback and skills for recognizing a coaching opportunity. It encourages supervisors and leaders to get involved with the performance growth of their team members to develop and enhance their skills. At the conclusion of this training participants will be able to:

  • Recognize the need to encourage others toward personal growth opportunities.
  • Seek out the potential of another person and support the person’s need to take on additional responsibilities.
  • Invite others to stretch their comfort zone of skills and reach new levels of potential.


As one moves into a leadership role, the need for effective communication becomes more important. Upon completion of this session, participants will be able to develop verbal skills for communicating well under ordinary circumstances, such as:

  • Making a request, suggestion, proposal or demand
  • Gathering information, lots of information – questioning
  • Listening and proving that you are listening – paraphrasing
  • Restarting a stalled conversation – positioning
  • Offering proofs when you have proof or rebutting when you don’t have proof or care a lot
  • Closing for lasting understandings

In addition, managers will also develop some techniques for communicating under difficult circumstances

  • Using verbal skills with difficult people
  • Delivering negative messages as positively as possible

Communication Part 2: Refining Skills

This session is the second in the basic communication series. Managers will develop these skills:

  • I-Messages for equal and unequal relationships
  • Effective Delegation – to include assessment, when to delegate, what to delegate, and how to delegate using a four-step cycle (allocation of duties, delegation of authority, assignment of responsibility, creation of accountability)
  • Communication in the Modern World – to include recommendations for written material, email, and phone communications

Conflict Resolution

This session reviews the concept of conflict, the nature of relationships and the behavior necessary to resolve conflict, especially between two or more groups acting in a competitive manner, often due to perceived or actual incompatible goals or limited resources. At the conclusion of this session, participants will be able to:

  • Understand the nature of a relationship, the course of conflict and the appropriate communication strategies used in addressing the differences.
  • Use and recognize verbal and nonverbal messages.
  • Effectively manage differences.

Corrective Action

Once an employee is not performing up to standards, it is up to the manager to effectively intervene. This session provides participants with a proactive approach to managing employees who demonstrate performance or behavior that does not satisfy the organization’s needs. At the conclusion of this module, participants will be able to:

  • Understand the need to take corrective action.
  • Document performance discrepancies, and develop and take the appropriate corrective actions.
  • Prepare for a performance discussion with an associate.
  • Describe the performance or behavior gap, clearly and specifically.
  • Conduct a corrective counseling discussion with an advisor.


It has been shown that having a workforce that mirrors the surrounding demographics can result in improved performance and organizational effectiveness. Diversity and inclusion is a significant asset. This session provides an introduction to diversity in the workplace and at the conclusion, participants will be able to:

  • Understand two approaches to diversity and history of diversity laws.
  • Explain the changing profile of today’s workers.
  • Understand and avoid stereotyping.
  • Be aware of best practices in workplace diversity.

Emotional Intelligence

Emotional Intelligence (EI) is rapidly becoming a key indicator of leadership effectiveness. This attribute allows one to make sense and navigate the social environment in the workplace and includes elements of perceiving, managing and integrating emotions of self and others. At the conclusion of this session, participants will be able to:

  • Understand the elements of the emotionally-intelligent leader.
  • Develop a strategy for enhancing personal and relational effectiveness.
  • Create a personal development plan.

Financial Management Series

This series of several modules is designed to help managers develop best practices associated with fiscal responsibilities. Targeted for those without any financial background, the program will help transform financial and accounting language and concepts into decision-making tools the non-financial manager can successfully apply every day (particularly in the non-profit setting). Participants will learn how to integrate financial concepts and policies into the management decision and budgeting process. Application and use of the organization’s own system is strongly encouraged.

Sample sessions include:

Financial Information, the Decision Making Process, and Revenue Determination

  • Review of the Financial, Legal, Regulatory and Managed Care Environment
  • General Principles of Accounting and Financial Statements
  • Analyzing Financial Statements

Strategic Financial Planning and Cost Concepts and Decision Making

  • Product Costing and Management Control
  • Cost Variance Analysis
  • Financial Mathematics
  • Capital Project Analysis
  • Working Capital and Cash Management
  • Developing the Cash Budget

Hiring the Best

This workshop outlines a structured process for hiring the best candidate for the position.  At the conclusion of this session, participants will be able to:

  • Review and understand the formal approval process.
  • Utilize a hiring flowchart as a resource for completing the hiring process.
  • Analyze a job to identify minimum technical and performance skills.
  • Prepare applicant selection criteria for the skills identified in the job analysis.
  • Write interview questions that are legal and focus on behavior relevant to applicant qualifications.
  • Screen applicants for interview.
  • Conduct an employment interview using prepared interview questions.
  • Analyze pre-employment assessment results.
  • Select the most qualified candidate for the position based on information obtained during an employment interview and from references.
  • Make a job offer that is not an implied employment contract.

Hiring the Best Part 2: From the Offer Letter to Your Door

This is the second part of the Hiring the Best series, focused on making the new hire’s first day a positive, memorable experience. At the conclusion of this session, participants will be able to:

  • Ensure that the new hire will have the appropriate resources to be successful, such as space, computer access, supplies, telephone, security clearances, and other documentation.
  • Describe elements of an effective orientation program.
  • Develop a departmental training plan.

Human Resource Essentials

This session reviews various laws and regulations with which every manager must understand and comply. It can incorporate company personnel policies. At the conclusion of this session, participants will be able to:

  • Summarize the following laws and regulations, and explain their application on site:
  • American Disability Act -ADA
  • Family Medical Leave Act – FMLA
  • Equal Employment Opportunity – Affirmative Action Plan – EEO/AAP
  • Worker’s Compensation
  • Develop a familiarity with the following policies and practices:
  • Personal/Paid Time Off, Vacation and Sick Day policies
  • Dress code, time and attendance
  • Performance management
  • Ethics, Codes of Conduct
  • Sexual harassment, workplace violence
  • Career development

Improving Quality and Productivity: People, Process, and Data-informed Practice

This session focuses on methods for analyzing and improving work productivity using an evidenced-based management approach. Participants will explore productivity issues in their work area, and identify effective techniques for improvement. At the conclusion of this session participants will be able to:

  • Explain the importance of analyzing and improving productivity in the work place
  • Discuss the elements of evidenced-based management
  • Identify obstacles to productivity and opportunities for improvement.
  • Generate and evaluate ideas for improvement.
  • Develop action plans to implement productivity improvement ideas.

Leadership and Effective Followership

How does effective leadership differ from effective management? Can leaders be effective without effective followers? This session explores the differences between leadership and management, applications of current leadership theory, and the role of effective followers.
Upon completion of this session, participants will be able to:

  • Explain the differences between leadership and management, and the importance of each.
  • Explain the elements of a “great workplace”
  • Discuss a variety of current leadership theories (trait, behavioral, process, relational, and collective) presented in an easy-to-understand format.
  • Gain a greater awareness of their personal leadership style.
  • Discuss the role of effective followers.

Managing Time at Work

Sometimes it seems that managers spend all of their time responding to crises instead of proactively planning. This session provides a framework for organization and prioritization of tasks necessary for getting the job done. At the conclusion of this session participants will be able to:

  • Describe why time management is important.
  • Use a matrix to reflect upon personal timewasters and develop a more proactive approach
  • Develop a personal strategy for handling interruptions and time wasters, minimizing over commitment, and maximizing efficiency.

Meetings That Work

This session focuses on how to effectively lead meetings and use them as productive methods to communicate, solve problems and make decisions.  It covers reasons for holding meetings, the characteristics and typical structure of meetings.  Participants learn the principles and tools for planning, leading, and participating in meetings and how to handle distracting problem behaviors. At the conclusion of the session, participants will be able to:

  • Describe the benefits of effective group meetings for both organizations and individual group members.
  • List the characteristics of effective meetings and identify when meetings are appropriate.
  • Complete key meeting planning and preparation activities.
  • Apply effective principles to lead and participate in effective meetings.

Performance Management

A proactive approach to performance management is necessary for organizational effectiveness. This session will cover the elements of performance management to include setting clear expectations, providing specific feedback and utilizing objective performance evaluations.
At the conclusion of this training participants will be able to:

  • Develop performance objectives based on measurable criteria and standards.
  • Communicate clear performance and behavior expectations.
  • Objectively observe and measure performance.
  • Provide feedback to employees and document the discussions.
  • Prepare and conduct the performance appraisal.

Project Management

This workshop covers the practical application of the concepts in the day-to-day planning and execution of projects. Elements include developing the project scope and schedule, creating a project management plan, and developing a communications plan. At the conclusion of this session, participants will be able to:

  • Understand the conceptual areas of project management.
  • Know the steps required to plan and manage a project.
  • Utilize planning tools for a project.
  • Understand the characteristics of a project and its deliverables.
  • Know the most common phases of a project life cycle and the typical project management tasks associated with each.

Reward & Recognition

This session covers techniques for recognizing, rewarding, and motivating team members toward continued and improved performance. Participants will explore effective and ineffective forms of recognition and the consequences of failing to recognize individuals. At the conclusion of this session participants will be able to:

  • Diagnose motivational problems, and discuss various incentives for performance improvement.
  • Brainstorm ways to recognize success.
  • Explore the consequences of effective and ineffective recognition plans.

Servant Leadership

This session explores the concept of servant leadership its application in the workplace. Elements include foresight, ethics, conceptual thinking, listening, empathy, community building, stewardship and commitment to the growth of people. At the conclusion of this session, participants will be able to:

  • Discuss the elements of servant leadership and their applicability in the workplace.
  • Identify activities that can enhance the growth of individuals in the organization, increase teamwork and foster personal commitment
  • Reflect upon personal capacity for servant leadership and develop personal strategies for increasing effectiveness

Sexual Harassment Awareness

This session is designed to provide participants with an overview of sexual harassment law and related definitions. Emphasis is placed on explaining what sexual harassment is under federal law, identifying the kinds of behavior that may be interpreted as sexual harassment in the workplace, avoiding sexual harassment, dealing with sexual harassment as it arises, and participating in an investigation of allegations of sexual harassment. At the conclusion of this session participants will be able to:

  • Sensitize employees about harassment and their critical role in prevention.
  • Be responsible for identifying and preventing harassment in the workplace.
  • Encourage workplace respect and courtesy and act as role-models.
  • Create a workplace environment where potential victims of discriminatory harassment can discuss their concerns without legal retaliation.

True Colors

True Colors is a four-category color metaphor for understanding differences in personal preferences or personalities to achieve more effective working and personal relationships. At the conclusion of this session, participants will be able to:

  • Identify their own character traits (personal preferences) and become aware of how they relate to others in their professional and personal roles
  • Identify others’ personal preference styles and become aware of how they relate to their colleagues
  • Work with these differences more successfully
  • Modify (within limitations) or coordinate their own styles to get more of the results they desire

Workplace Violence

According to OSHA, nearly 2 million American workers report having been victims of workplace violence each year. Many more cases go unreported. The truth is, workplace violence can strike anywhere, anytime, and no one is immune. This topic helps participants understand the magnitude of violence in the workplace, recognize conditions that can trigger potentially violent employees/non-employees, and be able to proactively manage incidents before they occur.
At the conclusion of this session, participants will be able to:

  • Recognize methods for detecting and identifying threats of violence
  • Identify situations most likely to lead to violence
  • Implement practical steps for addressing actual workplace violence situations
  • Successfully deal with violent situations in the workplace