Leadership certificate program offered for managers in Asheville

Today’s leaders face significant challenges, including building productive teams, developing effective policies and managing crises.

To help managers realize their leadership potential, Western Carolina University will offer a new five-day High Impact Leadership Certificate Program from Monday, April 16, through Friday, April 20, at its Biltmore Park instructional site in Asheville.

Shawn Rhodes

Shawn Rhodes, an international expert in organizational performance and change management, will be the keynote speaker. Rhodes is a Tampa-based TEDx speaker, and his work studying organizations in more than two dozen countries has been featured by news outlets around the world including CNN and NBC and the magazines Time, Forbes and INC. His clients have included Deloitte, ConAgra, Serta-Sealy and dozens of similar businesses. Rhodes also is a nationally syndicated columnist with the Business Journals and author of the new book, “Pivot Point: Turn On A Dime Without Sacrificing Results.” Toastmasters International named Rhodes one of the top 20 public speakers in the world in 2014.

“This leadership certificate program is designed for the person who wants to take their career to the next level,” said Susan Fouts, executive director of WCU’s Division of Educational Outreach and certified DiSC trainer. Used by more than one million people every year, DiSC is the leading personality profile tool designed to help improve work productivity, teamwork and communication.

The program schedule includes:

April 16:  Analyzing Your Leadership Styles Using DiSC

Workshop participants will create a DiSC profile prior to attending the first session, and Fouts will launch the program by helping participants understand how their increased self-knowledge of their own management and communication styles, as well as their understanding of others’ styles, can help them build effective teams, develop cohesive relationships and enhance professionalism.

April 17: Leading Teams with Effective Communication Using DiSC

Continuing with Fouts on day two, participants will explore how they can apply their understanding of the four major DiSC styles to create cross-functional teams and implementation strategies for new ideas. By understanding the different styles, participants will be able to work more effectively with teams, subordinates, clients, business partners and decision makers, and, ultimately, facilitate more efficient and effective relationships.

April 18: Building Key Leadership Communication Skills

Betty Farmer, an award-winning professor of communication and public relations at WCU and professional communications consultant, will discuss “The 10 Commandments of Effective Leadership Communication” and facilitate skill-building activities in listening, nonverbal communication, speaking presence and crisis communications.

April 19: The Legal, Cultural and Political Aspects of Leadership

Attorney Jon Yarbrough, a partner with Constangy, Brooks, Smith & Prophete, LLP, will emphasize the importance of leaders staying abreast of employment law, as well as having the necessary policies and staff in place to maintain legally compliant workplaces.

April 20: How to Develop High-Performance Teams in Challenging Environments

In this keynote session, Rhodes will share what high-performing teams in more than two dozen countries are doing to leverage change while still producing results. Hired by the U.S. government to study team performance in the most dangerous environments on the planet, Rhodes will reveal what top-performing teams in the Fortune 100 and others are doing to leverage change, eliminate last-minute challenges and close their profitability gap. Following his keynote address, attendees will have the opportunity to participate in a roundtable networking lunch with Rhodes.

The sessions will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday and from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Friday.

The cost for the High Impact Leadership Certificate Program is $695 for those registering before March 15; thereafter the cost is $795. The fee covers registration and lunches all five days, as well as potential continuing education credits.

WCU is recognized by the Society for Human Resources Management and the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy to offer professional development and continuing professional education credits. Upon successful completion of the program, 29 SHRM professional development credits or 31 NASBA continuing professional education credits will be available.

For details about each of the sessions, to read instructors’ biographies and to register, go to pdp.wcu.edu, “HR, Certificate Programs,” and then click on “High Impact Leadership,” or contact Jill Thompson, associate director of professional development, at 828-227-3070.

WCU’s Division of Educational Outreach extends access to education and training through innovative courses, programs, and services for individuals and communities both locally and globally. For more information, go to edoutreach.wcu.edu.