The Center for Executive and Professional Development works with business partners to create customized programs designed to drive critical change in organizations. That model took a leap forward for the State of Nebraska earlier this year when the Governor’s Leadership Academy launched.
“The Governor’s Leadership Academy, coordinated by the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, has proven to be an outstanding way for senior government officials to hone their leadership skills and interact with peers in a congenial and informative setting,” said Nebraska Lieutenant Governor Mike Foley. “The quality of the presenters during the program have been exceptional, and the course formats were challenging, thought-provoking and relevant to our day-to-day responsibilities.”
State government leaders attended the sessions one day a month in the fall. Topics included strengths-based leadership, adaptive leadership, change management, strategic decision-making, design thinking, managing diversity and inclusion, conflict resolution, and other issues related to public financing and Nebraska’s economy. At the end of the academy, participants received an executive certificate in leadership.
As the institution where strengths-based psychology first began, Nebraska became the perfect setting for Mark Quandahl, director of Nebraska Department of Banking and Finance, to learn how strengths can help build teams. He appreciated the way information harmonized with strategic objectives already in place for his departmental staff.
“Dr. Tim Hodges’ session about understanding our own unique strengths led me to schedule a CliftonStrengths® workshop for the entire Department of Banking and Finance at our 2019 Annual Meeting,” said Quandahl. “All Department of Banking and Finance team members take the strengths assessment upon hire and the workshop helps us name, claim and aim our signature themes. Focusing on our individual strengths is attractive to me as a Maximizer as I seek to stimulate personal and departmental excellence.”
Dr. Emre Unlu, director of the Center for Executive and Professional Development, believes strong commitment of the participants to the academy helped make the Governor’s Leadership Academy a success.
“Our customized programs target instruction to a specific organization’s objectives. In the past, we have completed custom programs for Bryan Health, Avera Health and Duncan Aviation to name a few. These programs and the Governor’s Leadership Academy help fulfill our mission of creating mutually beneficial, enduring partnerships to support our businesses, communities and the state,” said Unlu.
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