Leadership Development Academy

Kirkwood Training & Outreach Services is collaborating with leading business experts to introduce an advanced training program to prepare tomorrow’s business leaders today. The LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT ACADEMY is a cohort of new and emerging leaders from the business community to develop and grow their understanding and application of leadership skills. Participants will take a deep dive into leadership topics with dedicated time to collaborate and develop action items to implement into their workplace.

• Provides advanced training in leadership subject areas allowing participants to take away concepts, ideas, and skills to implement directly into their workplace.
• Class size is limited to 16 participants with no more than two representatives per company, providing a highly interactive cohort model that encourages participants to learn from each other, share ideas and develop new relationships.
• The lead facilitator is present at all sessions assigning pre and post-session work and providing communication with participants to provide continuity between sessions.

• New and emerging leaders
• Managers who want improved results
• Professionals wanting to advance their careers
• Individuals preparing for management, supervision, or leadership roles

Classes are held on the third Tuesday of the month from September 2017 to April 2018. Tuition includes all materials.

Training sessions begin September 19, 2017, at the following location:
Kirkwood Continuing Education Training Center
101 50th Ave. SW
Cedar Rapids, IA

DOWNLOAD a training schedule!  

For additional information or to register, please contact a KTOS program director at 319-398-5623.


Coaching in the Moment: Achieving Greater Success for Your Team
Many of the most successful people in the workplace have leadership coaches because they understand the value in having someone who is dedicated to helping them continue to grow and develop as a leader. Importantly, coaching should not be limited only to executives and senior managers. In this session, coaching as a leadership style and developmental activity that leaders at all levels can use with their direct reports will be explored. Many of the attitudes and behaviors needed to be an effective coach can be learned and practiced. Tips and techniques for ways to lead by coaching will be discussed with an emphasis on improving communication, setting and achieving goals, increasing accountability, building teams, and solving problems. Coaching is not limited to 1:1 meetings, but is about making the most of the moments as they happen: to listen, guide, and encourage employees in ways that contribute to their success.
Learning Objectives:
• Differentiate between the roles of a leader as a coach versus mentor versus supervisor.
• Examine a coaching-based approach to setting goals, making progress, and demonstrating accountability.
• Practice communication techniques that improve one’s ability to actively listen and to ask the right questions that help others grow and become more successful.
September 19, 2017, 8 a.m.–12 p.m.
Facilitator: Dr. Mel Gonnerman, Jr

Dialogical Skills: Highly Interactive Skills-Based Workshop
This session is a highly interactive skills-based workshop which stresses practice and reflection on the participant’s ability to engage one on one with others in an effective dialogue that opens up spaces for deeper understanding, improved relationships and creative solutions. The class makes a strong distinction between dialogue, which is thinking together, and discussion which is about debate and being right. Core to the dialogue process is genuine inquiry. Participants are taken through a series of one on one exercises designed to progressively increase their capacity and skill for inquiry and dialogue. They learn the traps and barriers to effective dialogue as well as the most effective mind sets and techniques for building rapport. This workshop is especially important for those wishing to improve their on the job coaching.
October 17, 2017, 1–5 p.m.
Facilitator: Dr. Randy Richards

Recruiting and Retaining Employees
Starting with the end in mind fits for our staffing plans, too! This session will focus on steps hiring managers can take to understand the position and person they seek to fill openings while understanding the balance of wanting the right fit for long term engagement and productivity. Discussion and activities will emphasize retention techniques that can be used day one to support employee success and ways to reduce employee turnover. Come and renew your energy for the hiring process, knowing that doing this well makes retention that much stronger!
November 14, 2017, 8 a.m.–12 p.m.
Facilitator: Dr. Celina Peerman

Visioning and Strategic Planning: Applying a Future Oriented Lens
In this session, we will explore some of the foundational principles and strategies utilized by professional futurists. Through various tools and techniques you will develop a portfolio of resources that will allow you to identify both problems and solutions that could occur in the future. Your organization will be better equipped to ask big “What If?” questions and as a result will be prepared to take action.
In this session participants will:
• Develop forecasting skills to identify future opportunities.
• Understand how to develop a culture of innovation within their organizations.
• Prepare to meet challenges of future economies and marketplaces.
December 19, 2017, 8 a.m.–12 p.m.
Facilitator: Dr. Daniel Tuuri

StrengthsFinders Part 2: A Deeper Dive: Leading Strengths Based Teams
Pablo Picasso once said “talent without technique is merely bad habit.” This session is for those who have done work in Gallup’s StrengthsFinder and want to go deeper, exploring their strengths in the context of team. We will explore our personal strengths, how we show up to others, and what happens when strengths are over or under-utilized. From there, we will discuss how to use a team’s strengths to manage, develop, coach and motivate a strengths-based team. This session is all about leading with others. Whether you are a manager of a team, a project lead, or work regularly in matrixed or cross-functional teams, this session will give you insights and strategies to use your strengths to their greatest effect and partner with others for success.
In this session participants will:
• Deepen their understanding of their own strengths and how those strengths interact with others.
• Explore ways to invest in others’ strengths and enable them to do what they do best.
• Discuss how to go about getting the right strengths on your team.
• Identify and explore the four basic needs of those who look to you for leadership.
• Prepare a take-home challenge, “Aiming Your Strengths” by choosing a talent theme to focus development on for the next three weeks.
January 16, 2018, 1–5 p.m.
Facilitator: Abbie Schneider

Collaborating Effectively Within Teams and Creating Effective Cross-Functional Teams Collaboration is one of the top soft skills employers are looking for in candidates. There is very little that happens in a business of any size today that would not benefit from an improved ability for individuals to work together as a high-performing, collaborative team. Careful observation of excellent teams can provide insight into creating a cross-functional team-based culture, including:
• The attributes of a great collaborative team
• The traits excellent collaborative team-leaders exhibit
• How these traits can be taught
There are many outstanding examples of collaborative teams across multiple industries, sectors and business sizes that we can learn from. This course will explore the three insights above, providing actionable conclusions and examples. As a part of the course, the class will be broken into sub-teams and asked to develop plans for creating an excellent collaborative team to accomplish creating a solution to a “problem.” Sub-teams will be allowed to self-select from either a specific problem brought to the team by one of the sub-team’s individuals or from a pre-established list. The teams will be evaluated/challenged in-process, with the goal of deepening understanding of the techniques to better develop a capability to apply the materials. The participant will create an actionable outline to work from when considering the creation of collaborative teams in your workplace.
Learning Objectives:
• Understand the structure, make-up and enablers for great collaborative cross-functional teams.
• Practice the process of establishing effective collaborative teams.
• Develop skills in working collaboratively within a cross-functional team.
• Create useful take-away plans to further embed the concepts within participant companies. February 20, 2018, 8 a.m.–12 p.m.
Facilitator: Todd Hutcheson

Conflict Sources and Their Solution Paths
There are basically three sources or types of conflicts. Unfortunately, these are rarely taught in conflict workshops. Each type of conflict has a unique solution path. In this workshop, participants using their own workplace conflict learn to diagnose their conflicts according to conflict type. Without a proper diagnosis, we diminish our chances of successful conflict management. Once the diagnosis has been made participants are taught the proper steps in each of the three solution paths. Participants will gain valuable and effective tools to manage their conflicts with more confidence, less stress and more success.
March 20, 2018, 8 a.m.–12 p.m.
Facilitator: Dr. Randy Richards

Leading Forward: Peer to Supervisor Transition, Skills to Dealing and Developing in Today’s Workforce
Whether someone is new to supervising or they’ve been a supervisor for many years, it is helpful to review the many roles and responsibilities they have within the organization. This workshop examines what it takes to be an effective leader today with topics such as moving from being a peer to being a supervisor, modeling the very best examples for employees, and coaching on how to handle day-to-day supervisory challenges. This workshop helps supervisors develop the participative leadership styles required to successfully build diverse teams and work within complex systems.
Learning Objectives:
• Review qualities of an effective leader in today’s changing workforce.
• Understand how to influence people and projects for a more efficient workplace.
• Apply tools and techniques for quality leadership immediately back on the job.
April 17, 2018, 1–5 p.m.
Facilitator: Dr. Celina Peerman



Dr. Mel Gonnerman, Jr. is the Director of Industrial and Organizational Services at The Peerman Group where he provides companies solutions in the areas of training, organizational planning, and leadership development. He has a Ph.D. from Northern Illinois University where he studied social and industrial/organizational psychology. He is a former faculty member in the psychology department at the University of Northern Iowa, research operations manager at the Center for Social and Behavioral Research at UNI, founder and executive director of a non-profit organization, and corporate planner and marketing director at a manufacturing company. Dr. Gonnerman delivers informative content with a relaxed presentation style that makes it easy for people to learn and encourages them to grow personally and professionally.


Dr. Randy Richards is the co-director of the St. Ambrose Master of Organizational Leadership program and a professor of Philosophy and Managerial studies at St. Ambrose University. He has been a visiting professor at many universities all over the world. Randy is a published author with a focus on Behavior Styles in Managing Conflict. He received his Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of Iowa, his M.A. in Philosophy from Georgetown University, and his B.A. in Philosophy from St. Ambrose University.

Dr. Celina Peerman is a trainer and instructional designer specializing in organizational behavior and human resource management-related topics. Her experience includes senior leadership roles in profit and non-profit organizations. Her work in Southeast Asia and Canada further developed her strong international interests. For 20 years, Celina has facilitated discussions on workplace behavior for local, state and national audiences. Celina’s passion is for how people behave at work - the good, the bad and the worst. Her style has been described as dynamic, noting the ability to draw in even the most resistant attendees through real life examples and humor.

Dr. Dan Tuuri is the Director of Business and Information Technology at Kirkwood Community College. In this capacity, he supports the department through strategic initiatives, identifying curriculum opportunities, and leading and onboarding part-time faculty. Prior to Kirkwood he was a faculty member for eight years at both the university and community college level teaching Project Management and IT. He holds a Masters in Information Systems Management and has completed his coursework for a Doctorate in Community College Leadership. He has attended the World Futures Society meeting and had work published in The Futurist, the official publication of the World Futures Society.

Abbie Schneider has over 10 years of experience using the Clifton StrengthsFinder® assessment to empower individuals, teams and organizations in reaching their full potential. An expert in leadership development and learning design, Abbie has worked in higher education, nonprofit, corporate and start-up settings with one goal in mind: to advance organizations by developing individuals. With energy, empathy and candor, Abbie is known for creating spaces where real, meaningful conversations happen – whether it’s one-on-one coaching, team training or a keynote for an audience of 500. Abbie holds a Master’s Degree in Education and Human Development and the designation of Professional in Human Resources (PHR) from the Human Resources Certification Institute.

Todd Hutcheson is the founder and head coach for DSB Consulting, LLC, a business providing educational experiences, coaching guidance and hands-on consulting to customers in need of assistance in the areas of continuous improvement, creating successful collaborative teams, and project and strategic management. He is a proven business leader with over thirty years of experience leading and working with successful teams across a broad spectrum of business functions. Having executed successfully in roles ranging from the factory floor to logistics and supply chain offices to project and program management, at organizational levels from line-level to senior executive, Todd brings a broad enterprise perspective to the analysis and solution of problems.