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Executive Leadership Development Program


From Daniels Leadership Institute, Daniels College of Business, University of Denver


We propose to create a program based on the award-winning program created by the Daniels Leadership Institute at the University of Denver entitled Emerging Leaders: Navigating the Future. That program is offered on an open enrollment basis twice a year to managers from a variety of corporations across the country. It has also been adapted and modified for corporations to meet their specific scheduling and content needs.


For NAMIC we propose to add modules related to essential business management competencies needed in the cable industry and to add or modify modules to address specific concerns common to minority managers assuming leadership roles in a dominant cultural system.






v     Philosophy and Approach


v     Instructional approach and teaching methodologies


v     Program Outline


v     Instructional Schedule (time and topics)


v     Design Process


v     Description of instructor qualifications


v     Evaluation and feedback system for


v     Process to keep in touch with participants over the long term


v     Mechanism to track participants longitudinally


v     Possible locations for each session


v     Budget and proposed tuition cost


v     References


Philosophy and Approach


The goal of the program is to prepare the new generation of executives to face challenges and provide leadership for the industry-


It is our assumption that effective leadership is based on management competencies in planning, financial management and market sensitivity. Our program outline assumes that participants in this learning experience come with educational background and job experience in these business disciplines. We will, however, review these areas in order to highlight their importance, relate them to the cable and telecommunications industry and serve to define the distinction between management and leadership.


The program will turn managers into leaders. To structure that process, we base our programs on the research of James Kouzes and Barry Posner, who have identified five practices that as essential to leadership. They are:


  • Challenging the process
  • Inspiring a shared vision
  • Enabling others to act
  • Encouraging the heart
  • Modeling the way


The Daniels College of Business is committed to helping managers develop the personal and interpersonal skills needed to lead others into the future. Our notion of leadership is often referred to as values-based leadership. In addition to personal and interpersonal skills, leaders need a clear understanding of the organization in which they work , the larger environment in which their organization and industry operates, and their ethical and social responsibilities to the people and systems they touch.


We propose to move the focus from individual to group or team, then to organization and on to the larger environment in which the organization exists. Effective managers know themselves, understand how to enlist others into their vision and mission, can appropriately navigate the organizational culture, and bring vision and value to their work. Unique to the cable and telecommunications industry is the transition, in many cases, from entrepreneurial to corporate cultures. Participants will be assisted in assessing their organization and how its “personality” relates to the style of the individual managers. They will also have an opportunity to examine the impact of the cable and telecommunications industry on the larger society.


In addition to these issues that any effective executive must master, our program will provide a trusting and open environment in which participants can discuss and grapple with the unique challenges faced by managers of color throughout their careers. Our program will be led by experienced facilitators who can provide a framework for understanding multi-cultural issues, time for discovery and strategizing, and stories and experiences that serve as models.


People who are different from the dominant culture need to be clear about their identity, their voice, and their perspective. In order for organizations to benefit from the contributions of its members, the individual members must own their heritages and their styles. This program aims to help members of the minority community find their voices, share their concerns, learn how to locate and use mentors and promote themselves with integrity.


It is important to recognize that within the minority community there are a variety of racial and ethnic groupings as well as individual personalities and histories. Discussions of voice and identity will continually recognize the multiplicity of voices within the learning group as a microcosm of the larger organization and the challenge to locate and maintain individual identities.



By the end of the program, participants will have:


  • Understood the importance of vision and values - for individuals and the organization
  • Gained insight into their own personal style and the personal styles of others
  • Increased their communication effectiveness
  • Developed team leadership skills based on an increased understanding of personal motivations and team dynamics
  • Broadened their understanding of finance and marketing, as theses disciplines relate to the cable industry and to their own organizations
  • Identified the components of decision making- ethical, logistical and strategic
  • Addressed issues of stewardship and social responsibility
  • Understood issues related to personal identity for minorities working in a dominant cultural system
  • Gained confidence in the voice and perspective they have to contribute in their organization
  • Learned the art of networking and mentoring and promoting one’s personal “brand”.


Instructional approach and teaching methodologies


The approach that we have created and perfected resulted in our program being recognized by the Institute of XXXX for its outstanding design. The design involves a number of unique features, which we propose to include in a customized program for NAMIC. They are:


An intensive, extensive and comprehensive program. Training that allows for application and retention requires participants to be intensively involved over a period of time. We propose four sessions, each one-week in length, at a conference center (September, 2001, November 2001, February, 2002 and June 2002) to be alternated with on-the-job periods for application. This allows for comprehensive training with enough time to formulate a foundation for long-term, visionary change.


(You will note that this is one week longer than our public program. In addition to most of the essential elements in the public program, we will be adding modules related to business acumen and allowing time to apply all aspects of the program to the unique issues faced by minority managers.)


In-depth assessment for each participant. Evaluation of personal, leadership and organizational qualities through a variety of proven assessment tools and techniques, including the Myers-Briggs, the 360 degree Leadership Practices Inventory and a corporate culture assessment.


(These assessments and the application of learnings from the instruments are essential to helping leaders identify both personal and cultural differences, how human beings deal with others and how culture makes one difference from another.)


Action-learning projects. Two leadership projects (one job-oriented, the other, community-based), designed from real work and life issues for the purpose of applying and reinforcing the skills and insights gained throughout this program. Without this application new skills remain abstract and untested.


The Work Action-Learning Project, which involves a job-related mission, serves some additional purposes. It allows the participant to make a real contribution to his or her organization, providing an immediate return on the investment made in the participant as an emerging leader. And it allows the participant an opportunity for engaging in new and productive behaviors that others in the organization have not demonstrated. Examples of past projects are:

·          Creating a multi-supplier response task force.

·          Redesigning a production flow system.

·          Improving credit card complaint response time.

·          Making the HR department “customer sensitive”.

·          Creating/installing a performance-based layoff system.


(NAMIC may wish to select a project common to the participants, or each participant may select a project in concert with his/her supervisor and coach.)


The Community Action-Learning Project, involves a community mission. This project is included in the program for several reasons: (1) All true business leaders understand that one cannot operate a healthy business in an unhealthy community, that there is an obligation to support the community in a manner at least proportional to the benefits one receives by working and living there. Leaders know they can help so they do help and not just with their money, but by contributing their ideas, their talent and their energy. The project is, thus, an act of stewardship, a commitment of the Daniels College of Business. (2) This project will connect participants and their organizations in a very real way to their communities. (3) And, finally, this project will allow the application of new skills in a relatively “safe” context, i.e., where rewards are potentially great, but the risk of failure is less. Examples of past community projects are:

·          Starting a community newsletter.

·          Revitalizing a “Habitat for Humanity” chapter.

·          Starting a company recycling program.

·          Replacing playground equipment in urban neighborhoods.

·          Beginning a mentoring program for unemployed women.

The Action Learning Projects enable the participants to execute the five leadership practices: Challenging the Process, Inspiring a Shared Vision, Enabling Others to Act, Modeling the Way and Encouraging the Heart in real environments.

Social Settings, Office Politics and Protocol. Certain conventions have come to be accepted in society and in each organization. Not knowing expected behavior results in managers being uncomfortable or inadvertently making others uncomfortable and distracting attention from important matters of business.

Since conventions change, it is difficult to be prepared for social interactions. Furthermore, various communities and cultures differ in their practices and expectations.

Our program will include informal learning events which provide an opportunity for participants to review, discuss and practice appropriate protocol.


Facilitators. The program is led by two experienced co-facilitators. They are people with business experience, an understanding of management and leadership, and the ability to draw learnings from the experiences of the participants. While guest speakers may enrich the program and address particulate concerns related to the cable industry and minority issues, the facilitators are present throughout the program to prepare, execute and process all learning experiences.


Individual Coaching. One of the most effective elements of our approach is one-to-one executive coaching to guide action projects and development throughout the program. The two facilitators serve as coaches, each in a personal way to half of the participants. The coach will contact the participant prior to the first gathering of the group to discuss the program and to schedule a conference call with the participant and his or her supervisor. This conference call helps both the participant and supervisor understand what to expect from the program. It may also be used to begin discussion of the work-related project. During each session of the program, the coach will provide private coaching sessions. In these sessions, the coach will:


§         Monitor the participant’s progress.

§         Advise him or her on issues related to the program

§         Discuss concepts and techniques covered in the sessions.

§         Provide honest feedback.

§         Provide encouragement.


Multiple learning approaches. Group time will include brief lecturettes, discussion, role play, case studies, readings, videos, brainstorming, simulation exercises, journal writing. Learning is deductive and active.


(The accompanying video illustrates the action learning approach that will be used.)


Guest Speakers. Leaders in the cable industry, particularly from the minority community, will describe their personal and professional journeys, model “best practices” and provide advice and encouragement.


Program Outline



  • Participants gather confidential “360-degree” feedback from colleagues.
  • Participants communicate with supervisor and coach in a conference call
  • Participants interview a leader of their choice
  • Participants complete the Myers Briggs Personality Inventory


Gathering #1 - Personal Leadership Development - Vision and Values

  • Examine personal styles of behavior in the workplace and the styles of others;
  • Determine how these styles affect the quality of leadership;
  • Explore the origin of visioning and its relationship to values;
  • Explore diversity in terms of culture, heritage, personality;
  • Seek and receive feedback;
  • Begin discussion of identity, especially as it relates to minority managers.


On-the-Job - Building a Vision

  • Begin to apply the leadership skills learned;
  • Focus on developing a vision with input from others;
  • Develop action plans for work project and community project.


Gathering #2 - Business Management Acumen and Interpersonal Leadership

  • Review fundamentals of finance, the financing of the cable industry and how to understand the financial pictures of the participants’ organizations;
  • Review principals of marketing, the cable market and the particular market niches targeted by the participants’ organizations;
  • Review planning strategies and practices to enlist others;
  • Review techniques for dealing with differences (thoughts, words, non-verbals);
  • Develop communication, teambuilding and staff maximization skills;
  • Address the issues related to diversity and the importance of calling forth each person’s voice;
  • Practice those techniques that encourage cooperation;
  • Develop skills to coach and mentor others.


On-the-Job - Working with Others

  • Apply leadership skills and practice new team building skills;
  • Applying coaching and mentoring skills;
  • Developing work and community projects.


Gathering #3- Culture - Corporate Culture and National Cultures

  • Understand the impact of culture on business
  • Learn to inspire a shared vision throughout an organizational culture;
  • Understand where adjustment and accommodation is appropriate and the consequences.
  • Learn how networking and mentoring structures can providing on-going growth and development
  • Discuss how we accord status
  • Understand how organizational cultures are described, how cable and telecommunications cultures have changed, and how individual styles fit into the culture.
  • Learn how to address the broader needs of the industry and community.


On-the-Job - Working within the Organization

  • Implement work and community projects.
  • Developing a networking and mentoring plan.


Gathering #4 - Leading the Future


  • Report on work and community projects
  • Share plans for self-promotion, networking and mentoring
  • Dream and envision future opportunities related to personal relationships, career and global leadership.
  • Graduation celebration.


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