September 2014 - June 2015

Leadership Development Strategies













                                    Corporate Social Responsibility














A Candid Chat with a CLO 












Paula Pierce presented new global data  proving that certain organizational cultures consistently outperform the competition which means we have entered the era of behavior undefined an era in which the only remaining differentiator is organizational culture. In this session, Paula discussed the results of pre-meeting organizational assessments and how  leadership development practices can support an organization’s desire to drive performance by aligning and optimizing its culture. Click here to download Paula's presentation. 

Together we examined leadership communication competencies, share stories, and developmental trends and challenges.  In addition, we explored the TED model of “inspired formats, breadth of content, and committed individuals communicating their passion” to discuss the development of our own TED Talk.  Former Georgetown University professor and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Intelligence Coordination, Dr. Jennifer Sims, joined the discussion and offered some communication tips and insights for working in a politically charged environment.

        Discussion recommendations:  Simon Sinek's TED TALK on Starting with Why

                                                     Peter Norvig's Gettysburg Address Powerpoint


It’s been proven that certain Resilience Skills can be practiced, developed and improved.  The best our leaders can do is equip their people with the skills needed to “bounce back” from all that stress and pressure. But how? At our November meeting, Bob Richards shared insights and strategies on emotional intelligence and demonstrated how asking good questions during stressful circumstances can provide a more realistic and positive outlook and increase resiliency. 

As recently stated in the Wall Street Journal, “Customers, employees, shareholders and other stakeholders expect companies to be good corporate citizens. They want to work for and do business with companies that have a positive impact on the world and take their social responsibilities seriously.” So, how can leaders build social responsibility into their organization’s strategy? How does corporate social responsibility benefit both the organization and the community? What does it mean to be socially responsible as a government leader? As we entered the season of giving, we contemplated these questions at December’s Leadership Development CoP meeting. We heard from leaders at local businesses about their current initiatives to give back to their communities. We also collected donations to Operation Gratitude care package for military personnel who will be overseas during the holidays.

Our Panelists included:
Megan Swahn, Senior Campaign Manager, Light The Night, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society                                            Mark Delisi, Sr. Director of Sustainability, AvalonBay Communities, Inc. 
Dante Ricci, SAP  (Click here for Dante’s presentation)

Branding tells the world who you are as a leader and what your organization represents. But few people are able to craft a clear message. Susan Schwartz with the River Birch Group, presented on basic terminology, best practices, and facilitated an exercise on learning about your personal essence.  As a community exercise, we discussed the changes in the ATD brand and in small groups discussed our professional community’s essence.  

PowerPoint: Developing a Clear Brand for You  /  Article:  Brand Called You by Tom Peters



Dr. David Rude answered questions and shared DoD's most pressing talent development challenges to-date such as when and how to blend leadership skills into a highly technical workforce, translating the traditional leadership style of the DOD to incorporate the civilian leadership, continuous improvement in the development of supervisors and managers. Dr. Rude answered many questions regarding DOD’s leadership programs and mentioned their recent focus on Emotional Intelligence. Dr. Rude’s success in building a learning culture is attributed to his efforts to build partnerships and alliances across the various segments of the DOD to reduce redundant courses and resources. For example, he participated in the developed a Federal Coaching Network upon discovering the number of certified coaches currently employed at DOD.  Dr. Rude believes the future focus within Learning and Development will be our continued responsibility to demonstrate the ROI of learning and development programs. He provided an example of the enormous ROI earned when organizations apply Action Learning to some of their most significant problems.  Disclaimer: Dr. Rude’s comments expressed at this event were his personal beliefs and opinions and do not necessary reflect any position by the Department of Defense.


Michelle Somerday, Executive Coach and Leadership Development Consultant and the Founder of Neo-Strategic, LLC., presented a brief understanding of mindfulness and basic techniques and practices for improving our ability to stay present by controlling the distractions of our daily tasks, challenges, relationships, curiosities, etc.

We explored how the traditionally Eastern practice of mindfulness can improve focus and attention, which in turn supports employee engagement and increases the ability to handle challenges. Neuroscience research shows that while we are not naturally mindful, the essential state of mindfulness is something that can be cultivated and sustained, as demonstrated by observed changes in the brain. The traditionally Eastern practice of mindfulness is becoming more and more common in Western business settings. A number of Fortune 500 organizations such as General Mills, Apple, Prudential, eBay, Aetna, Target, Proctor & Gamble, Google, and even the U.S. Marines offer mindfulness programs, often as an integral part of leadership development programs. Articles on mindfulness are appearing in Forbes and the Harvard Business Review.  PowerPoint:  Click here to view





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