Five Positive Strategies for You & Your Organization

This interactive seminar aligns key findings from the emerging field of Positive Psychology with best practices in building and leading effective organizations.  Participants will learn the value of identifying and leveraging character strengths, the psychological and physical benefits of positive emotion, how your social networks can impact your happiness and health, what evolution can teach us about effective group performance, and the importance of asking your organization the right question.

Learning Objectives:

  • Learn key strategies for building effective organizations
  • How to identify and leverage your strengths for effective leadership
  • How to build teams for optimal performance

Leading and Managing Change

If you don’t like change…you are going to like irrelevance even less
– General (retired) Eric Shinseki

For organizations to successfully adapt in a rapidly changing environment, they must be effectively led and managed throughout the process. Leadership and management are related but distinct functions that must be leveraged together in order for organizations to successfully negotiate the turbulence and uncertainty of today’s white water organizational environments. This seminar explores: 1) the dynamics of turbulent change; 2) a systems approach to problem solving and decision making; 3) differences between change leadership and change management; 4) Lewin’s and Kotter’s change models; and 5) the psychology of change.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand the difference between leadership and management and when to apply each appropriately
  • Learn system for effective problem solving and confident decision-making
  • Discuss current organizations past changes and how they can be learned from to lead and manage future change

Afghanistan at the Crossroads: Challenges for Leadership

There can be no government without an army, no army without money, no money without prosperity, and no prosperity without justice and good administration.
– Ibn Qutayba, 9th Century Islamic Scholar

On 1 December 2009 President Barak Obama announced a renewed effort by the United States for success in the war in Afghanistan. He further committed 30,000 additional American troops and an expanded deployment by America’s NATO allies to this endeavor. After eight years this conflict is now the longest war in American history. This seminar provides an update on the war in Afghanistan and the many challenges the United States faces. The seminar will use this conflict as a case study to consider what can leaders at all levels learns from this experience. 

Learning Objectives:

  • Clearer understanding of the War in Afghanistan and the current role of the United States as a leader in finding peace
  • Relate leadership lessons from this conflict to modern day organizations
  • Discuss and examine leadership competencies as demonstrated by this conflict

Iraq: Postcards From a Troubled Place

I believe that the government that governs best is a government that governs least, and by these standards we have set up a fabulous government in Iraq.
– Stephen Colbert, Speech to White House Correspondent’s Dinner, April 30, 2006

There has probably been no greater modern challenge for the leadership of the United States than Iraq and the Global War on Terrorism. Dr. McCausland has made an extensive study of this conflict as well as serving in combat in the first Gulf War in 1990-1991. He has frequently visited Iraq as part of his consultant work for CBS television and radio. This seminar provides an overview of the challenges facing American and Iraqi leaders and uses this to discuss leadership competencies.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand the military and governmental challenges in Iraq
  • Learn about the leadership struggles faced by the US during this crisis
  • Discuss what modern leaders can learn from the events in Iraq and how they can be applied to their organizations

Strategic Leadership

Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Strategic leadership is the process used by a leader to affect the achievement of a desirable and clearly understood vision by influencing the organizational culture, allocating resources, directing through policy and directive, and building consensus within a volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous environment for his or her organization.  This seminar will examine the essence of strategic leadership, how it differs from direct and organizational leadership and the various competencies that are important to strategic leaders.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand how to incorporate strategic leadership into own leadership style
  • Learn how to anticipate opportunities and threats in an environment of strategic leadership
  • Understand the difference between strategic, organizational and direct leadership

Leadership in a Profession

Men make history, and not the other way around. In periods where there is no leadership, society stands still. Progress occurs when courageous, skillful leaders seize the opportunity to change things for the better.
– President Harry Truman

This seminar will address the question, “Are vocational professions to be led at the strategic level in the same manner as other producing organizations such as businesses and bureaucracies?” The seminar will analyze three areas of strategic leadership: (1) what is common and what is unique about the productive processes of the three different types of producing organizations: businesses, bureaucracies and professions? (2) the strategic level of leadership in general with focus on the competencies needed by leaders in that type of environment, irrespective of type of producing organization. (3) the uniqueness of professions (their two internal jurisdictions wherein the profession’s expert knowledge is created and where that abstract knowledge is developed into human practitioners).

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand the three areas of strategic leadership and how they relate to own organization
  • Strategize competencies needed to implement strategic leadership successfully
  • Discussion of the specific skills needed to be a strategic leader in various professions

Organizational Culture and Change

If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there
– Lewis Carroll

Cameron and Quinn conducted extensive research on organizational culture and defined it as “…the taken-for-granted values, underlying assumptions, expectations, collective memories, and definitions present in an organization”. It is important to leaders because it gives members identity, facilitates collective commitment, promotes social system stability, and shapes behavior by helping members make sense of their surroundings. After considering this carefully each leader must have as a goal to align the interdependent relationship between culture with its mission, vision, purpose, and strategy. This seminar will examine this phenomenon and also discuss how leaders must often change the culture of their organization to effect success.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand importance of considering “organizational culture” and how to do this successfully
  • Discuss organizations culture based on it’s mission, vision, purpose and strategy
  • Learn how to make positive change in organization by changing the culture

Critical Thinking for Strategic Leaders

What we think, we become
– Buddha

As leaders move to the strategic level, issues will increase in complexity and ambiguity, and the consequences of decisions will be more far-reaching and serious. Therefore, the need to analyze issues in depth and in a more systematic manner also rises. Critical thinking is not a spectator sport. The skills of critical thinking must be practiced with a wide variety of issues in many different contexts in order to be learned and retained. This seminar will examine the basic foundation and understanding of critical-thinking concepts and skills that leaders need to apply in their future responsibilities in the strategic-leadership environment.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand the barriers to effecting decision-making in today’s environment
  • Learn how to practice critical thinking in a variety of contexts and situations
  • Discuss and strategize critical thinking considerations and implementation

Becoming a Master Mentor

Mentoring is a brain to pick, an ear to listen, and a push in the right direction. -John Crosby

Mentoring is a personal relationship in which a more experienced (usually older) mentor acts as a guide, role model, and sponsor of a less-experienced (usually younger) protégé.  Mentors provide mentees with knowledge, advice, challenges, counsel, and support in their pursuit of becoming successful in their chosen profession. This seminar will focus on the crucial traits and behaviors of outstanding mentors, the diagnosis/management of mentorship dysfunctions, and long-term strategies for integrating mentorship into one’s ongoing professional work.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand the importance of mentoring and how it is beneficial to an organization
  • Learn what the traits and behaviors of a valuable mentor are
  • Develop strategies for integrating mentorships into any organization

Leadership and Ethics

Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right thing.

– Peter Drucker, economist, management guru, author

Effective leadership is a function of defining a vision and then convincing others to follow the direction you have set. This definition however does not take into account the importance of a leader’s’ ethics. Otherwise, Adolf Hitler and Pol Pot could be considered effective leaders! Ethics and integrity are essential characteristics for being an effective, successful and trusted leader. Not only is it important for leaders to maintain their integrity, but hold others to a high ethical standard as well.


Learning Objectives:

  • Learn how to be cognizant of the importance of leading and working in an ethical environment
  • Understand the importance of modeling ethical behavior and its impact on your organization’s climate.
  • How to be a confident leader of discussions about ethical dilemmas with all team members and stakeholders.