Professional development leadership series addresses shortcomings in three key management areas

Tuesday, Aug. 17, 2021 | Written by Greg Tammen


OLATHE — As any employee can testify, an organization's leadership can make or break a workplace. That's why Kansas State University's Olathe campus is launching a new professional development series, Leadership for Technical Professionals. It is ideal for professionals who want to guide their teams to success while achieving results that meet their personal expectations and align with their company.

This professional development series takes a deep dive into basic and advanced leadership concepts around self-development, building teams and getting results. Concepts and skills presented are for emerging and current leaders in civil engineering, hardware engineering, software engineering, IT and finance as well as scientists, veterinarians and medical professionals.

"Nationally, a lot of new management being hired do not have the same level of experience as the retiring talent they are replacing," said Mike Wiegers, vice president of Garmin International Inc. and a member of K-State Olathe's advisory board. "This introduces a skills gap in leadership and 'soft skills' that are an essential part of day-to-day operations and workplace success."

The series kicks off Sept. 9 with the workshop Using Strengths and Emotional Intelligence to Maximize Personal and Team Performance. Participants will learn how to maximize performance by using emotional intelligence and personal and team strengths identified by the Clifton Strengthsfinder.

Subsequent workshops are Critical Communication Skills to Lead and Influence, Building and Motivating Effective Teams, Effectively Engaging Across Cultural and Generational Differences, Evaluating and Improving Team Performance and Using Innovation and Strategy to Achieve Results.

All workshops are from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and cost $199 each or $1,070 if registering for the series. Certificates of completion are awarded to attendees who complete all six sessions. Each workshop is delivered in-person rather than online.

Management's abilities matter, according to Gallup Inc. For decades, the analytics and advisory company has gathered and analyzed data on more than 27 million American workers and millions of international workers. Their findings show that leadership affects everything from employee optimism to engagement.

Some of Gallup's findings about leadership in the workplace include:

"Leaders and managers today function in increasingly complex organizational environments," said Judy Favor, Ph.D., assistant professor of adult learning and leadership and the instructor of the first workshop. "To be effective and consistently deliver results, leaders and managers must display high emotional intelligence and be able to establish trust, conduct difficult conversations, develop a professional presence, and communicate effectively — all with constituents from a wide variety of cultural and generational backgrounds."

Learn more about individual workshops and register for a specific workshop or series at