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Masters Leadership Series

PLEASE NOTE: This program is on hold as of Spring 2017.  The Masters Series Leadership Program  provides an opportunity for UMHS managers to attain the leadership competencies needed to successfully guide UMHS through today's constantly changing environment and into the future. The target audience is mid-level managers with more programmatic responsibilities.

Recommended Criteria: Three or more years management experience inside or outside the organization and one year after completing UMHS Foundations for Successful Leadership training. 

To participate, managers must be recommended by their supervisor or a senior leader of the organization.  Click here  for more information.

You can contact Teresa Gasicial, or Jane Pettit, for more information.

FREE Career Workshop March 10 & March 21

Be sure to take advantage of this great opporunity to participate in a free blended- workshop (online and in-class) put on by the HRD office on campus.

Online access: Mon. 3/10/14, IN-CLASS: Fri. 3/21/14, 8:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m

"Taking Charge of Your Career  "

Daring Greatly - Brene Brown

Daring Greatly

Every day we experience the uncertainty, risks, and emotional exposure that define what it means to be vulnerable, or to dare greatly. Most people and organizations can't stand the uncertainty that comes with vulnerability. Yet, during times of change and struggle we are vulnerable. We must be vulnerable. Vulnerability is essential to innovation, learning and creating. Author, Dr. Brene Brown, encourages us to reexamine the idea of engagement. She calls it disruptive engagement. To reignite creativity, innovation, and learning, she say, leaders must rehumanize work. A daring greatly culture, she adds, is a culture of honest, constructive and engaged feedback. Without feedback there can be no transformative change. When we don't talk to the people we're leading about their strengths and their opporunities for growth, they begin to question their contributions and our commitment. Vulnerability is at the heart of the feedback process. And, it doesn't go away just because we're better trained.

To learn more, watch Brene Brown's talk on TEDx .

You can also read her book, Daring Greatly.

Leading Without Formal Authority
"Soft Power" - Leading Without Formal Authority

taken from LeadStar

Have you ever tried to lead a person or a group without having any formal authority to fall back on?  For many, this can be one of the greatest leadership challenges we might face.  Without the traditional "carrot or stick" to help get things done, we can feel powerless and thus challenged in our ability to influence.  Yet, some people still seem to thrive in these situations and we admire their ability to get things accomplished via "soft power."  So what are their secrets?  Here are a few to consider.
1. Give Power to Others - When working in groups where the power dynamics are flat or individually with a peer co-worker, it is important to recognize that everyone is subconsciously "racking and stacking" one another.  This evolutionary process is deeply ingrained within all humans and allows us to organize ourselves for survival.  Expect that there will be power plays as group members test to see where they fit in the group.  Instead of fighting these dynamics, try to facilitate a space where everyone's voice counts.  Rather than leading with your opinion, ask for input and encourage quieter voices to speak up.  Insist on mutual respect for all team members.  In creating a space for power to be shared, others will trust in you and naturally give you an informal leadership role. 
2. Actively Listen - When we hold formal authority, we are frequently directing and telling others what needs to be done in order for the team to be successful.  Thus, managers tend to get really good with their directing skills, often to the neglect of practicing their listening skills.  In a power flat relationship, it is the better listener who will assume leadership.  Use techniques like mirroring back what you heard and asking meaningful questions to gain further clarification.  When others feel they have truly been heard, they are more likely to trust you and hence give you referent power.
3. Serve & Synergize - In a power flat relationship, the synergistic details that lead to better teamwork can often be neglected as everyone stays in their personal lanes of responsibility.  To be seen as a leader, hunt down the resources that everyone knowingly needs, but no one finds the courage or the time to make a priority.  Or perhaps you might seek out the management/stakeholder feedback needed to make the team work better, and then act as a liaison in making the team more aware.  These small acts of service will increase your value to the team and others will intuitively begin to seek out your leadership. 
Leading a team without formal authority can often feel like a daunting challenge.  Yet, when we smartly recognize the dynamics at play and practice influencing via the use of "soft power," we provide the leadership necessary to achieve our objectives.

How to Have Scarey Conversations at Work

From VitalSmarts:

According to VitalSmarts, research, more than 70 percent of people run in fear from a scary conversation with their boss, coworker, or direct report.

Respondents shared examples of the four scariest conversations at work:

1. Bad behavior: "I had to tell my manager that my supervisor was a terrible leader and doing long-term damage to the company."

2. Obnoxious behavior: "My coworker was meddling in my life and criticizing my children. She actually said my daughter looked like a hooker."

3. Illegal activity: "An executive accused me of changing a document after he had signed it."

4. Performance reviews: "I had to explain to my direct report that his intentions/actions were not being well received by staff, and that it would hurt his credibility to continue on that path." 

But these conversations don't have to be scary.

Follow these tips for approaching and conquering scary conversations about bad behavior:

• Talk face-to-face and in private. Don't chicken out by reverting to e-mail or phone.

• Assume the best of others. Perhaps the other person is unaware of the effects of his or her actions. Enter the conversation as a curious friend rather than an angry co-worker.

• Use tentative language. Describe the problem by saying, "I'm not sure you're intending this . . ." or "I'm not even sure you're aware. . ."

• Share facts not conclusions. Not only are conclusions possibly wrong, they also create defensiveness. Say, "In the last two meetings you laughed at my suggestion. I expect people to  disagree, but . . ."

• Invite dialogue. Next, ask if he or she sees the problem differently. If you are open to hearing others' points of view, they'll be more open to yours.

Linkage Leadership Academy

Facilitator: Harley Ostis, President & CEO HJ Ostis.

Target Audience: Senior Faculty and Administrative Leaders

Registration Fee: $2,000

Session length: 4 days over a six week period

Location: Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Marriott at Eagle Crest


The Medical School and Health System Human Resources have partnered with Linkage, Inc. to offer the Linkage Leadership Academy which focuses on the development of the individual senior leader (such as Directors, Division Chiefs, Section Heads, Program or Medical Directors and Chairs). This world-class program is an accelerated 4-day immersive learning experience that draws on the leader's 360 leadership and personality assessment data and includes 1:1 feedback/coaching.

The mission of the Academy is to accelerate the development of leaders so that they can reach higher levels of success and produce better results for UMHS.  The Academy accomplishes this by developing essential competencies and skills, introducing new approaches and global best practices, and inspiring personal commitment to leadership development.  This fast-paced, high-intensity leadership development program is specially tailored to accelerate leaders' readiness and success. 

Participants are currently selected through a nomination process. If you have a leader that reports to you whom you wish to nominate, please contact the Faculty Development Office. nbsp; 


• Solidify personal leadership agenda and clarify roles, skills, and activities needed to achieve it

• Appraise co-workers and enhance the ability to connect and optimize their value

• Design a leadership brand

• Build a greater commitment to change

• Apply a six-stage change process for leading successful change

• Share and receive coaching about change initiatives

• Strengthen the organization's ability to respond quickly and effectively to opportunities within and across functions

 Note: Nomination by your Direct Supervisor or Executive Leader. Use this form . Thank you. 

Passion Drives Top Performance

(Taken from a blog, Psychology at Work.)

Passion drives top performance.

Having a calling in one's work is key to having a happy, balanced lifePassion is defined by psychologists such as Dr. Robert Vallerand, current president of the International Positive Psychology Association just like you think it is – a focus on a task or goal that completely absorbs you. While he is careful to distinguish between good, or harmonious passion (going all out to produce a product that will improve peoples lives), and obsessive, or bad passion (repeated efforts to "friend" Brooklyn Decker doesn't work – trust me), it is clear that total focus and immersion on a goal inspires top performance. The successful leader finds or creates things his or her team can be harmoniously passionate about.

Use Positive Imagery in the Workplace

Industrial psychologist Gary Latham is one of the "Fathers" of goal theory. While setting specific goals at work and tracking progress toward them is not a new idea, he asserts the subconscious can influence goal achievement. Namely, he shows how people can be motivated by "supra-liminal priming" without knowing exactly why. For example, subtle exposure to pictures and imagery of success encourages better performance in individuals and teams. So all those hokey "Winning" posters the folks on the sales floor have in their cubicles? They work.

Get up from your Desk and Move

Greg Wells, a sports psychologist, says that the same things world-class athletes do to stay mentally sharp can work for anybody. Here they are:

  • The  1-3-2 rule: Dedicate one hour each day, three days each month, and two weeks each year to personal recovery, whether by participating in a rejuvenating activity (like listening to music or reading), disconnecting from technology, or taking a trip with loved ones (who, if they are your kids, are probably connected to technology while you're driving).
  • 20/20 rule: For every 20 minutes of sitting, spend 20 seconds stretching or moving.
  • 1 percent aggregate gains: Improve by 1 percent each day (heck, .01 percent every day works just fine)l)
How to Assimilate as a New Leader

Excerpted from The Institute for Leadership Fitness Blog

Honor the Past

One of the greatest challenges for a new leader is to work with her new team in a way that honors their experience and the direction of the organization before she shares her vision for the team.

When leaders enter a new organization, they often make statements like, "In my experience, this is what works best," or worse yet, "In my old organization, we did it this way." This can be the kiss of death for most new leaders.

When you join a new organization, most people do not want to hear how you did it in your old organization. They are thinking, "This is not your old organization-this is our organization."

You can certainly share information about your former experiences, but share it in a way that doesn't point back to your former company. Remember that what worked well for you in your old organization may not work well for you in your new organization.

Create a Vision

If you have recently joined a new organization, you may find it helpful to spend a couple of days trying to understand your team's needs and challenges.

In fact, a process that is very successful with new teams is to take them offsite for two days. Start this two-day offsite retreat by asking everyone in the room to think ahead three years.

Here's how it works: If it's July 17, 2012, I would say, Today is July 17, 2015, and we're looking back on the last three years. What would've had to happen in those last three years for us to feel like we really made a difference-like we really succeeded in achieving the goals and objectives and strategies of our team?

Spend time spelling out the things that would have to have happened to be able to look back and say, "Wow, what a wonderful three-year period that was. Look at everything we've accomplished."

This is your vision.

Create a Strategy

Then, ask the team three more questions:

1. What are the dangers or barriers we're going to have to overcome to achieve that future result? What might get in the way of our future vision?

2. What are some of the opportunities we can take advantage of that will help us move in this direction?

3. What are our team's strengths, capabilities or core competencies that give us the confidence that we can achieve this vision?

Capitalize on opportunities and leverage your strengths to pull off your vision.

Employee Engagement Office Hours
Ask yourself:

Have you been on your Employee Engagement improvement journey for quite some time?

Have you already attended an Employee Engagement workshop in the past?

Are you in need of more information specific to your challenges? 

If so,

...this informal deeper dive session is for you.

Gain highly valuable and practical employee engagement improvement ideas by working closely with an HR consultant and swapping ideas and resources with others in a small group format.

Audience: Managers / Supervisors


  June 19 10-12 Room NI8B13-NIB

  July 10 10-12 Room B1206-TC

  Aug 7   10-12 Room B1206-TC

Please Register by emailing Melody Vanoy  

May 21, 2012 Webinar - Culture Change

If your organization tolerates spotty accountability, bad behavior, and undiscussable topics, Our Culture Needs to Change...But How To Begin?  is the webinar for you.

Join Doug Finton, Master Trainer from Vital Skills International to learn our proven approaches to culture change.

May 21st
1:30 - 2:30 p.m.

Positive Organizational Scholarship Newsletter

The Center for Positive Organizational Scholarship (POS), is devoted to energizing and transforming organizations through research on the theory and practice of positive organizing and leadership.

They are passionately dedicated to the development and dissemination of POS research.

Click here  to access their newsletter.

Tips for Choosing and Working with a Mentor

Angie and Courtney of Lead Star, LLC

Who is your mentor?

If you don't have one, consider finding one and soon.  It is critical to your professional development to have someone who can offer you guidance, insight and perspective.  It's even great when you can hear their mistakes and learn from them (before you make them yourself).  It's also wonderful to have a mentor who can answer the question, If you were me in this situation, what would you do?
It's easy to buy into the idea that a mentor is a valuable relationship.  Finding them, however, can be a tricky thing.  And, after identifying them, asking them to mentor you can seem awkward. 

So, what do you do?

First, scan your horizon and identify the people you admire and respect.  If none are coming to mind, expand your horizon: perhaps it is someone who you work with in a community organization or maybe even a professor you had way back when.

  • Next, understand what you hope to get out of the relationship.  Your goal can be as simple as I look to learn from their experiences.
  • Then, reach out to them.  You don't have to get down on one knee and ask them to be your mentor – in fact, the word mentor might not even be brought up in any of your discussions.  Ask them for 30 minutes – 1 hour of their time.  Share that they are someone you respect and you could value learning from their experiences. When you meet with your mentor, keep these things in mind:
  • Listen more than you talk.  You are there to learn from them.  Invest your time in getting to know them as people.  (For your first few meetings, come very prepared with questions!)
  • If they recommend a book or a reading, or even suggest an idea that you explore, be sure to follow up on their guidance.  You are there to learn from them – if they have ideas, chase after them.
  • A thank you card is a great follow up from your first meeting.  Not only is it a nice touch, it is a great sign of respect.
Creating High Quality Connections in the Workplace - 5 min video


Mary Ceccanese discusses the importance of high quality connections in the workplace. Mary is a Research Process Coordinator at the B-School, and is well known and influential on the University campus. She is last year¿s Candace Johnson award winner sponsored by the Provost¿s office and a training affiliate at Professor Jeff DeGraff¿s Innovatrium .

Four factors make up high quality connections: 

Respectful Engagement – engaging the other person in a way that sends a message of value and worth.

Task Enabling – helping/facilitating another person¿s successful performance. 

Trust – conveying to another person that we believe they will meet our expectations and are dependable. 

Play – participating in activities with the intention of having fun. According to Plato, ¿you can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation.¿ 

Click here  to view the video. (4.34 min)

Toolkits - Foundations for Successful Leadership
Lessons Learned from the Shackleton Expedition

Some call his story a colossal failure; some call it a great leadership lesson. For Harvard Business School Historian Nancy F. Koehn, her case study on this leader has drawn more interest from executives than any other.

The case is about Ernest Shackleton, the explorer whose expedition famously never reached Antarctica. Shackleton¿s story of failure, reinvention and survival exemplifies the power of leadership in turbulent times. Stranded with his team by floating ice, Shackleton responded to constantly changing – and potentially life-threatening – circumstances to keep his men together and safe for two years before successfully orchestrating their rescue.

Shackleton¿s expedition is ¿a compelling story of leadership when disaster strikes again and again,¿ says Koehn in her New York Times essay ¿Leadership Lessons From the Shackleton Expedition.¿ According to Koehn, Shackleton¿s ability to change course midstream is ¿vital in our own time.¿ While Koehn¿s M.B.A. students recognize the leader¿s imperfections, the executives she coaches call out Shackleton¿s commitment to his mission as a key leadership lesson for today.

Read other lessons in the full New York Times article and explore more of Koehn¿s thoughts on Shackleton here.

The James E. Robison Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School, Koehn examines relevant lessons, individuals and moments from the past to inspire solutions to today¿s issues and is a frequent commentator on NPR and contributor to The New York Times. She is teaching a course examining the effectiveness of leaders who lived and worked in moments of great turbulence and the lessons those individuals offer us today.