Q&A About Leadership Training

Article Christine Irion Access Magazine, Volume 15, Issue 2

Today’s workplace is filled with increased expectations and constant change. Christine Irion, director of extension programs, explains how CCE can help professionals adapt to new conditions while building confidence in the process.

Who comes to CCE for professional and leadership training?

We primarily serve individuals from both the public and private sectors who are seeking to advance in their careers and take advantage of promotional opportunities.

Right now, the big issue for organizations is succession planning. We’re seeing a wave of individuals who are promoting sooner than they would have in the past. They’re looking for training as one way to get an infusion of new skills and a better understanding of effective leadership.

What if an employer or organization is interested in a custom training program?

We are able to customize curriculum to fit specific needs and make it meaningful to an organization, presenting a solution that will actually achieve the outcomes they’re looking for.

It’s all about understanding the organization. We want our instructors to know their vision, mission, values and culture as well as be aware of major strategic goals, change initiatives or new business processes. This knowledge along with understanding the skills gap, allows our instructors to provide relevant context in the classroom.

What are the instructors like?

Classes are taught by experienced faculty from our campus, as well as part-time instructors from the community. Many instructors are practitioners in their field who have worked for large companies or consulted with government organizations. Many left leadership roles to move into training and consulting. When they talk about leadership, they are talking from personal experience.

How long does it take to complete a training program?

On average, most of our programs can be completed in a few months. We prefer to schedule 2–4 weeks between each class meeting so participants have opportunities to apply what they’re learning back at the workplace. They need time to reflect, implement new techniques and try different approaches to leading and motivating others. Meanwhile, they’re building networks they’ll continue to use once the training is over.

What kinds of results do you see?

We see inspiring transformation with people who are open to it, but even with folks who come in a little skeptical. We’ve helped individuals regain motivation and commitment to their work, and organizations develop stronger managers and leaders.

While our programs build skill development, they also build confidence. People complete our programs more confident and more skilled than when they started. That’s what’s most exciting.

This article originally appeared in Volume 15, Issue 2 of Access Magazine. Written by Sharon Ito.