By Liz Warren-Pederson


Professionals from industries including financial services, transportation, healthcare, and more participated in the Business Leadership Competencies program organized by Eller Executive Education last month.

“There are few commitments of time and effort that are more important in your career than personal skill development,” said Nick Promponas, senior vice president with First Transit, Inc., who participated in the program. “I graduated college in 1989 and have been a senior vice president for the past eleven years. Quite a bit has changed in the business world since both of these milestones in my life. If I didn’t maintain focus, I would run the risk of falling behind.”

The weeklong program focused on contemporary workplace challenges. “Sessions covered topics of change management, leadership communication and presence, motivation, leading teams, negotiations, personal brand, leadership resilience, and ethics and integrity,” said Stephen Gilliland, associate dean of Executive Education. “Throughout these sessions, the theme was leading in a changing organization.”

“I found the material in this program particularly helpful in addressing today’s challenges,” said Promponas. “For example, with the age-based diversity in our workforce today (with Millennials working side-by-side with Baby Boomers and Gen-Xers), the differences in viewpoints could very well effect an organization’s ability to deliver on its mission effectively. Building and leading effective work teams is critical to any organization’s success.”

The program brought the topics to life through case-based discussion and exercises. “We divided participants into teams of 3-5 to complete an integrative group project that involved a current leadership challenge,” Gilliland said. “When possible, we clustered people by organization so that they could address an issue common to their organization. They worked on this project every day and then made a formal presentation on Friday morning.”

“We’re all faced with challenges in our jobs daily,” Promponas said. “Some challenges resurface, others emerge. If you’re not prepared to address these challenges, you could find yourself falling behind in your career. Its critically important to the success of my business and to me personally that I’m prepared.”  

The Business Leadership Competencies program will be held again in November. 

Top image of leadership courtesy Shutterstock.