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  Leadership Development

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In developing the focus for its work, MCO Leadership Associates has considered over thirty years of research on how leaders develop, as well as recent reports on the changing nature of leadership. The focus of its services is on helping experienced and developing leaders, as well as school teams acquire and enhance the leadership, management, and relationship skills essential to leading in today’s climate of accountability and reform.

MCO offers a menu of services which can be combined in ways that ensure that clients’ needs and desired outcomes are met. Additionally, MCO can customize programs and services.

Program sessions will consist of the presentation of content and the active engagement of learners through small and large group activities and exercises. MCO team members will utilize videos and experiential activities to help program participants relate their learnings to what goes on each day in their schools, school systems, and non-profit organizations. The professional conversations which take place during each session will offer participants opportunities to be active learners and co-creators of their own learning.

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Training Modules (click on a section heading to see module descriptions)

Essential Skills for Leading Organizational Development

Setting the Stage for Learning
Vision and Mission: The "Drivers" of School Improvement
Developing the "W-I" (What's Important) Approach to Leadership and Improvement
Change Style Indicator (CSI) (Assessment)
Making Time for the "W-I"
The Decision-Making Process
Meeting Facilitation

Skills and Tools for Being an Effective Leader

Value of Relationships
Strength Deployment Inventory® (Assessment)
Building Organizational Trust
Empowerment
Communication Skills
Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument (Assessment)
Coaching for Higher Performance

Developing Professional Learning Communities

The "Public Side"and and the "Private Side" of Professional Learning Communities

Other Leadership Skills

Leading and Developing High Performing Teams
Parker Team Player Survey
Paper Planes, Inc™ (Simulation)
What's Working: Practices That Ensure Successful Schools
Strategies and Skills for Supporting and Coaching Teachers

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Essential Skills for Leading Organizational Development

SETTING THE STAGE FOR LEARNING
As we embark on this learning experience, it is important to create an environment where people feel safe to participate and where they share in a common understanding of desired program outcomes. During this opening session, participants will be presented with a process for building agreement as they explore desired outcomes, an overview of the program, and ground rules. Further, learners will examine a variety of leadership styles, including appropriate uses, strengths, and pitfalls of each style.

VISION AND MISSION: THE “DRIVERS” OF SCHOOL IMPROVEMENT
Highly effective models for continuous improvement planning include beliefs/values, vision, and mission/purpose statements as guides for data-driven decision making. This program session will provide learners an opportunity to define personal and organizational beliefs, vision, and mission. Learners will examine the congruence between their personal and professional selves and monitor the impact of vision and mission on the decisions that are made daily at the district and building levels and in non-profit organizations.

DEVELOPING THE “W-I” (WHAT’S IMPORTANT)
APPROACH TO LEADERSHIP AND IMPROVEMENT

In the change process, leaders must balance their focus on three dimensions – results, processes, and relationships. Successful change is the end product of the effective and efficient achievement of goals (results); the design, development, management, and evaluation of change processes; and the creation of a collaborative environment that facilitates high performance (relationships). This session will help learners develop a sense of “what’s important” in each of these dimensions as they lead change and improvement. It will also provide opportunities to consider potential barriers and strategies for overcoming them, as well as the impact of culture and politics on decisions about what is important.

CHANGE STYLE INDICATOR (CSI) (Assessment)
The Change Style Indicator enables participants to develop a deeper understanding of their preferences for leading, managing, and responding to change initiatives. Assessment results place participants on a continuum which helps them better understand their own “motives” related to their responses to change and forecast how others may see them as change leaders. It also helps participants “project” the preferences of those with whom they work in leading change and then tailor their approach based on how they believe others prefer to respond to change.

MAKING TIME FOR THE “W-I”
Once decisions have been made about those things that are most important to leadership effectiveness and improvement, leaders must gain control of time and events by seeing how they relate to vision and mission. This program session will look at the effective use of time for achieving high leverage initiatives by helping the leader examine and then enhance his/her skills at managing time, delegating, and dealing with high-payoff activities (Fat Rabbits) and low-payoff activities (Skinny Rabbits).

THE DECISION-MAKING PROCESS
Effective leaders are effective at creating processes and parameters for decision making. During this session, program participants will examine processes for decision making that align with the PDSA (Plan-Do-Study-Act) Cycle. They will consider what makes a good decision along the dimensions of results, processes, and relationships, as well as the impact that involvement in the making of decisions has on ownership and buy in.

MEETING FACILITATION
Meetings are an inevitable part of organizational life. However, it is the leader’s responsibility to ensure that meetings move the organization toward the achievement of its mission and are not a waste of time and resources. This session will equip leaders with the skills necessary for planning and carrying out effective meetings, including making decisions about when to have a meeting and what type of meeting to have, planning for meetings, the meeting process, tools for bringing people to consensus, and tactics for getting the best out of meeting participants.

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Skills and Tools for Being an Effective Leader

VALUE OF RELATIONSHIPS
An effective leader understands the value in developing strong, healthy relationships within the organization. Organizations will never achieve maximum results or even the desired results if the relationship foundation is not solid. During this session, learners will explore steps for building healthy organizational relationships, strategies for affecting motivation, and conditions that are essential to healthy work environments. Learners will also examine ways of maintaining their own sense of motivation as they lead.

STRENGTH DEPLOYMENT INVENTORY® (Assessment)
This instrument provides the learner with an understanding of how he/she deploys his/her strengths in relating to others. It is designed to help learners assess the strengths they use in relating to others under two kinds of conditions: (1) when everything is going well in the learner’s relationships, and (2) when one is faced with conflict and opposition. Most individuals relate to others in one way at one time and in another way at another time depending on the circumstances. The learner will understand his/her strength deployment preferences and will be better able to take a position for effective action and to improve relationships with others.

BUILDING ORGANIZATIONAL TRUST
Trust is emotional glue that binds leaders and followers. It provides the motivation and energy that makes it possible for organizations to work. Program participants will explore the importance of behaviors known to be helpful in building trust among work groups, as well as possible difficulties in carrying these behaviors out. They will also reflect on concrete actions that aid leaders in building trust with followers.

EMPOWERMENT
Through empowerment or the distribution of power by leaders, people come to believe that they count within the organization. Like trust, empowerment is one component of healthy relationships. Learners will explore characteristics of empowerment and disempowerment, as well as steps that leaders can take to empower employees and involve individuals at all levels of the organization through distributed leadership.

COMMUNICATION SKILLS
Effective leaders are effective communicators. To be an effective communicator, leaders must be active and supportive listeners, skilled at expressing themselves in writing and orally, effective at dealing with conflict, and equipped to handle crucial conversations. This program session will explore each of the elements of effective communication and the requisite skills needed by leaders. Program participants will be given opportunities to assess their own skills and to identify strategies for improving their communication skills.

THOMAS-KILMANN CONFLICT MODE INSTRUMENT (Assessment)
The focus in many organizations today is on results: finding better solutions -- faster. To optimize performance, we must be able to effectively resolve issues, settle differences, and implement solutions on every level. The Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument (TKI) provides individuals with a means of discovering how their conflict styles affect performance.

COACHING FOR HIGHER PERFORMANCE
Coaching is one of the most effective ways to improve the performance of the people around you. This session will examine key elements of coaching and equip learners with foundational coaching skills. Learners will participate in an experiential coaching activity that will enhance their skill at giving feedback and at passing on their knowledge to followers.

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Developing Professional Learning Communities

THE "PUBLIC SIDE" AND THE "PRIVATE SIDE" OF PROFESSIONAL LEARNING COMMUNITIES
Schools showing continuous improvement in results are those whose cultures are permeated by a shared focus and highly functioning Professional Learning Communities. During this program session, learners will examine the dual roles of school leaders as they as the right questions; focus on results, processes, and relationships; and bring people to consensus while also balancing the needs, wants, and desires of the community and themselves. This program session is built around current research on Professional Learning Communities.

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Other Leadership Skills

LEADING AND DEVELOPING HIGH PERFORMING TEAMS
This program module is designed to assist participants in developing and maintaining effective teams for their organizations. Participants will be able to identify why teams fail or are ineffective. Participants will learn how to develop realistic team goals, define team responsibilities, choose competent team players, define the roles of team members, deal with reluctant team members, build esprit de corps, and monitor team progress. An opportunity will be provided for participants to work on assigned teams to produce a product under challenging conditions.

PARKER TEAM PLAYER SURVEY (Assessment)
The Parker Team Player Survey will aid participants in identifying their primary team-player styles (Contributor, Collaborator, Communicator, and Challenger), as well as the strengths and weaknesses of their styles. It is also helpful as participants begin to identify and understand the styles of their colleagues and how the presence of all styles on a team contributes to the high performance of the team, as well as its success.

PAPER PLANES, INC. ™ (Simulation)
A simulation, Paper Planes, Inc.™ (PPI), will be utilized in exploring concepts basic to building high performing teams. The simulation focuses on issues of quality, change, customer satisfaction, response time, communication, and team effectiveness. Participants will better understand the dynamics of effective teamwork; experience the significance of information sharing and communication in successful change efforts; the impact of participatory decision making on commitment, "buy-in", and morale; and will explore systems from structural and cultural perspectives.

STRATEGIES AND SKILLS FOR SUPPORTING AND COACHING TEACHERS
This program is designed for curriculum facilitators, instructional liaison specialists, teacher induction coaches, and others who work with and support teachers.  It provides knowledge and skills that will enhance the capacity for working with teachers to improve the quality of instructional delivery in the classroom.  The experiential program introduces learners to theories and concepts related to relationship building and coaching for higher performance while providing opportunities for learners to test their understanding of these concepts and then apply them to real life situations.

WHAT’S WORKING: PRACTICES THAT ENSURE SUCCESSFUL SCHOOLS
Educators have known for years that differences in student achievement are impacted by the kinds of experiences that students bring to the classroom, as well as other environmental factors. Recent research has shown that there is a great deal that we can do to improve student achievement in this complex, demanding world. By studying the work of Robert J. Marzano and the three inter-related realms of School-Level Factors, Teacher-Level Factors, and Student-Level Factors, administrators and teachers can align their total school program to promote high student achievement. This program session will provide learners the opportunity to explore these three factors and the most recent research supporting the use of these practices to produce effective schools where all students learn. Participants will be involved in assessing their own school culture within these three factors and creating interventions that can move their schools to the next level of performance. Participants will also have an opportunity to develop strategies to support and accelerate student achievement.

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P. O. Box 5904 • High Point, NC  27262 • 336-869-8452 (Office) • 336-870-4994 (Cell) • melody@mcoleadership.com