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High Impact Leadership

Woman standing and smiling with team behind her in conference room


Five-Day Leadership Certificate Program

September 2, 9, 16, 23 & 30 (Fridays)
9 am - 4 pm at WCU Biltmore Park, Asheville
$155 per workshop or $799 for full certificate | $699 Non-profit rate

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29 SHRM PDC Credits available at the successul completion of the program

" This program taught me valuable aspects on who people are and how to effectively communicate with them. We are all unique and the insight I gained from this training will assist me in effectively communicating and leading individuals."

"As I continue along the leadership journey, I was given an opportunity to meet positive influences, dream makers, risk takers and a non-judgmental professional group. This group will be forever remembered and appreciated. The instructors, WCU staff and keynote speaker have with most assurance given me support, words of wisdom and another view as I journey along the pivot points of leadership. Thanks again."


In order to be effective as a leader in a constantly changing and politically dynamic world, it’s critical for you to develop personal insights, a better understanding of different working styles, effective communications skills and learn how to maintain a high level of professionalism in a variety of situations.

Today’s leaders face significant challenges including building dynamic and productive teams, handling a crisis on the fly, ensuring effective policies are in place to create organizational culture, and reducing legal risks.

This certificate program is designed for the person who wants to take their career to the next level to become a high impact leader. You will have opportunities to practice working with other leadership styles and will learn to:

  • Assess your leadership style and develop ways to be more effective
  • Develop leadership strategies that are separate from just knowing how to manage
  • Learn strategies for developing highly effective teams
  • Improve your communication competency by building key skills
  • Improve employee relations, organizational culture and reduce liability risks

Training Topics and Speakers:

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion: Incorporating DEI into Leadership - Friday, September 2

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion - what makes a welcoming and inclusive environment and how do you put that into every day practice in your organization? Diversity in the workplace has been linked to greater performance outcomes, but inclusion is critical for the retention of diverse employees. These two terms are often used interchangeably and rarely do leaders get the opportunity to think about how to incorporate these concepts into their everyday leadership style. In this session, leaders will be given the opportunity to:

  • Differentiate between advocating for diversity and ensuring inclusion
  • Examine different facets of diversity within the workplace
  • Describe, identify, and counteract bias (implicit, explicit, & microagressions) in the workplace

Leaders will leave the workshop with a greater understanding of their role in cultivating a safe and inclusive work environment for their employees and how to incorporate this knowledge in every-day interactions.

Instructor: Dustin Evatt-Young, Ed.D. Assistant Professor of Practice in Higher Education Program Director, LEAD Minor

Building Key Leadership Communication Skills - Friday, September 9

  • Learn "The 10 Commandments of Effective Leadership Communication"
  • Develop your active listening skills
  • Identify the nonverbal communication cues that signal leadership competence and set tone
  • Build your speaking "presence"
  • Analyze the critical role of leadership communication during crises through case study examples
  • Prepare for the spotlight: How to respond to media inquiries

Instructor: Dr. Scott Eldredge, Professor in WCU's Communication Department

Employee Relations, Best Practices and Laws Leaders Should Know - Friday, September 16

Attorney Jon Yarbrough will present an employee relations review and “best practices” including the laws leaders should be familiar with on a state and national level. As a practicing employment law attorney for Constangy, Brooks, Smith and Prophete, LLP in North Carolina, Jon shares examples of situations when a lack of communication and knowledge have led to personal and organizational liability. He will also talk about how improved communication, the right policies, and the right human resources team can not only reduce your risks as a leader, but can establish an organizational culture where employees know and understand the policies and the consequences of acting outside the law.

Instructor: Attorney Jon Yarbrough, Constangy, Brooks, Smith and Prophete, LLP 

Leadership Ethics - Friday, September 23

Moral character (i.e., ethics) is the foundation upon which leadership is built and sustained. Challenges that risk a leader's long-term effectiveness often involve moral dilemmas between two or more legitimate competing interests such as honesty versus loyalty or accountability for failure versus encouragement of innovation. This leadership ethics workshop will help you develop your leadership toolkit to meet such challenges by examining three ethics frameworks used to navigate moral dilemmas: the rules framework, the outcome framework, and the moral agent framework. The strengths and weaknesses of each framework will be examined through the use of lecture, discussion, and moral-dilemma exercises. In the end of this workshop, attendees will be able to describe each ethics framework, apply such frameworks to moral dilemmas, and make and defend value judgments regarding their analysis and application of the ethics frameworks. Lastly, attendees will have a greater appreciation of the role of ethics in developing competitive advantage and sustainable success.


  • Identify and articulate moral values
  • Know the impetuses for moral behavior: imperative, utilitarianism, rights, outcomes
  • Incorporate group or organizational ethics
  • Use the basics for ethical behavior in the work-world

Instructor: Dan Herron, former adjunct faculty for the College of Business at WCU and Professor Emeritus, Miami University.

Honing Your Strengths and Leadership Style - Friday, September 30

Having an understanding of your own strengths and leadership style will help you learn to work more effectively with employees, managers, executives and government representatives. Participants will complete a Gallup StrengthsFinder assessment in advance of the training. Dr. Lowell Davis and Anne Aldrich, Gallup-Certified Strength Coaches, will help you learn more about your top five talents and how this can help you become a more effective leader. Through the Bohlman & Deal Reframing Organizations model, participants will also learn about the four perspectives from which leaders approach organizational issues and how to tap into those with other opposite strengths and improve the interactions and performance of your team.

Instructor: Anne Aldrich, Executive Assistant to the provost at WCU 

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