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Oklahoma State University
center for executive and professional development

Spears School of Business at Oklahoma State University

The Executive Development Program for State Officials

Please check back for more information on the 2018 Executive Development Program for State Officials

View program brochure

For more information:


July 17-21, 2017 | Oklahoma City

Online Registration or Printable Registration

Improve your knowledge and skills and broaden your perspective in your role as a leader.


Leaders from all public agencies are under increased pressure to produce results. With limited resources and flexibility, how can public executives achieve such improvements?


You are invited to attend The Executive Development Program for State Officials, uniquely designed for top executives in Oklahoma State government. The program is a collaboration of Oklahoma State University and the University of Oklahoma. This extensive four-and-a-half-day residence program is designed around five Executive Leadership Competencies: Business Acumen, Leading Change, Leading People, Results Driven, and Building Coalitions/Communication.


The Executive Development Program offers the following benefits:

  • An educational experience designed to improve the way you think and make decisions
  • An opportunity for you to exchange ideas and learn new skills in an interactive setting
  • A pooling of resources from Oklahoma State University and the University of Oklahoma to deliver a top-quality program

This program is designed around the Executive Leadership Competencies:

  • Business Acumen
  • Leading Change
  • Leading People
  • Results Driven
  • Building Coalitions/Communication

Please also see program agenda.


Decision Making and Critical Thinking: Key Factors

The job of a manager is to make decisions. In fact, the success of your organization and your career hinge on your decision-making ability. Unfortunately, our brains often get in the way of effective decision making by playing tricks on how we perceive and interpret information. You will learn to think more carefully about the decisions and judgments that you and other people make and increase your awareness of how the brain tricks us into thinking we are being rational about decisions.

Organizational Problem Solving Using Action Learning

This session provides a unique opportunity for state leaders to tackle real-time agency problems using Action Learning. Using reflective questioning in addressing organizational challenges, attendees develop and refining the leadership competencies necessary to lead effectively in the workplace. Individuals and/or teams then put forth carefully conceived, practical action plans for real-time agency challenges. All the while, individuals hone personal leadership skills and build an interconnected fabric of professionalism that enhances the performance and learning the culture of their respective organizations.


DiSCover Your Leadership Strengths

Personality aside, individuals have their own styles of responding and adapting to work settings and other people. The best leaders understand why and how people act the way they do. Use the DiSC model to gain this crucial knowledge. You will discern how to lead successfully by appropriately handling individual behaviors. DiSC is a widely used self-discovery tool and model of human behavior that people use to understand why and how they and others say and do things based on their style tendencies. Once people understand these behavioral styles, they can gain new and valuable S.O.S. insights — awareness of Self, Others, and Situations they encounter.

Emotional Intelligence: Competencies of Star Performers

Emotional Intelligence (EI) is the set of emotional and social skills that influence the way we perceive and express ourselves, develop and maintain relationships, cope with challenges and use emotional information in an effective and meaningful way. During this EI session, you will learn how these competencies affect behavior, motivation and conflict management. You will be provided with precise feedback from the EQ-I 2.0, an emotional intelligence assessment that can be used to understand and design development plans for your EI.

From Traditionals to Millennials: Leading Generations at Work

Ever wonder how new hires could be so impatient or how your boss could never have heard of “IM-ing”? The answer largely lies here: For the first time, four generations are converging in the workplace. Examine how the different life experiences of Traditionals, Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Millennials create challenges in communicating and collaborating. You will also consider ways to bridge the generational divide.

The Strength of Difference: Toward a Positive, Diverse, and Inclusive Workplace

This interactive workshop invites participants to discuss, analyze, and synthesize ideas related to diversity and inclusion on the job. After this workshop, participants will be able to articulate how diversity is a source of strength in our work environment.


The Rise and Fall of Entitlement

Entitlement may be defined as “receiving a reward based on who you are not what you do.” Entitlement is a severe threat to productivity and individual initiative. This session investigates how such cultures are specifically created within organizations, how to recognize such creation variables, and what may be done to stem the growth of entitlement.


Developing Influence in Public-Sector Organizations

The process of bringing about incremental or radical change in public-sector organizations is very different from the process in the private-sector. Unlike the private sector where executives can rely on tangible incentives, public-sector executives have to rely on intangible rewards, shared values, and personal influence tactics to bring about change. This session helps participants identify their sources of power, learn how to develop influence, and use that influence to help bring about change in governmental organizations.

Leading Change

At various times, management in organizations perceive a need for change. This program addresses what drives change, as well as how to create a sense of urgency, alignment and support among management groups. In addition, participants will learn how to create a network for change by establishing a system that solicits involvement and ownership of key stakeholders. This session also will provide you with guidelines on how an organization can plan, implement, and evaluate to benefit both the organization and the individual employee.


Accessing and Engaging Employees

This session will address four attributes that can help executives in the organization better engage their employees: a) power; b) information; c) rewards and d) knowledge. High involvement leadership is a very effective platform for guiding discussion and keeping individuals focused on primary issues in the workplace

Building Powerful Communication Skills

This session explores leadership communication from the perspectives of crafting effective messages and listening with intensity. First, the session reveals two key strategies for giving corrective feedback to employees—feedback which can encourage cultural development and reinforcement in powerful ways. Then, the session explores how the supervisor-subordinate relationship slows the transmission of bad news upward. Recommendations and techniques for listening through employees’ indirect messaging are discussed so that you can get the bad news you need to lead.

Storytelling to Enhance Organizational Performance

There has never been a society that did not use the telling of stories to establish its culture. Within organizations, storytelling is also a valuable technique to create and maintain “culture” while motivating employees. Additionally, stories are used to resolve conflict and to generate customer “evangelists.” This session provides you with ideas regarding storytelling in your organization as a valuable management tool.

Raj Basu, Vice President for Student Affairs, OSU-Tulsa, and Associate Professor of Management, Spears School of Business, Oklahoma State University
Ryan Bisel, Associate Professor of Organizational Communication, Department of Communication, University of Oklahoma
Matt Bowler, Associate Professor, Department of Management, Spears School of Business, Oklahoma State University
Lupe Davidson, Assistant Professor of Business Communication, Co-Director for Center for Social Justice, Affiliate Faculty for Women’s and Gender Studies, Michael F. Price College of Business, OU
Ken Eastman, Dean, Norman & Suzanne Myers Endowed Chair For Excellence in Business Administration, and Richard W. Poole Professorship for Excellence, Spears School of Business, Oklahoma State University
Bryan Edwards, Associate Professor of Management and Joe Synar Chair, Director of the Eastin Center for Talent Development, Spears School of Business, Oklahoma State University
Patrick Malone, Director, Key Executive Leadership Programs, Department of Public Administration and Policy, American University, Washington, D.C.
Lee Manzer, Professor of Marketing, Spears School of Business, Oklahoma State University
Mac McCrory, Adjunct Instructor, Department of Management, Spears School of Business, Oklahoma State University
Alexis Washington, Assistant Professor, Department of Management, Spears School of Business, Oklahoma State University


The program is designed for cabinet secretaries, agency directors, and top-level executives within state government and other organizations.


Within the five core competencies, participants will be able to develop and enhance the following:

  • Understand the scope of the executive
  • Be able to develop and implement decisions and understand the potential impact of decision-making
  • Understand organizational change and how it affects others
  • Identify a sense of strengths and development areas in specific behaviors, which can help you achieve goals
  • Become aware of cultural and environmental changes that will affect the future of the agency
  • Identify the keys to relationships, communication and interpersonal team building, and inter-organizational cooperation to implement programs effectively
  • Program format – Four-and-a-half-day residence program.
  • Date – July 17-21, 2017
  • Price –  Enroll Now
      • Early Bird Registration received by June 19, 2017
        $2,650 per person, which includes instruction, refreshments, two lunches, an opening night reception and all electronic program materials.
      • Registrations received between June 20 and July 6, 2017
        $2,850 per person, which includes instruction, refreshments, two lunches, an opening night reception and all electronic program materials.
  • The program fee includes the materials in electronic format. If you would prefer a hard copy of conference materials in a binder, there is a $50 additional fee.
  • Location – The program will be held at University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center PHF Conference Center, located at 655 Research Parkway, Suite 100, Oklahoma City, Okla 73104. The registration fee does not include hotel rooms.
  • Cancellation Policy – All cancellations must be received in writing from the sponsoring organization. A full refund will be made for cancellations received by June 14, 2017. Cancellations received after that date may be charged fees based on expenses already paid in the participant’s behalf. Substitutions may be made until July 6, 2017.