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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

State Officials header

July 20-24, 2020 | Oklahoma City

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

The Challenge

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

The Program

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 Benefits

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

State Officials

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For more information:


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This program is designed around the Executive Leadership Competencies:

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

Business Acumen

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 refine 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 culture of their respective organizations.

Leading People

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 and the DiSC model can help people gain this crucial knowledge. 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. This EI session will discuss how these competencies affect behavior, motivation and conflict management. Participants 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.

Leading with Fairness

When employees perceive that they are being treated unfairly by leaders, they are likely to respond in ways that are unfavorable for the leader and organization. This session will discuss the four type of fairness that are important to employees and how leaders can use this information to ensure employees feel they are being treated fairly.

Succession Planning: Developing the Next Generation of Leaders

Organizational success is highly dependent on the quality of talent employed by the organization but many organizations don’t have plans for nurturing the talent they possess. This session will discuss the fundamentals of succession planning and management and provide participants with a framework the organization can use to enhance leadership development. Effective succession planning and management is a comprehensive approach to talent identification and enrichment and this program will help participants be better equipped to develop the organization’s next generation of leaders.

Results Driven

Workforce Planning Development

This session presented by the Oklahoma Office of Management and Enterprise Services will explore the workforce planning process as it pertains to the public sector.

Creating a Culture of Accountability

A culture of accountability increases productivity and individual initiative. This session discusses how things such as entitlement can be a threat to accountability. It will investigate what can be done to stem the growth of entitlement and create an accountable culture in the organization.

Using Evaluations and Motivational Skills to Create a High Performance Work Environment

Individuals come to work motivated to perform and yet organizations demotivate employees by implementing practices that are less than optimal in capitalizing on that motivation. In order to remedy this issue, there must first be an understanding of how this happens, what can be done to avoid this problem, and strategies that enable the capitalization on individual’s motivation. Performance evaluation will be used as an illustration of how to motivate individuals to become the best contributors possible.

Leading Change

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.

Building Coalitions/Communication

Building Powerful Communication Skills

This session explores leadership communication from the perspective of crafting effective messages, role modeling and listening with intensity. Using principles of organizational culture, trust, and justice, this session reveals how leaders can strategically craft messages that maximize employee buy-in and explores the effect of leadership communication as a reflection of organizational values.

Managing Confrontations

Confrontations comprise the very foundations of accountability, and when they are handled poorly they result in failed promises, missed expectations, lack of accountability, and bad behavior. This session will discuss how to effectively manage confrontations and make rapid and substantial improvements in individual, team and organizational results. A step-by-step process will be provided for identifying and resolving performance gaps, strengthening accountability, eliminating inconsistency, and reducing resentment.

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.

Unconscious Bias

In this session, participants will discuss what implicit bias is and how it impacts our everyday decisions. Participants will be given concrete information on how to foster a more inclusive and effective workplace.

Dr. Raj Basu, Associate Professor, Department of Management, Spears School of Business, Oklahoma State University

Dr. Matt Bowler, Associate Professor, Department of Management and Director of the OSU MBA Program, Spears School of Business, Oklahoma State University

Dr. Michael Buckley, JC Penney Company Chair of Business Leadership, Professor of Management and Professor of Psychology, Michael F. Price College of Business, The University of Oklahoma

Abbey Davis, Director, Eastin Center for Career Readiness, Spears School of Business, Oklahoma State University

Dr. Bryan Edwards, Associate Professor, Department of Management and Joe Synar Chair, Spears School of Business, Oklahoma State University.

Dr. Patrick Malone, Director, Key Executive Leadership Programs, Department of Public Administration and Policy, American University, Washington, D.C.

Dr. Lee Manzer, Professor Emeritus, Department of Marketing, Spears School of Business, Oklahoma State University

Dr. Pearl Sumathi, Assistant Professor of Practice, Department of Management, Spears School of Business, Oklahoma State University

Dr. Lex Smith-Washington, Associate Professor, Department of Management and William S. Spears Chair in Business Administration, Spears School of Business, Oklahoma State University

Who Should Attend?

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

What You Will Learn

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

Date: July 20-24, 2020

Early Bird Registration received by June 12, 2020

$2,750 per person, which includes instruction, refreshments, four lunches, A Passion for Leadership book, goody bag, photo/ holder and all electronic program materials.

Registrations received between June 12 and July 6, 2020

$2,950 per person, which includes instruction, refreshments, four lunches, A Passion for Leadership book, goody bag, photo/ holder and all electronic program materials.


The program will be held at The University of Oklahoma, Gene Rainbolt Graduate School of Business located at 865 Research Parkway in Oklahoma City. The registration fee does not include hotel rooms.


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.


All cancellations must be received in writing from the sponsoring organization. A full refund will be made for cancellations received by June 12, 2020. 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, 2020.