Leadership Blog Series: New Leadership Library and Leader Development Resources

Whether new to a supervisory role or a long-time manager, the best leaders are lifelong learners adaptable to change and flexible in their leadership style. The ongoing changes and unknowns brought on by COVID-19 have made it particularly clear that leaders must embrace the complexity of their roles, which demands new ideas and strategies to stay fresh and ahead of the curve.

Earlier this year, a small workgroup was formed at MSU to explore the learning development needs of those who find themselves leading in this “new normal.” The group identified the need for an easily accessible collection of relevant and applicable self-directed learning resources on a wide range of topics. To assist leaders in navigating challenges and handling their responsibilities with confidence, an online Leadership Library was created in August 2021.

Visit the new, online Leadership Library.

One member of the workgroup, Cindi Leverich, Director of Academic Leadership Development in the Office of Faculty and Academic Staff Development, explains, “As leaders continue to navigate the changing world of work, it is important to have a range of resources available in multiple modalities. The Leadership Library provides busy individuals a convenient list of articles, videos, and workshops on topics key to developing and supporting remote and hybrid teams.”

Updated regularly, the Leadership Library highlights curated content related to timely topics. Ideas for additional, relevant leadership resources are welcome and may be sent to prodev@hr.msu.edu for consideration.

Looking for additional leadership development opportunities?

Danielle Hook, Learning and Development Manager for HR’s Organization and Professional Development (OPD) department, shares, “The importance of professional development cannot be overstated. We also recognize the barriers to accessing meaningful learning are greater than ever. In response, we are exploring creative ways to differentiate our learning solutions to meet the increasingly diverse needs of our learners.”

Learn more about OPD’s new leadership programs and resources below.

New Leader Development Series (NLDS)

Apply now to join the next cohort of this nine-session series. Starting January 18, this program equips new leaders with a toolkit of crucial knowledge and resources.

Sessions cover a variety of topics, including:

  • Leading in a Union Environment
  • Workforce Management and Strategic Staffing
  • Fostering an Inclusive Culture
  • Budget Responsibilities and Ethical Finance
  • Conflict Management
  • and more

Leadership Workshops

In addition to OPD’s popular, established courses around the topics of leadership and management, five new workshops for leaders were recently launched. Currently held via Zoom, registration will soon be available within EBS for the following classes:

  • Building Cohesive Teams
  • Conflict Management
  • Managing and Leading Across Multiple Locations
  • Performance Management for Hybrid Teams
  • Strategic Planning

Find out more about OPD’s upcoming course offerings.

elevateU Leadership Resources

On-demand, self-paced courses, videos, audiobooks and more are available to MSU employees via the free elevateU platform, including a Leadership Development section covering a wide range of leadership topics.

Access elevateU leadership resources.

Have questions regarding the above resources and opportunities? Contact OPD at prodev@hr.msu.edu for additional information.

Leadership Blog Series: Positive Boundaries

Written by Sharri Margraves, HR Associate Director for Organization and Professional Development 

What are your “hard and fast” boundaries, and which are those that are easier to slip up on? Although maintaining healthy boundaries of all varieties is a critical component of a leader’s well-being and success, time is perhaps the most common boundary because of its fluidity, with demands changing daily.

While even the most effective leaders will have to make hard choices from time to time, the hallmarks of weak boundaries can be challenging to rein in. Reflecting on my career thus far, I can see that I made too many value trade-offs between my time, my family and my hobbies over the years.

I worked over two solid decades before I had a supervisor who expressly set positive boundaries around time. She was leaving for vacation and made a point of turning off her email and her phone during our staff meeting, saying she expected the same from all of us when we left the office.

Two powerful points were made with her simple actions: 

  1. The behavior of a supervisor sets the tone and culture. Leaders need to talk about boundaries as part of norms and culture. We need to recharge to be effective, and we need to help others do the same.
  2. Your staff can handle it. Develop your staff and your trust in them. They will make the best decisions they can with the information they have.

Leaders can enhance their authenticity by maintaining positive boundaries. An easy way to start? Do what you say you will do and don’t do what you say you will not do. One leader I know is clear about not doing anything “illegal, immoral, unsafe, or unethical, and I get to decide what that is.”

Additional ways you can establish and encourage positive boundaries for your team:

  • Model behaviors that demonstrate healthy boundaries.
  • Help employees identify and communicate boundaries.
  • Have conversations about boundaries; normalize discussions on the topic.
  • Reward and recognize employees who set and maintain boundaries.
  • Acknowledge when boundaries are overstepped.
  • Communicate to your team the importance of boundaries.

Find recommended live, online courses below to assist with establishing and maintaining healthy boundaries for you and others, and reach out to MSU HR’s Organization and Professional Development department at prodev@hr.msu.edu if you’d like additional guidance or resources.





Online Resources, Toolkits and Courses for Supervisors and Managers

Are you a supervisor or manager looking for opportunities to help you grow in your leadership role? Whether you’re a brand-new supervisor or an experienced manager looking for resources to develop your skills, there are tools available to help you. Information is available in various formats to fit your schedule and learning style including in-person professional development courses, online resources and toolkits on the HR website.

In-Person Professional Development Courses

  • Communication Strategies for Supervisors on March 12
    One of the non-negotiables for successful leadership is being an effective communicator. Many leaders believe they do communicate effectively, but what most leaders do not understand about communicating with their team is that it is not just about what is said. It is about how it is said, when it is said, to whom, did the receiver understand the message in the way it was intended, and on and on. To lead successfully today, leaders must be able to persuade, inspire, listen, articulate the big picture, and create teams of people who buy into and trust the sender. Learn more about the Communication Strategies for Supervisors course.
  • Manager as Coach on March 12
    Successful managers today understand the importance of coaching in the workplace to improve productivity, loyalty, and results. Instead of telling team members what to do, or just expecting them to perform, it is important to guide, discuss and encourage – in other words, coach. Learn more about the Manager as Coach course.
  • Leading Change on March 31
    Effective leadership is imperative in times of transition, regardless of the nature or source of the changes you’re experiencing. This session will enable you to understand the phases of change, deal with resistance, build support for change, and communicate more effectively to reduce resistance and build change adeptness in staff members. Learn more about the Leading Change course.
  • Managing Meetings on April 22
    With company resources tighter than ever, frivolous meetings are simply not an option. Yet they continue to occur more often than ever. And too many unproductive, wasteful meetings create a major drag on staff morale and motivation, thus affecting productivity and turnover. And, if you are the organizer or leader of meetings, you simply cannot afford to look unprofessional. This course will help you better plan, lead, and follow through on your meetings and enhance team productivity, coordination, and cohesion. Learn more about the Managing Meetings course.
  • Building Capacity for Resilience as a Leader on April 23
    Leaders need to be increasingly resilient to the steady stream of challenges, struggles and setbacks that are part of our work. Our success depends on our individual and collective ability to bounce back when things don’t go as planned, gain important new knowledge from failures, and respond quickly and effectively when we need to chart a new course. Leaders can dramatically improve their effectiveness by gaining a foundational understanding of healthy psychological functioning and developing practical skills to increase their level of personal and professional resiliency. Learn more about the Building Capacity for Resilience as a Leader course.
  • Everything DiSC: Management on April 28
    The focus of Everything DiSC: Management is a deeper understanding of oneself, as this is the first step to becoming a more effective manager. The DiSC Management profile will help managers understand the preferences they have as a manager, thereby helping them understand when they are a strength, and when those preferences could turn into a bias against other, equally valuable, work styles. The profile also teaches how to observe behaviors in colleagues, employees and clients to recognize their DiSC styles and how managers can adapt their behavior to other DiSC styles in order to manage more effectively. Learn more about the Everything DiSC: Management course.
  • Emotional Intelligence in Leadership on April 29
    A strong leader ignites motivation and unleashes productivity creating an environment in which individuals want to “follow”. A person with high emotional intelligence has mastered self-management and interpersonal dynamics. Combine the two and the result is an emotionally intelligent leader! Attend this seminar and learn the link between leadership and emotional intelligence. Learn more about the Emotional Intelligence in Leadership course.

Online Resources with elevateU

The elevateU portal is full of online resources including eBooks, videos, courses and more – all available to you for free 24/7. Want to learn more about optimizing team performance, cultivating creativity or processing change? You’ll find resources on these topics and much more in the elevateU portal. Use these tools to help you build your own skillset as a leader or share these resources with your team to help them reach their professional goals. Learn more about elevateU and access here.

Toolkits on the HR Website

The HR website contains a wealth of information useful to those in a supervisory role, including toolkits for various processes. Whether you have questions about how to hire support staff, want an overview of benefits options or need to know deadlines for payroll processing, these toolkits are available to assist you.  Find toolkits for supervisors on the HR website.