Insights into Effective Leadership

1. A Message from the President: Insights into Effective Leadership
2. The Principles of Performance Excellence: Baldrige 101 Workshop — Twin Cities 2/19 or 2/20
3. 2013 PEN Best Practice Conference May 14-15 — Hold the Date!
4. Proven Ways to Enhance Strategic Thinking — Twin Cities Workshop 1/22
5. More than a Quick Fix: Organizational Change that Sticks — SE MN Workshop 1/23
6. No Minneapolis PEN in January — Minneapolis PEN
7. Reducing Variation & Improving Process Performance — St. Paul PEN 1/9
8. 1st Annual Meeting of Our Members (and Non-Members!) — SE MN PEN 1/8
9. Finding & Leveraging Your Strengths: StrengthsFinder — Twin Ports PEN 1/16
10. 2013-14 Criteria for Performance Excellence Released — Validated Best Practices to Improve Your Organization
11. Enhancing the Career Development Discussion — MNODN 1/10
12. Professional Development Summit– MN ASQ 2/26-27
13. Growing Your Business Internationally — Enterprise Minnesota 1/23
14. Twelve Seconds to Project Management Greatness — PMI 1/15
15. Hamline University Announces Upcoming Lean Six Sigma Courses; Network Members Receive 15% Discount

A Message From the President: Insights into Effective Leadership

Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality.

– Warren Bennis

You don’t need a title to be a leader.

– Anon

Over the years, there has been much written on what it takes to be an effective leader. We’ve learned that leadership is an art as well as a science – it’s learned, it’s practiced, it’s perfected over time. Highly effective leadership is difficult to achieve, and even more difficult to sustain as circumstances and environments change. But effective leadership is absolutely critical to performance and success – success of organizations, of people, of communities. So, as we wind down one year and prepare for the next, I thought it appropriate to offer 31 powerful leadership quotes – one for each day in January – as well as 31 things leaders should STOP doing to improve their effectiveness. Consider it a quick, but powerful collection of other leaders’ wisdom. I hope it helps you advance your effectiveness as leaders, and I wish you and yours a safe and very happy holidays…

First, for the powerful leadership quotes. There are probably thousands of excellent quotes, but these 31 come mainly from one source – an article written by Kevin Kruse in Forbes last October. As Kevin says: “A great quote can provide personal inspiration and can be used to educate others.” He lists his top 100 leadership quotes, out of which I pulled my favorite 31 – one for each day of January. So in the spirit of learning, growing, and renewal, I’d challenge us all to take one a day, reflect on the meaning behind the statement, and think about our own personal leadership effectiveness in the context of the quote. If we all improve just a little each day as leaders, we can all make great progress. (And by the way, if you have your own best leadership quote, feel free to post it in our LinkedIn discussion group on this topic!)

The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality. The last is to say thank you. In between, the leader is a servant.

—Max DePree

I start with the premise that the function of leadership is to produce more leaders, not more followers.

—Ralph Nader

Where there is no vision, the people perish.

—Proverbs 29:18

You manage things; you lead people.

—Rear Admiral Grace Murray Hopper

Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.

—Jack Welch

A leader is a dealer in hope.

—Napoleon Bonaparte

The most dangerous leadership myth is that leaders are born – that there is a genetic factor to leadership. That’s nonsense; in fact, the opposite is true. Leaders are made rather than born.

—Warren Bennis

He who has never learned to obey cannot be a good commander. —Aristotle
Become the kind of leader that people would follow voluntarily, even if you had no title or position.

—Brian Tracy

Effective leadership is not about making speeches or being liked; leadership is defined by results not attributes.

—Peter Drucker

Anyone can hold the helm when the sea is calm.

—Publilius Syrus

People buy into the leader before they buy into the vision.

—John Maxwell

The key to successful leadership today is influence, not authority.

—Kenneth Blanchard

Outstanding leaders go out of their way to boost the self-esteem of their personnel. If people believe in themselves, it’s amazing what they can accomplish.

—Sam Walton

A ruler should be slow to punish and swift to reward.


No man will make a great leader who wants to do it all himself, or to get all the credit for doing it.

—Andrew Carnegie

Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it.

—General Dwight Eisenhower

Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity.

—General George Patton

Great leaders are not defined by the absence of weakness, but rather by the presence of clear strengths.

—John Zenger

If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.

—John Quincy Adams

In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock.

—Thomas Jefferson

Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.

—John F. Kennedy

Leadership is a potent combination of strategy and character. But if you must be without one, be without the strategy.

—Norman Schwarzkopf

Leadership is the key to 99 percent of all successful efforts.

—Erskine Bowles

What you do has far greater impact than what you say.

—Stephen Covey

One of the tests of leadership is the ability to recognize a problem before it becomes an emergency.

—Arnold Glasow

The final test of a leader is that he leaves behind him in other men, the conviction and the will to carry on.

—Walter Lippman

A good leader is a person who takes a little more than his share of the blame and a little less than his share of the credit.

—John Maxwell

There are three essentials to leadership: humility, clarity and courage.

—Fuchan Yuan

My responsibility is getting all my players playing for the name on the front of the jersey, not the one on the back.


This last one isn’t from Forbes, but it transitions so nicely to the second half of my article that I have to list it last:

We spend a lot of time teaching our leaders what to do. We don’t spend enough time teaching them what to STOP [doing].

–Peter Drucker (emphasis mine)

Those are all pretty powerful quotes on what makes a good leader. But as Drucker says, we spend quite a bit of energy espousing what leaders SHOULD do, and very little teaching them what to STOP doing.

Many of you may know a simple quality tool: “Start, Stop, and Keep.” It’s a way to prioritize activities – maintaining or leveraging core strengths and creating capacity to focus on those so-called “right things” by eliminating waste, unnecessary tasks, or – in this case – downright counterproductive behaviors. So consider this our own leadership Start-Stop-Keep: the 31 quotes above are what leaders should start or keep doing; the 31 ideas below are what leaders should stop doing. Many were posted in a blog by Art Petty; a few are my own. And the commentary in brackets is mine:

  1. Stop barking orders at people like you’re a drill instructor. [Employees will be much more engaged if they’re treated with respect.]
  2. Stop expecting people to read your mind. [Communicate, communicate, communicate.]
  3. Stop making people feel like taking time off to go on vacation is a sin. [An increasing amount of research is showing that workers NEED time off to reflect, refresh, and refocus. It’s all about balance.]
  4. Stop multi-tasking when someone asks you a question. [Focus on your people, and show some respect.]
  5. Stop handing out only the negative feedback. [Give five compliments for every constructive criticism. It works.]
  6. Stop dressing down people in public. [If you have issues with your employees, take them into private. It’s respectful, and the feedback will be better received.]
  7. Stop saving all of your feedback for the annual performance review. [Constant feedback is needed throughout the year to make many minor adjustments in performance and behavior before they become the need for major changes.]
  8. Stop letting people wander through their days with no context for the organization’s strategic priorities. [Set a vision; establish a plan; help employees connect the dots.]
  9. Stop ignoring people that you don’t like. [All stakeholders are important; don’t show favorites.]
  10. Stop reminding everyone that you are the boss. [Arrogance will get you nowhere as a leader. Be humble; be a servant leader. Don’t be needy.]
  11. Stop taking credit for the work of others. [Share – or better yet, transfer – the credit for success.]
  12. Stop playing favorites. [Appreciate the strengths that each employee offers.]
  13. Stop making everything “all about you.” [Effective leaders realize that it’s all about the customer and their employees.]
  14. Stop forgetting to provide people fresh challenges. [Focus on employees’ development; stretch them to take initiative. Turn them on, and then turn them loose.]
  15. Stop worrying about what your team members are saying to their co-workers about you. On second thought, maybe you should worry. [Be confident, but at the same time, be willing to accept feedback.]
  16. Stop declaring everything a crisis. [Set appropriate priorities and keep everything in perspective. Leaders should be balanced and should promote a certain calmness: not everything is a crisis, and not everything is your top priority.]
  17. Stop blocking our access to people in other groups. [Open doors, remove barriers, and then get out of the way.]
  18. Stop managing by fear and intimidation. [Create an environment of openness, transparency, and trust. Accountability is important, but only in an environment that supports risk-taking, innovation, and a certain amount of failure.]
  19. Stop hoarding information on company and team performance. [Share, communicate, and be transparent.]
  20. Stop spitting in the plate where you eat. [Or, similarly: don’t defecate where you sleep! Remember: your people are critical to you and your organization accomplishing its goals. Treat them with respect and dignity, and they’ll do the same back to you.]
  21. Stop chasing shiny objects. [Set priorities and keep focused. You can – and should – adjust and change, as the environment changes and needs dictate. But, as Deming claimed: there is much to be said for “constancy of purpose.”]
  22. Stop micromanaging. [Set the vision, coach and provide support, and then get out of the way. Tell people what needs to be done, but not how to do it. Their ingenuity may surprise you.]
  23. Stop believing that you know everything. [All of us knows more than one of us.]
  24. Stop discounting employees’ ideas. [Invite suggestions, weigh the merits of each –with data! – and empower people to take action and make change.]
  25. Stop doing so much. [And start delegating, coaching, supporting more.]
  26. Stop stressing. [And start smiling. Not everything is so serious. Have some fun; create an environment in which people actually like to work. As a leader, your personality and your mood will rub off on your employees. Even during “bad days,” try to put your people above yourself.]
  27. Stop cheating. [Boy, I hope many of you don’t do this, but there is nothing more important in business than ethics and integrity. Do the right thing, and people will trust you.]
  28. Stop assuming people understand the company’s priorities. [Everyone has their own perspective, and you simply cannot over-communicate strategic priorities. Always reflect on – and communicate – your organization’s mission, vision, values, and goals. Sometimes leaders may think they are broken records, but you have to repeat and reinforce what’s truly important.]
  29. Stop stagnating. [Leadership is a constant process of learning, reflecting, and adjusting. Focus on your own professional development; invite feedback. Continue to grow.]
  30. Stop making decisions on intuition alone. [As Mark Twain said: “In God we trust; all others must bring data.” Use data to make decisions – they will be more rational, more responsive to customer/stakeholder needs, and more consistent.]
  31. Stop talking. [And start listening. It’s amazing what you might actually learn if you listen to your people, your customers, your partners.]

It’s an interesting list, and positioned quite differently than many of the positive quotes and the start/keep lists we always see. As Art Petty says, a “stop” list like this isn’t quite as confusing as the “never-ending torrent of advice on what do to” as leaders. Indeed, they are like a metaphorical kick in the seat of the pants – habit-breakers, behavior modifiers.

If you have insights on what to start, stop, or keep doing as leaders, post them on our LinkedIn Group discussion. And if you’re a leader – and we all are regardless of our roles! – try one from both lists for each day in January. I’ll check back to see how you’re all doing!

Have a safe and very happy holidays,

Brian S. Lassiter
President, Performance Excellence Network (formerly Minnesota Council for Quality)

The Principles of Performance Excellence: Baldrige 101 Workshop 2/19 or 2/20 (Twin Cities)

The need to improve your organization’s performance has perhaps never been greater. This “new normal” we’ve been enjoying the last few years has created a renewed need for improvement and systemic change within all organizations: customers expect more, competent workers are growing scarce, and competition is intensifying. But – with the complexity of organizations – where does one start? How do you know on which processes to focus? And how to do you sustain the improvement over time?

The Performance Excellence Network (formerly the MN Council for Quality) is pleased to announce a new four-hour workshop: “The Principles of Performance Excellence: Baldrige 101.” The next offerings will be Tuesday, February 19 and Wednesday, February 20 (you choose) from 8:30-12:00 in the Twin Cities.

We will also be offering a “Baldrige 201” – a deeper dive into the validated Criteria for Performance Excellence that afternoon, which is intended for those who want to learn more about improvement and those who intend to become 2013 Evaluators for our MN Performance Excellence Award. This session will be 1:00-4:30 on Feb 19 or 20 (more information below).

The Baldrige framework provides a systems perspective for continuous improvement and advancing performance excellence. The Baldrige “Criteria for Performance Excellence” reflects the leading edge of validated management practice, against which any organization can measure itself to identify and prioritize improvement opportunities. The Criteria have been accepted nationally (in fact, internationally) as the standard for achieving and sustaining organizational excellence, and represents a common language for communication and sharing of best practices within and across organizations.

The session will provide participants with an overview of the Baldrige Program and a discussion of how the Baldrige framework can benefit your organization (or division, department). You’ll learn how businesses (like Cargill, Seagate, Eaton, Boeing), healthcare organizations (like Mayo Clinic, Benedictine Health System, and Winona Health), schools (like Marshall, Byron, Rochester Community & Technical College), nonprofits (like Memorial Blood Centers, Pillsbury United Communities, PPL), and governmental agencies (like MnDOT, DHS, DOD) are using the framework to improve performance and outcomes. The workshop will also provide some high-level Baldrige-based tools that can be brought back into your organization.

An optional second half-day in the afternoon is available for a deeper dive into the Criteria, facilitated by a national expert (Dr. Mark Blazey, from New York).

Note that our Performance Excellence Award Evaluator Training is changing in 2013, and a prerequisite is to be “current” in the Criteria for Performance Excellence. Attending either Feb 19 or 20 satisfies that requirement.

Cost is $125 for members of the Network for the Baldrige 101 half-day morning workshop ($250 for non-members). To add the afternoon half-day “deep dive” into the framework, cost is an extra $100 – so $225 total for members ($450 for non-members). Those becoming Evaluators in 2013 are subject to Evaluator pricing: $600 first year Evaluators for three days of training (this one day plus two more later in the year); $300 for second year Evaluators; free for third and beyond.

To register, email with your name, affiliation, and membership status.

2013 PEN Best Practice Conference May 14-15 — Hold the Date!

The Performance Excellence Network is pleased to announce the date of our 2012 best practice conference and Performance Excellence Award celebration: Wednesday, May 15, 2013 (with pre-conference workshops Tuesday, May 14). The full-day event will include the following:

keynote presentations from CEOs of world class organizations and recipients of the prestigious Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award – businesses, schools, healthcare organizations, governmental agencies, and nonprofits;
remarks from Governor Dayton (invited);
break-out workshops, featuring 16+ organizations on the journey to excellence – current and former Performance Excellence Award recipients, each sharing some aspect of how they are improving their outcomes and processes; and
a lunchtime presentation of the 2012 MN Performance Excellence Awards (formerly MN Quality Award); and
an optional evening reception and celebration to celebrate improvement and performance excellence in our region, to thank our volunteer Board of Evaluators and other key volunteers, and to network with leaders and professionals interested in performance excellence.

The event will be held at the Earle Brown Center in Brooklyn Center, and we expect 400+ leaders and professionals to attend. The event is open to the public.

Save the date!

The Network will also be seeking sponsors for the event to help offset expenses. Sponsors will be recognized in all marketing and during the event itself. If your organization is interested in learning more about sponsorship opportunities, please email

Proven Ways to Enhance Strategic Thinking — Twin Cities Workshop 1/22

Let’s face it. Times have changed. It’s easy to get consumed by the ever-increasing daily challenges posed by sponsors, team members, business partners, and other stakeholders. Only, to be able to determine how best to respond, what we often do not realize is that we must immerse ourselves in the future. We need to figure out how to create meaning from all the uncertainties, trends, and conjectures that appear on the horizon but in reality have already begun. And to know when to stop analyzing and breaking about the data and learn to synthesize the thousands of pieces of information about the future into breakthroughs that will catapult your project forward.

The Performance Excellence Network (formerly the Minnesota Council for Quality) is pleased to welcome Lori Silverman, strategist and the owner of Partners for Progress, to a special workshop January 22 in the Twin Cities: “Proven Ways to Enhance Strategic Thinking in Yourself and Others.”

Discover why organizations require leaders at all levels that can think strategically, anticipate issues, solve problems, and make decisions based on new and emerging information and the long-term vision for the project and the enterprise. Walk away with myriad of practical strategic tools and techniques you can apply immediately in your work.

Workshop Objectives:

1. Distinguish between strategic thinking and analysis thinking

2. Integrate information about the future into the work that is done prior to creating a project plan.

3. Talk to a project team about creating a future story to expand upon the project’s vision.

4. Identify what is needed to sustain a project after implementation and integrate it into the project plan up front.

5. Identify high-level interdependencies between your project and other projects and initiatives in the organization.

6. Begin to identify the new assumptions underlying your project and those being used by key stakeholders and project members that may be in conflict.

7. Outline the various rungs on the ladder of inference for a specific project situation and know how to address this.

8. Listen for critical thinking issues in conversations and intervene to get more information.

Cost is $200 for members, $400 for non-members. Workshop is full day (8AM-4PM).

Space is limited. Please register by emailing your name, organizational affiliation, and membership status.

More than a Quick Fix: Organizational Change that Sticks — SE MN Workshop 1/23

When changes in strategy, technology, processes, equipment, leadership, and culture are introduced in an organization, they typically impact far more than anyone initially anticipated. As a result, implementation deadlines get pushed out, actual program and project costs are greater and frustration mounts. Quite often, the benefits are never truly realized.

Why does this occur? Most of us are only familiar with how to make change happen one person at a time. But organizational change requires a different set of considerations

The Performance Excellence Network SE Region (formerly the Minnesota Council for Quality) is pleased to welcome Lori Silverman, strategist and the owner of Partners for Progress, to a special workshop January 23 in Rochester: “More Than a Quick Fix: Organizational Change That Sticks.”

In this workshop, you will learn about:

* Four types of organizational change and why they are all a part of every change effort.

* The three core elements of every successful change and what you need to do to put each of them in place.

* A framework for assessing what needs to be incorporated into a project plan from an organizational change viewpoint

* Techniques for heightening commitment and accelerating implementation.

Cost is $200 for members, $400 for non-members. Workshop is full day (8AM-4PM).

Space is limited. Please register by emailing your name, organizational affiliation, and membership status.

No Minneapolis PEN in January — Minneapolis PEN

Due to the holidays, there will be no Minneapolis PEN in January. We will have a St. Paul PEN January 9, focused on reducing variation and improving process performance and the “Red Bead” exercise (see below). The Minneapolis PEN will resume the first Thursday in February, February 7.

Reducing Variation & Improvement Process Performance — St. Paul PEN 1/9

First used by W. Edwards Deming, the phrase “red bead” has become a metaphor for the problems that we experience every day in our life and in our organizations. The world is a never ending supply of problems: you get up in the morning and solve the problems of the day. You solve one problem and more problems sometimes appear (in fact, some research shows everyone encounters 30 problems any given day). It is the way of the world. But most problems can be detected and solved, and many can be prevented in the first place.

The Performance Excellence Network (formerly the Minnesota Council for Quality) is pleased to welcome Barbara Keinath and Joyce Paxton, both of Metropolitan State University, to our January 9 PEN: “Reducing Variation & Improving Process Performance.”

Barbara and Joyce will introduce Deming’s famous Red Bead experiment and will explore how it illustrates natural variation within most of our processes. They will discuss how variation can be reduced and how better process design can lead to better process performance. So don’t miss this highly interactive (and fun!) exercise and discussion!

The discussion is from 8:00-9:00 a.m. on January 9; networking and continental breakfast begin at 7:30 a.m.) at Metro State University, 700 E 7th Street, downtown St. Paul.

We thank our sponsor, Metropolitan State University, for their support of this session, helping us to keep it complimentary for members.

Admission to PEN is FREE for Council members; $15 for partner organizations; $30 for the public.

Space is limited so register today by emailing

1st Annual Meeting of Our Members (and Non-Members!) — SE Minnesota PEN (RAQC) 1/8

Join us on Tuesday, January 8th for our 1st Annual Meeting of the Members. This is a discussion meeting for you to learn more about The Performance Excellence Network, meet the PEN SE advisory board members, 2012 year-end review, 2013 plan, and an open discussion where you — our members — help us better meet your programing needs and wants of our community.

Please join us for this informative celebration!

The session is Jan 8 from 7:30-9:00 AM RCTC.

Space is limited. Please register by contacting (or 507-213-8132).

Finding & Leveraging Your Strengths: StrengthsFinder — Twin Ports PEN 1/16

Do you have the opportunity to do what you do best EVERY DAY? Chances are, you don’t. All too often, our natural talents go untapped: from the cradle to the cubicle, we devote more time to fixing our shortcomings than to developing our strengths.

The Performance Excellence Network, Twin Ports, is pleased to welcome Pam Solberg-Tapper, Executive Coach with Coach for Success, Inc., to our January 16 TPPEN: “Finding & Leveraging Your Strengths: StrengthsFinder.” Pam will explore the concepts behind Gallup’s “StrengthsFinder,” first introduced as a book in 2001 and now with a version 2.0 that is being used by literally millions of leaders and professionals to discover and leverage their top five talents.

The session is from 7:30-8:30 a.m. on Jan 16 (networking and continental breakfast begin at 7:00 a.m.) at a location in Duluth TBD. Admission to TPPEN is FREE for Council members and guests ($20 for non-members).

Space is limited so register today by emailing

2013-14 Criteria for Performance Excellence Released — Validated Best Practices to Improve Your Organization

For 25 years, the Baldrige Criteria have empowered organizations—no matter their size, sector, or industry—to reach their goals, improve results, and become more competitive.

The 2013–2014 Criteria build on this tradition and feature a renewed focus on:

  • innovation management, intelligent risk, and strategic priorities;
  • social media;
  • operational effectiveness; and
  • work systems and core competencies.

The Criteria change every two years by studying organizations that have high performance outcomes relative to relevant benchmarks, and figuring out what those organizations are doing (in terms of process) to achieve and sustain superior performance, and those become future years’ Criteria. As such, the Criteria have become a collection of validated best practices against which any organization can gauge their own performance.

The Criteria are a set of questions about critical aspects of managing and performing as an organization. These questions work together as a unique, integrated performance management framework. Typically, organizations use the Criteria to help diagnose their enterprise – to identify and prioritize improvement opportunities.

The Criteria become the basis of the Performance Excellence Network’s assessments – our comprehensive Performance Excellence Award (formerly MN Quality Award), the consultant-led assessment, and our self-assessment (the quickest, easiest of the three). They are also helpful when used internally by leaders to reflect on current process strengths and gaps.

To learn more about the Criteria, visit here. There are three versions of Criteria: business/nonprofit are available now, and education and healthcare will be available in January.

You may order your on-line PDF or hardcopy Criteria books directly from Baldrige. Or you can order the hardcopies through the Performance Excellence Network and we receive a small percentage of the proceeds to support our mission. To do so, simply email with your desired quantities of business/nonprofit, education, and/or healthcare.

Enhancing the Career Development Discussion — MNODN 1/10

The MNODN, an affiliate partner of the Performance Excellence Network, is pleased to announce its next program: “Enhancing the Career Development Discussion.” The session will be January 10, 5:30-7:00 PM at University of St. Thomas, and will be facilitated by Karen Kodzik, President and Owner of Cultivating Careers.

Time and time again employers get low marks in the area of employee development on employee engagement and satisfaction surveys. Employees state that they often don’t know what their career options are, what development opportunities exist or even how to approach their manager about the topic. Ironically managers often feel equally ill equipped for that discussion and pressured to have all the answers.

This presentation talks about how to equip employees to come to the career development dialogue as an equal partner in the process by understanding and being able to articulate skills, values, interests and goals. It also addresses how to better prepare managers for that dialogue both by creating an open and trusting environment as well as understanding the various resources available to help an employee develop. The goal is to enhance the dialogue so that managers and employees create a sustainable career development plan.

The session is $25 ($20 for Network members, as allied partners). More information at

Professional Development Summit — MN ASQ 2/26-27

Join our partner, the Minnesota Section of ASQ, for their annual Professional Development Summit February 26-27, this year focusing on innovation, engagement, and sustained performance.

The future is not what it used to be and quality professionals are asking fundamental questions about what the future will hold. Change and transformation are the emerging tools of quality. There is debate over whether the same professionals can span a skill continuum from control to transformation. Leading thinkers in the field are investing their time in minting new tools for change and transformation and investing their energy to obtain new skills. The best companies are moving beyond product quality to manage their total customer experiences. Best practice companies around the world are showing, by their examples, the efficacy of quality applied to the improvement of the whole organization.

The MNASQ Professional Development Summit is organized by and for quality professionals. We offer two full days of learning and networking to help us lead this change instead of reacting to it.

Cost ranges from $275-620, depending on member status, how many days you desire, and early bird registration. For more information or to register, visit

Growing Your Busienss Internationally — Enterprise Minnesota 1/23

Enterprise Minnesota, a partner of the Performance Excellence Network, is pleased to announce their next upcoming event: “Growing Your Business Internationally” on Jan 23 in Apple Valley.

For more information on this and other programs, visit here.

Twelve Seconds to Project Management Greatness — PMI 1/15

The Minnesota Chapter of Project Management Institute (PMI), an alliance partner of the Performance Excellence Network, is pleased to announce its next breakfast session: “Twelve Seconds to Project Management Greatness.” The session will be held Jan 15, and will be facilitated by TJ Everett MBA, PMP and the founder and President of Cognition Network.

Great Project Managers possess advanced soft skills. This presentation discusses the soft skill imperatives that propel a Project Manager to stand head and shoulders above the rest.

Presentation topics include:

  • Executive support
  • Critical steps to improve your team and its performance
  • Inspiring a sense of urgency
  • Driving strategic change – Your personal investment in your project and career?
  • Engaging the business
  • Precise communication of expectations while demanding accountability
  • Creating a culture of success
  • Playing well ahead of the team
  • Expediting the Critical Path
  • Methods for articulating value
  • Maintaining emotional control

The session is Jan 15 from 7:00-8:50 AM at Crowne Plaza Mpls Airport, Three Appletree Square, Bloomington, MN 55425. Cost is $34 ($32.30 for Network members) before Jan 1 (PEN members should contact for discount code). For more information, visit

Hamline University Announces Upcoming Six Sigma Courses; Network Members Receive 15% Discount

The University of Minnesota’s College of Continuing Education, an alliance partner of the Performance Excellence Network, is pleased to announce their upcoming improvement and business courses. Network members receive a 10% discount on all CCE courses.

December 4, 2012 Negotiate for Agreement

December 6, 2012 Lead Successful Team Intervention Strategies

December 7, 2012 Working Assertively

December 11, 2012 The Human Resource Audit

December 11, 2012 Implementing Process Change

December 14, 2012 Writing for the Web

Most courses are 9AM-4PM on the St. Paul Campus.

For more information on any of these courses or a complete listing of coursework, visit the University of Minnesota’s College of Continuing Education’s website at or call 612-624-4000.