Leadership Institute

The Leadership Institute at Roger Williams University leads the way in providing developmental opportunities for participants to build the refined skills needed to lead high-performing organizations. The Institute provides the expertise, resources and support necessary for participants to explore and strengthen leadership skills through a portfolio of services. The mission of the Institute is to deliver excellent, contemporary leadership education and to serve the developmental needs of local and global constituents. 

This is accomplished through:

  • Customized Professional Development Opportunities - The Institute designs individualized leadership education experiences for all types of organizations. Instruction is provided by highly qualified and talented faculty, experienced in delivering education to professional adults. Rather than using a set group of faculty, The Institute recruits and selects instructors based on the client’s need. Delivery of instruction is also customized; options include on line instruction, classroom settings or a combination of both.
  • Professional Development Seminars
  • Distinguished Lecture Series – invited speakers share their expertise and inspirations relative to leadership.

Portfolio of Services

Customized Professional Development Opportunities

The Institute designs individualized leadership education experiences for all types of organizations (for-profit, not-for-profit and governmental). The curriculum is devised and delivered based on the client’s need. For example, one educational program focused on the development of leadership tools to change organizations, teamwork techniques to improve work processes and the aspects of transformational leadership that serve to inspire organization members. All instruction includes applied and interactive components.

Rather than using a set group of faculty, the instructors are selected based on the expertise needed by the client. In addition, the instruction is available in a classroom setting at the University or at the client’s work site, on line or a combination of these options. All instructors are highly qualified, talented and experienced in delivering education to professionals. Thus far The Institute has designed educational experiences for a professional association, municipal workers and a specialized group within a corporate setting.

Professional Development Seminars

In addition to customized courses, the Leadership Institute offers seminars on specific topics.  Available courses include:

  • Managers as Leaders
  • Enhancing Human Capital Through Diversity Recruiting
  • Managers as Mentors
  • Dealing with Difficult People:  De-escalating Volatile Situations
  • Effective Communication
  • Employee Performance Appraisal, Corrective Action and Progressive Discipline
  • Personal Financial Planning
  • Grant Writing

The Institute invites organizations who are interested in professional development to contact:

Dr. Barbara Grota, Director
(401) 254-3092

Executive Leadership Series:

Rhode Island Interlocal Risk Management Trust

Interlocal Risk Management Trust Group PhotoThe Leadership Institute annually collaborates with The Rhode Island Interlocal Risk Management Trust to provide executive leadership education to its member municipal employees across the state.  The "Managers as Leaders Educational Program" provides information and the practical application of skills needed for managers to become exceptional leaders in public service.  The Program fosters the participants' critical thinking and creative problem solving abilities.  The ultimate goal is to assist supervisors with their professional development to the extent that they became leaders within their department, organization and the community at large.  The Series is offered every spring.

Participant Comments:

  • "I got a lot out of this to help me be a better supervisor and a better co-worker."
  • "This course has made me look deeper into my own managing style and help make me aware of areas that I need to improve my skills.”
  • “It has given me strength and courage and the confidence to try and implement change and the insight to look within myself to do better.”
Dealing With Difficult People:  De-Escalating Volatile Situations

Dealing with Difficult People Seminar

Everyone experiences conflict.  Conversations can diffuse highly volatile situations but they can also fuel the fire of others and create genuinely hazardous work environments that may even lead to violent behavior. 

The Leadership Institute collaborated with The Rhode Island Interlocal Risk Management Trust to deliver a highly interactive seminar on how to deal with conflict in the workplace through effective communication techniques, problem solving strategies and stress management. 

All Leadership Institute seminars are highly interactive.  Through discussion and small group experiences, participants have several opportunities to apply the material to the real life scenarios with which they must contend.  This interactive design fosters critical thinking, aids in the retention of course material, and brings theoretical concepts to life.  This format consistently receives the highest positive response from Leadership Institute participants, as evidenced by the attendee’s comments from our most recent seminar. 

Participant Observations:

  • “Very engaging, interactive, and humorous. We were kept moving along and were never bored.”
  • “The presenters were very dynamic and the information was extremely relevant.”
  • “The instructors were knowledgeable, prepared, and captivating.”

Seminar Schedule:

To arrange a course offering for your organization, contact the RWU Leadership Institute Director, Dr. Grota at bgrota@rwu.edu or call (401) 254-3092.

Dealing with Difficult People Seminar

MEPI Student Leaders Institute

The Leadership Institute collaborated with the Spiegel Center for Global and International Programs to provide the MEPI Civic Engagement Leadership Institute.

MEPI MEPI (the United States Middle East Partnership Initiative) is an initiative of the United States Department of State whose goal is to educate and empower emerging student leaders. Roger Williams University has hosted a total of 110 students during the six-week programs from countries such as Lebanon, Morocco, Israel, Tunisia, Jordan, Libya, Kuwait, Egypt, Bahrain and Iraq. The Leadership Institute provides theoretical and applied education modules in proven leadership practices, civil society, civic engagement and human rights. Participants explore a range of approaches to solving community problems to determine the best practices applicable to their home country. The ultimate learning outcome for students is to present a positive social change community project to be implemented in the student's home country upon their return.

ACRL-NEC Librarian Leadership Seminar

Librarian Leadership Program

The Leadership Institute was happy to participate in a one-day workshop on leadership in collaboration with The Association of College and Research Libraries, New England Chapter. The customized, interactive education session  allowed participants to focus on their level of transactional and transformational leadership tendencies and develop an action plan to enhance desired aspects.  Participants  explored communication strategies and practiced those skills.

Librarian Leadership participant comments:

  • "I was so impressed with the depth of the presentations and I learned so many important things and met wonderful people...thank you again for the fantastic program.”
  • “The day was really valuable for the information it provided, as well as the opportunity to meet colleagues from around New England who are interested in developing leadership skills.  I also thought your afternoon four corners exercise which got us up and active after lunch was brilliant. Great idea!”

The Leadership Institute Guest Lecture Series

The Leadership Institute brings highly accomplished and brilliant individuals to campus to share their perspectives on leadership.  In the past our guest speakers have been:

Saul Kaplan
Founder and Chief Catalyst
Business Innovation Factory

Brian MacLean
President and Chief Operating Officer
The Travelers Companies, Inc.

David C. Wajsgras
Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
Raytheon Company

Mark Mandell, Esq.
Senior Partner
Mandell Schwartz & Boisclair

Questions or Comments?

For more information please contact the staff at the Roger Williams University Leadership Institute:

Barbara Grota, Ph.D.
Senior Assistant Dean/Director of The Leadership Institute
Mario J. Gabelli School of Business
Phone: 401-254-3092
Email: bgrota@rwu.edu