A Free Webinar Series Key Webinar Wednesdays

Join us for our webinar sessions every Wednesday at noon! New sessions for the entire month of June!

Key Webinar Wednesdays Dates & Topics

All sessions are 12:00PM - 1:30PM EST via Zoom

June 3 - Influencing Others: Role of Ethics, Persuasion, Manipulation and Deception with James Eisenmann

June 10 - Humor in the Workplace with Patrick Malone

June 17 - Healthy Planning: Integrating Wellness and Employee Input into Your Strategy with Ted Kniker

June 24 - Avoiding Burnout: How to More Strategically Delegate during Overwhelming Times with Meredith Persily Lamel

Avoiding Burnout: How to More Strategically Delegate during Overwhelming Times with Meredith Persily Lamel

During COVID, not only has our workload increased, but the boundaries between work and home are even more blurred. Our ability to delegate is essential as we seek to avoid burnout both for ourselves and our team members. However, in our high risk environments, our ability to trust our staff to do the job correctly and efficiently often trumps our own efforts to effectively delegate work. In this presentation you will:

  • Understand your own barriers to delegation
  • Appreciate the benefits and attributes of effective delegation
  • Identify the 6 levels of delegation to more strategically delegate work to your team
  • Learn a process to identify what, when and to whom to delegate
  • Incorporate honest reflection into your delegation process to continually improve your delegation skills

Please print the following document to refer to during the session:
Delegation Self-Assesment

Meredith Persily Lamel is founder and President of Aspire@Work a leadership development and executive coaching firm in Washington DC. She is on the faculty of American University’s Key Leadership Programs. She earned her MBA from University of Chicago Booth School of Business, BA from Brown University, and Certificate in Leadership Coaching from Georgetown University.

Webinar Wednesday Recordings

All sessions will be recorded and made available online after the live session!


Don't Forget the People by Dr. Patrick Malone - Read the blog

Recent Webinar Sessions

Healthy Planning: Integrating Wellness & Employee Input into Your Strategy with Ted Kniker

June 17, 2020

Strategic planning is often considered a painful process that only leads to frustration, failed attempts, or a document that ends up as a doorstop. Yet, when done well, strategic planning helps organizations identify options and alternatives to better meet the needs of their customers, stakeholders and workforce and can help transform organizational cultures. This presentation provides an overview of critical success factors needed for successful, simplified strategic planning that is both aspirational and actionable. Utilizing the successful process used in organizations ranging from Federal agencies to a senior living community, as case studies, and supplementing with other real-world examples, the presenter will engage the audience with how planning can improve organizational health through an inclusive, transparent process that integrates wellness throughout.

Additional Resources:
Watch Session
Reading List

Ted Kniker photo

Ted Kniker is an internationally recognized expert and thought leader in organizational performance improvement, with extensive executive leadership roles in the public and commercial sectors. His work as Chief of Evaluation and Performance at the U.S. State Department was recognized by President George W. Bush, benchmarked by OMB and called a best practice by the OIG. He has received numerous Superior and Meritorious honor awards during his federal career, and has been nominated to serve in key advisory roles for OMB and the American Evaluation Association. Ted brings nearly 30 years of cross-sector and cross-functional team experience to his clients, in the following areas:

  • Organizational Development
  • Strategic Planning
  • Performance Measurement
  • Process Improvement
  • Program Evaluation

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Humor in the Workplace with Patrick Malone

June 10, 2020

Laughter is magical. When humor is properly used in the workplace, It has the power to connect us, build trust, and improve productivity. Yet many leaders are uncomfortable with this approach. Some see it as unprofessional, others as silliness with no purpose. But this is far from the truth. From physical and emotional benefits, all the way to mission accomplishment, humor can be one of the most effective parts of our leadership. This session will engage attendees with the latest science supporting laughter and the impact it can have on our organizations and those we lead. And yes, there will be jokes.

Additional Resources:
Watch Session

Key Director, Dr. Patrick Malone

Professor Malone is an Executive-in-Residence in the Department of Public Administration and Policy, where he teaches courses in public sector leadership, executive problem solving, organizational analysis, action learning, leadership ethics, and public administration and policy. He also serves as the director of American University’s Key Executive Leadership Programs. He is a frequent guest lecturer on leadership and organizational dynamics in state and federal agencies, professional associations, and universities. He has extensive experience working with federal sector leaders from DHHS, EPA, IRS, USDA, HUD, DHS, and DoD among others. Professor Malone also regularly presents in international forums, to government leaders from such nations as the Republic of Vietnam, Panama, Poland, Belgium, and Mauritius. 

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Influencing Others: Role of Ethics, Persuasion, Manipulation & Deception with James Eisenmann

June 3, 2020

In this session we will look at the role of ethics, persuasion, manipulation, and deception in trying to influence others to accomplish an organization’s goals.

There are many ways to get things accomplished. You can order. You can manipulate. You can deceive. You can persuade.

This session will explore how to detect and neutralize manipulation and deception. We will also talk about how to ethically influence others to do what is in the best interests of the organization and to do it well.

Additional Resources:
Watch Session
Presenation Slides
Reading List

James Eisenmann Photo

Jim Eisenmann is an experienced advocate, leader and educator specializing in advising federal and private sector employees and employers on a variety of complex employment issues including investigations, discrimination and retaliation, and whistleblower retaliation claims. He represents private sector employees, senior executives, and small employers with respect to all manner of employment-related issues including employment contracts, non-compete agreements, and discrimination cases. Jim joined Alden Law Group as a partner in April 2020, bringing with him extensive experience in the private and federal sectors. In private practice, Jim has represented employees and employers in the federal and private sectors in all manner of employment-related issues. From 1991 to 2005, Jim served as an associate, senior associate and principal in the firm Passman & Kaplan, P.C. 

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Leading from Center with Actionable Authenticity with Cathy Wright

May 27, 2020

Successful leaders are not merely those who effectively galvanize themselves and/or their teams to achieve stellar results, rather they are individuals who are powerfully self-aware and steadfastly focused on their higher purpose. This hands-on, highly interactive session will provide participants with tools to create Actionable Authenticity™, a deliberate process for finding and maintaining a centered approach to leadership and life. Through self-reflection, exercises and small group discussion, participants will:

  • Learn about State of Mind and how it is influenced by everyday situations;

  • Explore leadership values and the actions that align with them;
  • Learn a methodology and practice using a template for making actionable progress toward a personal vision.

Whether you lead a team of people, a project, or just yourself, this session will help enable you to show up as the authentic, focused, highly-effective leader most needed in today’s intensely challenging environment.

Additional Resources:
Worksheet (to be completed during the webinar)
Watch Session

Cathy Wright

As Founder and President of New Ground Consulting Group, Inc., Cathy’s focus and passion are on helping leaders and their organizations cultivate untapped potential to:

  • build a culture of commitment that has everyone pulling in the same direction; overcome seemingly insurmountable challenges and seize game-changing opportunities;
  • develop skill to effectively execute change strategies and sustain improvements;
  • assure enterprise-wide understanding of the organization and where it’s heading.

Throughout her 20-year career in executive coaching and organizational change consulting, she has become a trusted advocate and strategic partner to leaders of Fortune 500 companies, federal agencies, national labor unions and non-profit groups. She has coached and consulted to clients that include American Airlines, the American Business Women’s Association, the American Red Cross, Bell Helicopter, Hertz, Department of Veterans Affairs, Exelon Corp., Federal Aviation Administration, National Weather Service, North Carolina Network of Grantmakers, SASK Power, Scott Trade Financial Services, Solar Marine Solutions, Superior Manufacturing, among others. 

Read More (Scroll down to read full bio)

COVID19: Driving Positive Change Through Adaptive Leadership with Antonio Rios

May 20, 2020

COVID19 has forced the global workforce to radically change its daily operations. Aside from the logistical challenges we all face as we try to adapt to this new environment, interpersonal exchanges with our peers and immediate staff are strained and require more effort. For those of us who are leading organizations through this crisis, having to lead from remote locations may pose a host of new leadership challenges. By the end of this webinar, attendees will be equipped to:

  • Examine the impacts that COVID19 has had on you, professionally and personally, and its effects on your ability to lead.

  • Assess the extent to which you have adapted to become a virtual leader, and its effects on your workforce.
  • Emerge as a more effective leader by mastering your virtual presence and driving positive change throughout your organization.

Additional Resources:
Watch Session
Presentation Slides
Resource List

Antonio Rios Photo

Mr. Rios was appointed Director for the Division of Federal Employees’ Compensation (DFEC) in November 2016, and prior to that was the Director of the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation division. Mr. Rios has over 25 years of experience in the field of workers’ compensation, first joining the industry in Hawaii while working for a law firm that specialized in plaintiff representation. He later became a private insurance claims adjuster and eventually joined the U. S. Department of Labor in 1994 as a claims examiner for DFEC. He held multiple positions during his first 19 years in DFEC, to include Assistant Chief for Hearings and Review and Deputy Director. As Deputy, Mr. Rios conceptualized, designed, developed and deployed the first universally accessible, web-based e-filing system for federal workers’ compensation forms and documents. Under his direction, the program deployed a national interactive voice response telephone system and also consolidated case creation activities from 12 offices to one centralized processing center.

Read More (Scroll down to read full bio)

Past Webinar Session Recordings & Resources

Patrick Malone's session Kindness in Difficult Times from Key Webinar Wednesdays Series on March 25, 2020

Kindness in Difficult Times with Dr. Patrick Malone

as recorded on March 25

Watch Session

Leading in Fearful Times with Ruth Zaplin in Key Webinar Wednesdays Series

Leading in Fearful Times with Dr. Ruth Zaplin

as recorded on April 1

Watch Session

Fostering a Culture of Candor in Challenging Times with Dr. Reginald Wells in Key Webinar Wednesdays Series

a Culture of Candor with Dr. Reginald Wells

as recorded on April 8

Watch Session

Developing the Courage to Act with Integrity with Bob Tobias in Key Webinar Wednesdays Series

The Courage to Act with Integrity with Bob Tobias

as recorded on April 15

Watch Session

Angela Chiarenza Resilience in Times of Uncertainty in Key Webinar Wednesdays

Resilience in Uncertainty with Angela Chiarenza

as recorded on May 6

Watch Session

Trust: The Glue that Binds Organizational and Personal Performance with Andrew Rahaman in Key Webinar Wednesdays Series

Trust in the Workplace with Dr. Andrew Rahaman

as recorded on April 22

Watch Session

Passion Energizes: Being an Inspiring Leader in Times of Uncertainty with Vicki Kelsey in Key Webinar Wednesdays Series

Passion Energizes! with Vicki Kelsey

as recorded on May 13

Watch Session

Employee Voice and Silence in Turbulent Times with Russell Robinson in Key Webinar Wednesdays Series

Employee Voice & Silence with Dr. Russell Robinson

as recorded on April 29

Watch Session

COVID 19:Driving Positive Change Through Adaptive Leadership with Antonio Rios in Key Webinar Wednesdays Series

Adpative Leadership with Antonio Rios

As recorded on May 20

Watch Session

Leading in the public service is difficult enough. Few resources, no time, multiple layers of oversight, and a volatile environment. Our single most effective means to achieve agency success lies not in detailed strategic planning or flawlessly executed programs, rather in the environments we create as leaders. Kindness is simple. It is an intentional act that inspires drive and commitment among those on the receiving end. Its positive impact on department mission and the people who deliver it is well-established, allowing for greater contributions in an impersonal world often marked by cynicism and doubt.

This session focuses on understanding how the concepts of kindness and gratitude can be used to harness our own intellectual and emotional skills to build better relationships, and stimulate individuals and teams to serve our public more effectively.

Additional Resources:
Presentation Slides
Watch Session

Full title: Fostering a Culture of Candor in Challenging Times*

Those of us who take on the mantle of leadership recognize that it comes with certain risks and responsibilities. It requires being at the “tip of the spear” and leading people, some of whom may be reticent to face challenges we are leading them to resolve. It requires being a competent and dutiful follower and carrying out directives given by those higher in the “food chain” and furthest from the action. And it requires the moral courage to speak truth to those we lead and to those who lead us.

For many leaders, managing up and speaking truth to power is by far the hardest thing to do consistently. This talk will explore the reasons why leaders, especially those of us who lead in the public sector, must actively hone our courageous authenticity to an unambiguous, fine point. During times of crisis, it is easy to revert to one’s reactive leadership style as a defensive posture. We will explore why it is so important to live up to our creative leadership competencies.

Additional Resources:
Presentation Slides
Watch Session

Full Title: Trust: The Glue that Binds Organizational and Personal Performance

What's the number one thing we can use to build organizational and personal performance? Trust.

Imagine going to work and as part of your job description it said "Your colleagues want to place their confidence in you, rely upon you, confide and to express their faith in you". Now, imagine, your manager said that was one of his/her performance criteria. To know that, wouldn't that change the way you showed up and interacted with your colleagues? Wouldn't you be willing to take reasonable risks? Speak up at that office meetings and try new things. Research shows that trust directly influences individual performance and engagement in organizational citizenship behaviors.

Trust influences whether team members interpret actions of their leaders and others as constructive or suspicious. In our interactive session, we will be exploring the role of trust in our organizations, how creating psychological safety sets the stage for building trust; how we can build trust with others and warning signs of a low trust organization and how t restore trust when its been lost.

What we will do today:

  • Develop an understanding of the important role that psychological safety plays in building trust
  • The critical elements of trust
  • Trust building as a supervisor and a peer
  • Trust behaviors in our day to day work

Additional Resources:
Presentation Slides
Executive Book Summary Article
Trust Assessment
Watch Session

Resilience is top of mind today as our world continues to shift in new ways. Join this webinar to reset and reconnect. You will leave with actionable steps to reset your day, shift your perspective, and build resilience.

Additional Resources:
Watch Session
Presentation Slides

Crises with far-reaching impacts require executives to both manage and lead effectively. Addressing the urgent needs of the present is the work of management. Leaders, by contrast, need to focus on what’s possible, readying those they lead to the best possible outcomes.

To try and make sense of the turmoil that is unfolding in today’s complex, fast-changing, and interconnected world, leaders, under stress, may fall into the shortcuts and instincts that allowed humans to survive a perilous but much simpler past. This talk will present common leader mindtraps and how to move beyond them in order to deal with fearful times more effectively.

Additional Resources:
Presentation Slides
Speaker Resource List
Watch Session

Full Title: Developing the Courage to Act with Integrity

We wonder whether in a time of crises would we stand up or stand down. Would we have stood up to Hitler? Sheltered Jews in Nazi Germany? Testified against President Trump in the face of death threats, potential job loss, press vilification , and Presidential criticism as Bill Taylor, Marie Yovanovitch, Fiona Hill, Lt. Colonel Alexander Vindman, and others chose to do?

Each of those individuals chose to summon the courage to act with integrity.

We will be exploring how one might choose to develop their courage on a daily basis as they make choices to act with integrity. Few, if any of us, will be called to choose whether to stand up or stand down on a grand stage, but each of us is faced on a daily basis to choose whether to be uncomfortable or act with integrity. What conscious actions might we take to develop our courage muscle to prepare us to act with integrity?

Additional Resources:
Watch Session

Full Title: Employee Voice and Silence in Turbulent Times

How agencies communicate during a normal change is critical to successfully achieving results.  However, communicating in a crisis is different.  The fact that affected people articulate, take in, process and action on information differently is heightened.  

While leaders focus on how they communicate, often times how and why employees choose to share, or not share, their thoughts, ideas, and concerns is critical to successful crisis navigation.  As a result, receiving information from employees often gets lost in the daily flows of the crisis.  For many leaders, creating a voice culture is hard to do on a consistent basis.  

This webinar will focus on understanding why capturing employee voice and silence impact public sector agencies.  Additionally, this talk will explore best practices to maximize voice, while minimizing silence, and what leaders can do to foster a voice culture within their agencies.

Additional Resources:
Presentation Slides
Watch Session

We’ve all experienced significant changes in our world in recent months. Intuitively you understand that shifts to leadership style are needed and employees are looking to you for inspiration in this VUCA world. One place to begin is to look at yourself and analyze your own passion. No one has ever been inspired by a leader who is not passionate. Passion - and the lack of - is contagious. It energizes! If you want to have a resilient, inspired workforce, it begins with you: the leader.

In this webinar we will explore:

  • Why passion matters in leaders
  • How to discover your passion at work
  • Ways to cultivate passion in others

Additional Resources:
Watch Session
Presentation Slides

About the Series

This is an unprecedented time and challenging in a multitude of ways for us all. While we learn to navigate our new way of life at work and at home in the coming weeks, Key is committed to supporting our community the best we can! Our Key team’s commitment and dedication to innovate during these challenging times couldn’t be stronger. It's during these struggles that we dig deep and find the best in all of us.

We are excited to present to you the Key Executive Leadership Programs’ Webinar Wednesdays! These are complimentary to all who are interested and looking for a supportive resource forum focused on leadership development. But this is more than that!

As part of these Zoom-based events, we'll be able to reconnect with one another, support each other, and stimulate discussion on leading in these challenging and very unique times.

Key Webinar Wednesdays will offer a different focus each session with 60 minutes of content exploration and an opportunity for discussion and questions and answers. The webinars will be recorded and offered as resource on this page.  

Download & Setup Zoom here: https://zoom.us/signup
How to Join a Zoom meeting: https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/201362193-How-Do-I-Join-A-Meeting-

There is nothing more uplifting than connection with one another. The Key programs were founded over 50 years ago on a foundation of human contact, compassion, kindness, caring, and inclusion. When we come together and share with one another, great things happen. People are inspired. They gain resilience. And they make the world a better place.

Come join us. We can do this together.