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Midwest Leadership Institute - FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions:

What can be expected as a result of attending the Institute?

An opportunity to discuss many of the most difficult interpersonal leadership challenges facing local government management professionals today with two experienced local government professionals and two organizational psychiatrists who have served the profession for over 40 years. Organizational and individual performance issues will be discussed and dissected with suggested strategies for addressing a myriad of issues.

Who are the partners who have designed and present the Institute?

The partners are the NIU Center for Governmental Studies, Morrison Associates, Ltd., and Limardi Consulting, LLC. All of the partners have been involved in supporting the development of local government management professionals for the better part of half a century. The Center for Governmental Studies at Northern Illinois University provides expertise that helps decision-makers implement efficient, sustainable, and cost-effective approaches to economic, social, and information management issues. The Center offers services for units of local government, state and federal agencies, and non-profit organizations. Morrison Associates is a professional services firm serving professional local government managers and their teams since 1976. Limardi Consulting, LLC is led by David Limardi, a professional local government manager for 35 years, past president of ICMA and a fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration.

What is a typical day at the Institute?

The typical day is designed to allow the Institute leaders and the attendees to discuss real world leadership challenges that professionals face every day. The typical day blends lecture, discussions with peers and a facilitator and group presentations focused on real world scenarios.

How Do I Prepare for the Institute?

In order to get the most from participation in the Midwest Leadership Institute, we strongly suggest that you consider the following suggested activities before you arrive at NIU Naperville:

1. Please spend time

  • thinking about your expectations for participation in the Institute.
  • thinking about your strengths as a leader and areas where you would like to improve.
  • thinking about the one scenario in which you were involved that defines you as a leader.
  • thinking about one scenario in which you were involved that resulted in negative feelings or you felt had a negative outcome.

2. Please consider suggested readings in areas which are of interest to you.

3. Please review the materials on Dropbox concerning “Small Group Exercises and Group Presentations.”

4. Please design a personal scenario that allows you to give your full attention to the Institute activities in order to take full advantage of your participation and not be burdened by regular daily responsibilities at work.

Our goal is to have you leave the Institute intellectually satisfied, to help you meet your personal expectations for participation and for you to be a more confident and thoughtful leader and strategic thinker.


Getting wins, big and small, in the public sector requires a deep understanding of interpersonal leadership. The Chinese proverb and curse, "May you live in interesting times", has never been more true. We have entered what Nicolo Machiavelli called "A New Order of Things" which requires leaders to know:

How to manage others by:

  • Strengthening one’s ability to manage uncivil discourse
  • Resolving conflict
  • Building a working alliance
  • Leading with character and be a source of inspiration
  • Mastering the judgment triangle
  • Understanding power and influence

How to manage yourself by:

  • Understanding emotions and build exceptional emotional and psychological stability
  • Developing brain speed and flexibility of mind, the ability to think faster and more efficiently and thus act more decisively at the proper time
  • Self reflecting
  • Managing challenges to balancing work, family, and self