Leadership Development for Water Sector Utilities

Live Streaming Online June 15-16, 2021

An EUCI Program

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Nearly 40% of water utility staff is expected to retire over the next decade. Whether you are looking to train incoming staff to take on new leadership roles or you are an experienced leader looking to sharpen your skills, this course will leave you with a better understanding of your leadership style through a series of hands-on self-assessment exercises and will give new ideas on how you can promote your team to take ownership of their roles.

Leadership Development for Water Sector Utilities will help attendees to understand key characteristics of an effective utility leader, how to assess leadership styles against organizational culture, discuss the interpersonal skills needed to lead your team, and will define the core responsibilities of a water utility leader considering current industry challenges and trends.

Learning Outcomes

  • Identify and utilize mental models and mindsets as they apply to effective utility management
  • Identify key leadership styles as they pertain to the 10 Key Attributes of Effective Utility Management
  • Comprehend and utilize self-assessment of personality and identification of personal leadership style and recognize the impact on organizational culture
  • Build a framework for sustainable water workforce of the future
  • Utilize competency models to aid in employee development, coaching and recruitment
  • Create and manage organizational performance



9:00 – 4:00 p.m. :: Course Timing

Welcome, Course Overview & Expectations

  1. Introductions

Mental Models & Mindsets

  • Understanding our mindsets and perspective
  • How do they impact the utility?

What Makes for an Effective Water Sector Leader?

    • Water Sector issues and challenges
    • Small-group activity: Create a visual portrait of a leader
    • Debrief: What did you identify as crucial characteristics of effective leaders? Evaluate yourself against this set of characteristics. What role does an effective leader play for the team, the department, the utility? Why do our clients depend upon effective leadership?

Introduction to Water Sector Leadership Styles

    • Organizational Culture and organizational alignment
    • Leadership Development Filters
    • Discussion of different Water Sector leadership styles
    • Identifying personal leadership styles
    • Discuss concepts of alignment & balance
    • What does this mean for a utility sustainability?

Self-Awareness (the foundation of effective leadership)

    • Temperament Sorter
      • In-class activities to illustrate different personality styles. What impact does your personality style have on your team? What are your strengths? What personality characteristics may create friction for you and your team?
    • Understanding Our Impact on Others: Perception
      • Large-group de-brief


9:00 – 4:00 p.m. :: Course Timing

Discussion of Leadership Styles

Core Responsibilities of Utility Leader

    • Four important questions for a leader
    • The importance of feedback

The Personal Side of Leadership

    • Communication stoppers
    • Self accountability
    • Principals of balance

Introduction to Competency Modeling and Leadership Effectiveness Analysis (a utility’s* experience)

Competency Models and Leadership Selection

Performance Coaching

  • Building commitment through performance coaching
    • The importance of delegation (based on “The One Minute Manager Meets the Monkey”)
      • Understanding “monkeys”
      • The purpose of managing “monkeys” (Or, why time should be on your side)
      • Know a monkey when you see one
      • Giving back monkeys
    • Giving feedback & communicating with staff
      • The importance of feedback
      • What works and what doesn’t with feedback
  • Basic reasons for performance problems