CityU Division of Doctoral Studies Hosts a Zenger-Folkman Leadership Workshop

Extraordinary Leader Workshop

-By Dr. Pressley Rankin:

Last month, CityU hosted three amazing workshops: The Extraordinary Coach, Extraordinary Leader, and Extraordinary Leader 360 Assessment Certification. These workshops were part of the Zenger-Folkman leadership training series. The Extraordinary Leader series takes a strength based approach to leadership and coaching. Dr. John Zenger and Dr. Joseph Folkman have a combined 75 years of experience in leadership training and development (Zenger-Folkman, 2014). Part of that experience is thousands of 360 degree surveys leaders have filled out that have become the basis for the research presented in the three workshops.

Dr. Kelly Flores first experienced the Extraordinary Leader Workshops in Florida and found the information to be well researched and valuable. She was instrumental in bringing this experience to City University of Seattle. The workshops attracted leaders from all over the northwest and as far away as Knoxville, TN. I personally attended the first two workshops and was blown away by the level of research presented to back up the theory of leadership the Extraordinary series is based on.

During the Extraordinary Coach workshop, each participant was given a textbook, workbook and a coaching guide (which is currently on my cubical wall). Our facilitator, Barbara Steel, senior VP of Leadership Effectiveness, presented each step in the coaching process clearly and with concrete examples pulled from Zenger-Folkman’s research database and her years of personal coaching experience. She also gave us time to practice each step on our classmates, which allowed plenty of time for getting to know people and networking.

The next workshop was all about leadership.  As part of the Extraordinary Leader workshop each participant did a 360 degree assessment.  This meant you were able to get feedback from peers, bosses, and direct reports.  The final report was presented in a booklet which analyzed the results and showed you specific areas that needed work.  What made this workshop so successful was the support you receive after it was all over.  I now have access to goals and helpful exercises even after the workshop was done.  For the next year, I will be receiving information and encouraging emails to help me develop as a leader following the goals I selected.

The final workshop, The Extraordinary Leader 360 Assessment Certification, was a training to certify participants to administer and interprate their employees’ assessments.  This would then allow them to go back and use the Zenger-Folkman tool at their places of business.  The 360 Degree Assessment, in case you’re not familiar, involves a survey being sent out to individuals you select from your place of business (managers, peers, and employees).  They all answer questions about you and your leadership style.  Those questions are then analyzed and placed into a report that looks at 16 different competencies related to leadership.  The report is eye opening because you get to see how your direct reports see  you compared to your bosses and peers.  Sometimes it can be really different.  The last day of the workshop helped the participants see those differences and understand why they might come up.  This will help them coach their managers and employees through the 16 competencies.

We got great feedback from the participants after the workshop series was over.  Some of those quotes:

“Capitalizing on your strengths can have a profound positive effect on how others view your performance in other areas of your performance, which increases your sphere of influence exponentially.”

“I went in expecting to be reminded of a couple of things I already knew but wasn’t necessarily practicing, but left with lots of new information in addition to those reminders I had been expecting.”

“The biggest benefit from attending the two day workshop was the manuals (Extraordinary Coach & Extraordinary Leader) that were given to each participant. We were able to leave the workshops not only with new knowledge on the skills and strengths needed to excel as a leader but were also given tools we can use back at the office to increase our on-the-job effectiveness and impact.”

The Division of Doctoral Studies is currently looking at presenting the series again sometime in the Fall.  Please email Dr. Flores at if  you would be interested in more information.


Zenger-Folkman. (2014) Retrieved from


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Published January 15, 2014



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