Leadership Development

The City of West Des Moines launched a Leadership Development Program in 2006. As an organization,Leadership Development Class the City recognizes the importance of providing leadership programs in order to educate and identify those employees who are interested in pursuing future leadership opportunities and growing with the organization. The program consists of two tiers and each tier better equips employees to provide leadership at their current position, on citywide teams and committees, and in any future positions they may hold.

Tier 1

Tier 1’s purpose is to orient employees interested in leadership positions to the “bigger picture” of the city organization and provide a valuable knowledge base of the organization.

The focus of Tier 1 is to introduce the leadership challenges faced by our organization. Sessions include staff led presentations and discussions wrapped around the City’s Balanced Scorecard themes: Planning and Community Development, Collaboration, Sustainability, Resource Management, Community Enrichment, and Community Safety. The class also covers topics such as the Quality Initiative, Balanced Scorecard, traits valued by the organization, and the Mayor and City Council’s perspective. The group works on provided case study near the end of the course.

Tier 2

Tier 2 is more specific to leadership training with a focus on leadership rather than management. Currently, the City partners with Drake University’s Center for Professional Studies in providing this course to graduates of Tier 1. Tier 2 covers topics including leadership versus management, styles of leadership, transformational leadership, and leadership traits both learned and inherent. Each participant is asked to create and present their own personal leadership plan to the class.

The Leadership Development program is open to any City employee through a simple application process. Each class consists of approximately 20 employees with emphasis placed on creating a balance of employees from the four clusters (Public Safety, Community Enrichment, Support Services, and Public Services). As of spring 2008, two classes have been through both tiers of the program and the third Tier 1 class is in progress. Post-class evaluations have shown strong enthusiasm and appreciation for this program, the opportunity to meet and get to know people from different departments, and the chance employees get to think about leadership theory and develop their own plans for leadership.

Leadership Development Class 1

WDM Leadership Development Class

Tier 3

In 2010, the City launched Tier III which builds upon the leadership skills learned in Tier II and addresses those critical areas required for advancement into higher levels of responsibility within the city.  Those areas are: Citywide/Organizational Knowledge and Coordination; Building Professional and Community Relationships; Communication Skills; Customer Service Aptitude; Personnel Management; Problem Solving; Ethics; Vision and Strategic Thinking; Policy Development and Management; Resource Management.  The City provides this training through a partnership with Drake University's Center for Professional Studies and through internal resources.

The Tier III program is available to any employee who has completed Tier I and Tier II.  Enrollment in Tier III represents a significant investment by an employee in their development as it will take multiple years for an individual employee to complete all ten core areas.