The Midwest Leadership Institute - The Beginning
At the heart of the Midwest Leadership Institute (MLI) lies a powerful mission:
To present an educational experience with intellectual depth and substance that focuses on the individual as leader and the person as a whole to encourage participants to connect interpersonally and emotionally to better lead themselves and others.
Through numerous conversations, personal reflections, and learning experiences the Institute's founders, David Limardi and Bob Kiely, came to one foundational conclusion. Organizational leaders must balance managing complex technical work with leading themselves and others through a deep understanding of relational expertise as depicted in this graphic.
Relational expertise entails possessing the interpersonal skills necessary to build and maintain relationships required to lead, motivate, and engage others. Additionally, it includes an understanding of oneself as a person and leader, which is crucial to understand one’s own behavior and that of others.
Kiely and Limardi observed that as leaders ascend to higher positions within organizations, the focus shifts from technical work to relational and interpersonal aspects, requiring a different skill set. This realization led to the development of an educational experience grounded in relational expertise and interpersonal leadership, coupled with a profound exploration of self-identity. As Aristotle said, “Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom”.
In collaboration with Dr. David Morrison and Dr. Daven Morrison, the conversations that Kiely and Limardi had were developed into a weeklong, immersive seminar which serves as a crucible for aspiring leaders in local government. Morrison Associates had decades of experience working with public and private sector organizational leaders covering interpersonal leadership and its effect on a leader’s judgment, mental health, and overall success. This partnership made the mission a reality.
The weeklong seminar, now known as the Midwest Leadership Institute’s Spring Seminar, has welcomed hundreds of public sector professionals from across the U.S. The success of the Spring Seminar led the MLI Presentation Team to create a shorter and more focused Fall Seminar which serves as an extension of the spring experience. It provides a focused, two-day retreat for participants to continue their leadership journey and build the lifelong learning process emphasized during the Spring Seminar.