ICMA University / Leadership Development / Midwest Leadership Institute

Midwest Leadership Institute

Helping local government navigate a complex world in a time of disruptive change.

Institute Information:
  • April 11-15, 2016
  • Location: Northern Illinois University, Naperville, IL
  • Cost: $1,800 ICMA Members, $2,000 Nonmembers
  • Team Discounts: contact Dawn Peters 

Register today!


The Midwest Leadership Institute will focus on successful outcomes in local government that require a deep understanding of interpersonal leadership. David M. Limardi, ICMA Midwest Regional Director, Robert R. Kiely. Jr., David E. Morrison, M.D., and Daven Morrison, M.D., will lead participants through an intensive four-and-a-half day program designed to address the challenges facing local government professionals. This Institute is an expansion to Limardi's workshop, Interpersonal Leadership & the New Order of Things.

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

An opportunity to discuss many of the most challenging 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.

Participants will be exposed to concepts needed to thrive in an increasingly complex world with multiple personalities, competing self-interests, questionable ethics and the prominence of the information age. The challenges and complexity of the world can make leaders feel like the healthiest person in the emergency room. Sound judgment, an important concept of the Institute, will help guard against blind pathology and acting without the proper analysis.


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 
ICMA-CM This workshop/event addresses ICMA management practice areas: 1, 2, 6, 8, 9, 13, 14, 17, and 18 of the core areas that are essential to effective local government management and can be used to maintain ICMA credentialed manager status.

Who Should Attend

Local government professionals including chief administrative officers, assistants, and department heads interested in advancing their career. The Institute customizes learning to the needs of the participants. Learning in teams focusing on real world local government scenarios is a critical component of the Institute.


Each Institute is limited to 50 participants to ensure time for one-on-one coaching, small group and all-participant events. Tuition for the four-and-a-half day Institute is $1,800 for ICMA members, $2,000 for nonmembers, and includes course materials, continental breakfast daily and lunch. Organizations that send multiple participants are eligible for tuition discounts. The Academy is being held at Northern Illinois University's Naperville campus, 1120 East Diehl Road, Naperville, IL.


Convenient lodging is available at two hotels near the NIU Naperville Campus: 
1) Courtyard Marriott: 630-505-0550 or 800-321-2211
2) Hampton: 630-505-1400 or 800-426-7866 


The partners are the Northern Illinois University 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 Public Management and Training team 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.


“I recently accepted an invitation to be a speaker at the Midwest Leadership Institute sponsored by NIU's Center for Governmental Studies. After reviewing the program and listening in on a portion of one of the sessions, I came away most impressed. The program dealt with a subject which most public administration professors are ill suited to cover: interpersonal relations and related behavioral strategies for maximizing success under conditions of leadership stress. The course helps the participants develop and apply interpersonal behavior skills in ways that should enhance any manager's ability to manage more successfully the interpersonal dynamics that so often mean the difference between success and blunder. I only wish I had had such a course during my time as a public administrator!" - James M. Banovetz, Professor & Director Emetitus, NIU MPA Program and past Institute Speaker     

“The Institute helps you tap into new ways of thinking and addressing the changing environment of local government and the stressful situations that can arise. The course helps you understand the underlying causes of those stresses and how to better deal with them. The concepts help empower leaders and strengthen their interpersonal relations with Village Boards, peers, staff, family and their view of themselves. The Institute delves into leadership development, change management, team building, useful strategies and emotional conflicts. You come away with an introspective thinking and a better ability to look from the balcony instead of from the ground level interspersed in the crowd. You learn that sometimes you need to lean into conflict and it can strengthen your leadership. There were also situations given to help develop critical thinking and problem solving on your own and with a team to gain confidence in your new skills. Overall, the program gives you a toolbox to think and deal with situations in management in a new way with a new understanding." - Deborah Freischlad, Finance Director, Alsip, IL and past Institute participant  

“Managers must be collaborative with their Board members, staff, and the citizens and businesses in their communities. Not that we haven't been collaborative in the past, but in order to stay employed and perform our jobs well, we increasingly must understand underlying reasons and emotional causes for people's behavior whether as individuals or in groups. This seems like a no brainer. I assure you, after taking this course, gaining and practicing these skills is no easy task." - Rich Nahrstadt, Village Manager, Northbrook, IL and past Institute participant  

The Institute helped me by expanding my skill set as a leader and a manager, so I could have essentially more tools on my belt.  As a result, I can better address the challenges that are becoming more frequent or severe as the years go by — especially working with elected officials.

The concepts of leadership, judgment, power and power of the leader, organizational alignment, resistance to change, and self-awareness are especially relevant in today’s fractured political environment.  Developing an understanding of and applying these concepts are necessary to effectively manage and work with people in our organizations.

With respect to applying the concepts of judgment, I actually used the judgment triangle in my council orientation last spring; explained how it not only applies to individuals, but how it also applies to the council as an organization. I found the Academy extremely beneficial as I was able to take some of the concepts and apply them directly to my council, directly to my staff, and importantly, apply them to myself." - Rob Bahan, Village Manager, Winnetka, IL and past Institute participant  


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