Top Barge Waggoner execs graduate from customized leadership institute
By Janel Shoun-Smith on 9/14/2012
Thirty-three key leaders of Barge Waggoner Sumner & Cannon (BWSC), an engineering and architecture services firm with nine offices in three states, recently graduated from an 18-month customized leadership training program designed by the School of Executive Education in the Lipscomb University College of Business. The graduates were honored at a dinner and ceremony held on the stage at the Ryman Auditorium.
BWSC Nashville Graduates
Jennifer Greer Speich
Dothan, Ala., Graduate
Huntsville, Ala., Graduates
Dayton, Ohio, Graduates
Birmingham, Ala., Graduate
BWSC, consistently ranked in the top 200 engineering firms in the U.S., chose to collaborate with Lipscomb’s executive education program to create a customized training program that met the specific needs of the company. Topics ranged from negotiation and leadership to team building and risk management. Classes were held at unique locations around Nashville such as the Tennessee governor’s executive residence and speakers were brought to Nashville from throughout the nation.
BWSC participants were selected based on leadership potential as well as current responsibilities. The firm’s objective was to prepare a new generation of leadership to lead the way to growth.
“Barge Waggoner Sumner and Cannon is interested in building the whole professional. We learn a lot in architectural and engineering school about our trade and the technical aspects of our business. What we don’t learn a lot about are negotiations, risk management, leadership, coaching, mentoring and team building,” said Bob Higgins, CEO of BWSC. “As a company, we take deliberate steps to help our professionals develop those skills both on the job and in these special training programs.
“Following through on this program was a great commitment for BWSC to take in a tough economy. Lipscomb’s ability to tailor the program to fit our needs by including community leaders, clients and other various real world aspects that effect our business has worked well, and we have already seen great results from the participants who have gone through this program,” said Higgins.
The School of Executive Education developed a customized leadership institute for companies seeking a new and innovative way to grow leaders within. Sessions are taught by faculty and other professionals from around the country, as well as from Lipscomb. Highly effective and successful leaders in business, government, nonprofits and the other organizations in the Nashville community share their insights.
The School of Executive Education works to create the right environment for the right topic by holding discussion sessions in fun locations such as the Nashville Entrepreneurship Center, the governor’s mansion, industry-specific locations or retreat environments. A series of topics and interactive, one-on-one and real-world events are developed specifically for the corporation. Leadership trainings can last for a half-day or as long as 18 months.
“The School of Executive Education in the College of Business at Lipscomb University was honored to be selected by Barge Waggoner Sumner and Cannon to develop the curriculum and offer this course to its future leadership team,” said Lipscomb College of Business Dean Turney Stevens. “Through collaboration with the firm, we believe we developed one of the most dynamic and innovative leadership programs in the nation and we look forward to incorporating many of the ideas into our own MBA and other master’s degree programs.”
The program created for BWSC focused specifically on accounting, negotiation, risk management, emotional intelligence, communication and team building as well as leadership, said John Lowry, then associate dean for executive education and now executive director of Spark, Lipscomb’s Idea Center.
“Participants received a comprehensive assessment of their leadership skills; developed communication, conflict management and collaboration skills; discovered the business acumen to design and implement strategies at work; and learned it all in a way linked directly to BWSC’s overall strategic plan,” said Lowry. “What makes our approach to executive education unique is that we strive to not only educate businesspeople, but to make that education fun and interactive, thus engaging the people involved and boosting retention and use of the concepts learned.”
For more information on customized leadership programs, contact Lowry at 615-516-2003.