top of page

Excelsior MBA Program Curriculum

Dr. James J. Lynn, begins each peer group session with a short overview of the topic.  You will receive a workbook for each session and work in a small study group of three to explore the issues and discuss implications  for your organization.   You will be able to  apply the lessons learned to your business.  

Your study group is self directed and you will be expected to meet monthly via zoom to work through the study materials.  

Each peer group session will be filled with useful educational topics to help you learn more about yourself and how to connect with others more effectively.  The following gives you a brief overview of the two year curriculum.


Crafting an operating system for your organization that produces great results


Introduction: An overview of the entire program.  We will start exploring the facets of leadership beginning with an introduction to the Baldridge Model. Then we will begin your own journey of self-awareness. You will complete a self-assessment and begin to discover your strengths, weaknesses and opportunities.



This day follows up on your self-assessment. The focus now will be on remedies, actions to grow and develop. A special execution-design, the four-part Navy SEAL Strategy will be taught to help you implement your development plan.  The roles of: visionary, integrator, and doer within yourself and your team will be discussed.


In this session we will create an accountability chart for you and your organization. Participants will clearly define roles and expectations for you and for your leadership team. Short-term, 90-day goals will be developed and a format for high-performance weekly meetings established.  These foundation skills will start to develop habits of accountability and drive for results.   


This session deals with the core communication skills of leaders. Learning to distinguish between observations and inferences, and how to be assertive in a respectful way. Then we will learn a powerful leadership skill that provides additional influencing abilities: situational leadership. Understanding leadership as an influencing process, this model of leadership focuses on empowering others without under-managing them.


In this session we explore the issues of customer focus. We will examine the myths of “we know what our customers want” and “all customers are good customers”. We will cover how to use the voice of the customer (VOC) to improve your products and services. We will examine your customer experience, ‘moments of truth’ in your customer value stream, and how to become more customer focused, leveraging authentic touch-points of your customer journeys tapping the right mix of technology and personal interactions.


In this session we identify the challenges and opportunities of performance measures. We will learn how measures and data impact all areas of the organization. We will look at performance and discuss why measures are important and how and when to collect them. A dashboard approach for ease of communicating performance measures will be discussed and you will see examples of developing “leading indicators” as a powerful productivity tool.


This session covers the importance of employees. Given the war on talent and retention and proliferation of HR technology in play, we’ll explore core questions such as: How do you uniquely select and on-board employees? How do you know how capable your people are? How do you figure out the right number of people for each position? And, how do you engage your workforce so they engage your customers? The goal: well-hired, trained and motivated people working in continually improving processes that delight customers.


Learning to “see”.  Operations-Work Systems and Processes are going lean. In this session we look at work processes and operational effectiveness. We introduce the latest ideas in process improvement and why it is so important. Issues of “cost control” and efficiency are popular with customers and we will explore ways you can foster operational effectiveness. With effective processes, you can do things: better, faster, and cheaper.


This session covers your organization’s performance and results in all key areas. Performance results are expected in: programs and process results, customer results, workforce results, leadership and governance results, and financial results. We will do an “armchair assessment” of your organization to give you an idea of how ‘mature’ your work unit is. The high performance operating system will be reviewed at this point.


This year is about your personal leadership development. You will be acquiring skills to help you better understand yourself, others, teams and your organization. You will be more aware, stronger in your actions, and clearer in your intentions.


This session deals with putting your self-assessment together, beginning to conceptualize what they mean, and how you can use this information to craft an Individual Development Plan (IDP). The JOHARI Window will be discussed and the role of emotions and expressing emotions developed and linked with emotional intelligence and authenticity. Clarifying your personal goals will be the priority in this session.


The Transtheoretical model of how we actually change. External and internal motivation. Helping others make positive changes on their own. OARS skills: Open questions, affirmation, reflective listening, and summary reflections. Change talk and spotting change talk. Resistance as a form of ambivalence.  Strategies to guide and facilitate change in others. Learn about designing and framing change in your organization.


Connecting with others. Learn about the JOHARI window and the core self-awareness skills. What are emotions? Self-disclosure, showing emotion and looking for feedback. How to handle feedback. Observations and inferences, the map is not the territory.


Why do we do what we do? Learn how our reactions are tempered by our thoughts about the events we experience. The structure of experience and using it to lead effectively and manage your emotions. Interpretations and the common mental errors we tend to make. Four steps to becoming healthier and happier. Daily log sheet, the ABCs.


How do problems develop? Starting with your purpose for having the conversation. The structure of experience and candid conversations. The three-part assertive message. Practicing this core skill of getting your needs met and setting clear boundaries.


Developing the skills of empathy and listening. Supporting others while maintaining boundaries.


Assessing the maturity of your leadership team. The stages teams go through to become high performing. It starts with trust. Dealing with the recalcitrant team member. The pulse of your organization, shaping your leadership team.


Working with others: engaging, focusing, evoking, and planning. Guiding others to make positive changes on their own that last. Dealing with challenging situations. Empowering your team to be their best. Disney strategy for innovation.


Having a clear strategy, people are on the same page. The ADLI method: approach, deployment, learning and integration as a way to measure organizational development.


Take the Tribal Culture Survey. The five stages of tribal cultures and the four core cultures: control, collaboration, competence, and cultivation. Organizational structure and culture. How do people treat each other? Is it safe to speak up?


The big ideas of the past Excelsior MBA sessions are summarized. You reflect on what you have learned. Results of your Individual Development Plans (IDP) are being successfully implemented.

Once you complete the pre-enrollment form, you’ll schedule a 15-minute, no-cost Zoom® session

with Jim. Together you’ll determine whether making a 2-year commitment to a Virtual CEO Peer

Support Group and Excelsior MBA program is for you.

bottom of page