Participation in the MSOL Program was a real lifetime highlight for me, and I know your leadership created this opportunity for so many people.
Phil Islet, MSOL graduate
The MSOL program proved to be a time of personal as well as professional development for me. While the program affirmed me in some ways it challenged my thinking in a surprising number of areas and opened my mind to new perspectives on people, problems, and possibilities. Dr. Dittmar provided a wealth of experience and personal mentoring and served as both a knowledgeable teacher and encouraging friend throughout the process.
Steve Mitchel, MSOL graduate
The MSOL experience was life-changing. Professionally I grew in skills, confidence and the ability to be a greater asset to the work I am given. Personally, the cohort served as a powerful support and encouragement system to reach higher. Spiritually, I was able to connect leadership to the scriptures to my own gifts to see that indeed God has a plan for me and it’s good.
Dr. Dittmar was a mentor, a coach, a teacher and head cheerleader. He pushed us all to dig deeper and not settle for the easiest or obvious answers. We had no doubt that he cared about us as people as much as he was committed to our learning.
This is an age where learning is more and more fragmented, online and separated by time and distance. This MSOL cohort provided an intellectually and professionally challenging opportunity within a caring and supportive community.
Kimberly Roberson, MSOL graduate
My MSOL experience was exceptional. I have gained a wealth of knowledge in understanding the many aspects of leadership. This experience has helped me develop into a better leader with new skills, which I am able to use daily. I have also developed greater confidence in my abilities as a leader, and as a direct result, I am poised and prepared for new opportunities for advancement within my company.
As I reflect on my MSOL experience and the many different concepts, theories, and models that have shaped my perspective and worldview of leadership, a few attributes come to mind such as trust, purpose, influence, relationship, and accountability. Furthermore, this experience has enabled me to be a more compassionate, tolerant and supportive leader personally and professionally. I have learned how to deal with conflict better and increased my level of emotional intelligence as well.
Dr. Dittmar was always engaged, no matter the topic, and he enjoyed challenging our assumptions and giving us “food for thought” to ponder. Dr. Dittmar not only wanted to develop our leadership capacity, but also to unlock our creativity and hidden potential, which helped to enrich our experience. This engagement and the interactions with those in my cohort helped open my mind to understand other perspectives and often led to very dynamic conversations.
As a Production Supervisor, I am more confident, and a more effective communicator. The knowledge gained in the MSOL program and the mentoring Dr. Dittmar provided has been invaluable.
Keith Thompson, MSOL graduate
The MSOL Program, under the leadership of Dr. James Dittmar, opened an entirely new perspective to my work and personal life. Concepts like self-reflection, world view, decisive and consensus decision making, emotional intelligence, and strategic thinking are some of the concepts that I learned and applied to my life and work. I realize now that Leadership is about the process of influencing change through relationships in others to become transformational, servant leaders. Servant Leadership is putting the highest needs of your people first and in return new leaders will emerge making everyone stronger.
The recently published book, A Leadership Carol by Dr. James Dittmar and Dr. John Stanko (a professor in the MSOL Program) captures much of the MSOL curriculum. In their book, they describe the L.E.A.D.E.R.S Development Model. The letters in the acronym L.E.A.D.E.R.S. stand for Leadership, Ethics, Alignment, Decision Making, Engagement, Resilience, and Stewardship. This model serves as my guide to center me around what Leadership should be in a transactional leadership world where Leaders are seen as almighty bosses who dictate without question for fear of reprisal.
I now actively listen more than I talk as understanding other views helps me frame and communicate my message more effectively. The Meyers-Briggs personality assessment was a watershed moment for me as I had no idea people did not receive and process information like I do. Leadership is about doing and doing it in an ethical manner. When I engage with employees as followers and leaders through the eyes of emotional intelligence, they are intrinsically motivated to respond and open up their talents in way that I never imagined. For me personally, this is the way I want to lead.
Dr. James Dittmar was the heart and soul of the program giving is perspective, application, and genuine honesty about what it takes to Lead effectively in today’s competitive global market. Under Dr. Dittmar’s leadership, we experienced the cohort style of learning which in my view is the most effective. Having a classroom experience with the same group of students, with significant experience allowed us to share experiences as Dr. Dittmar lectured on new concepts. The interaction about what concepts meant and how they are to be applied professionally and personally really helped me dig deeper into what real Leadership is. Thank you Dr. Dittmar for that experience. As a bonus, I now have a new circle of friends who are resources in this Leadership journey.
Bill Holtz, MSOL graduate
The Master of Science in Organizational Leadership (MSOL) program that Jim Dittmar founded and directed was absolutely transformative. It was not only eye-opening and life-changing for me personally, but the program also had a significant impact for me professionally as well, helping to expand the breadth of career opportunities and shape the organizations I subsequently participated in. I’m confident the original vision and mission could not have anticipated the reach of the program’s influence, as we’ve leveraged much of Dr. Dittmar’s work for our own organization’s professional development efforts.
Dave Fowler, MSOL graduate