Developing Strengths

lead graphicModule Topic: Developing Strengths–Yours and Others
Presenters: Adrian Bass & Mike Oyster
Date Offered: April 20, 2023
Location: Charlotte City Hall, Community Room

Module Description. How does a leader develop employees who are trying to do their best?  Most employees hired at your organization are not there to do a bad job, rather they want to succeed in their work.  They want to help the organization be profitable, successful, and sustainable and to meet the needs of the customers.

Strength-based leadership enables you and your employees to continuously improve and develop personally, professionally and organizationally. In this module we will use case studies, inquiries and an interactive experiment to share methods and examples for employee development.  This will include seeking to surface the “elephants in the room,”* and learning to “reframe” them to discover positive solutions for change.

* An expression for an obvious truth that is being ignored or an obvious problem or risk no one wants to discuss.

The Presenters: Adrian Bass is a leader, manager, and educator with over 25 years of experience combining curriculum development, program planning and adult training. Eleven of those years Adrian was at Lansing Community College as Director of Capital Quality Initiative (CQI), instructor and facilitator of quality management and instructor of computer software.

She values the importance of lifelong learning and always focuses on the customer. Though officially retired, she keeps busy with volunteer work, gardening, canning, and traveling to faraway places (like Antarctica).

Adrian’s volunteer work in Charlotte includes chairing the Leadership Pillar with the community organization CanDo! (Charlotte Area Networking for Development and Opportunity) as well as Vice Chair on the Sparrow Eaton Development Council Executive Board, and on several advisories’ boards.

Adrian graduated from Michigan State University with bachelors and master’s degrees in education. She lives in Charlotte, Michigan with her husband and two beagles on a 75-acre farm, where they have beehives and sell honey for a hobby.

Mike Oyster, an Olivet College alumnus, led a storied career before returning to his alma mater.  He is now the executive chairman of the Business and Economics Department including the Risk Management and Insurance Center and the Global Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership.  He is an active member of the Can-Do LEAD leadership team, committed to investing in the future of Eaton County business leaders.

As a former CEO of publicly traded and private companies, a multinational corporate executive and entrepreneur, Oyster brings a wealth of experience to his passion for developing leadership skills in individuals to achieve personal and career excellence.  “I worked for AT&T, the world’s largest corporation at the time, for 20 years. I led mid-size businesses, both established and start-ups, and experienced all facets of the business world including successful IPOs and significant financing transactions. I built and ran a small software company and became the CEO of a public corporation, becoming experienced in mergers and acquisitions as well as corporate restructuring. Finally, I started my own company as an entrepreneur, making use of the learning and relationships gained throughout my career.”

Michael was founder and CEO of Wise Connect, Inc. a national technology services company LLC.  He has formerly been a member of the Board of Directors of a publically traded holding  company  and became its Chief Executive Officer and President. Mr. Oyster has more than 30 years of experience in the communications, computer hardware and software industries.  Mr. Oyster was President and Chief Operating Officer of ZoEmail LLC, an early stage technology company focused on secure electronic messaging systems.  Mr. Oyster has held a number of senior executive positions including Chief Operating Officer of Fusion Telecommunications International, a global telecommunications company,  Executive Vice President  of Network Plus, Inc., an integrated telecommunications company, President of Network Plus Local services, a competitive local exchange company and ISP,  Corporate Vice-President and President of four New York subsidiaries for Teleport Communications Group, a pioneer telecommunications company, and had a successful 20 year career with AT&T including Director of its wholesale markets’ $3 billion business unit, National Sales Director, and Enterprise Technology product and marketing manager, managing the first nationwide introduction of a business product line  by AT&T. Mr. Oyster has also traveled worldwide with John Maxwell and the Equip Foundation, a non-profit leadership development association . He earned his Master of Science in management at Purdue University’s Krannert School of Business, and completed the Executive Program for International Management at the University of Pittsburgh’s Katz Graduate School of Business, as well as the AT&T Leadership Development Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a B.A. with honors from Olivet College.

“I thrive on seeing others achieve their goals, passions and dreams,” he said. “Investing in others’ achievements is key to individual fulfillment and hones your own skills and abilities as a leader. The students at Olivet College are fantastic. They have dreams that will be achieved, and providing the catalyst for their ideas to be built on is what teaching and leading is all about.  Being a part of the Charlotte LEAD experience is all about translating theory and practical experience into actionable steps to the success of each participant.”