Spirit and Style

lead graphicModule Topic: Leadership Spirit and Style
Presenter: Mike Oyster
Date Offered: February 2, 2023
Location: Charlotte City Hall, Community Room

Module Description: Often, new leaders have the mistaken belief that a “title” or a college credential will make them an effective leader. While these are both desirable, and affirm a certain degree of knowledge or experience, in and of themselves they will not equate to effective leadership.

Effective leadership develops over time and is a journey of learning how to intertwine formal training, personal, professional, and volunteer experiences, personal beliefs, and formal and/or informal power channels, to influence and motivate others toward an end result.

This course will expose you to three leadership theory models spanning 1964 to present day in an effort to provide understanding of organizational practices that may be remnants of days gone by and identify current best-practices. Class activities have been designed to help you identify your leadership style, and the leadership styles of those above you and below you in your organization. Furthermore, engaging activities will explore how your industry influences leadership styles within your organization. Finally, participants will participate in peer-coaching dialogues to consider how this information will help them be effective as a leader, a co-worker, and a subordinate within their organization, desired position or community service role. [Guidance on peer coaching will be provided prior to the session].

The Presenter: Michael 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.”