Leadership Academy

"A leader's abilities are often tested at the crossroads of adversity and change." - M. Semi Bird


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The WSU Tri-Cities Leadership Academy provides future leaders with the core leadership skills necessary to meet the challenges of being a new leader. Too often organizations promote individuals based on their tenure and technical competencies, but give little consideration to the threat that an inexperienced and untrained leader poses to organizational effectiveness. Our “Leadership Boot Camp” will prepare individuals to hit the ground running and set the conditions for success.

At this tactical level of leadership, performance is the key. The WSU Tri-Cities Leadership Academy provides Front Line leaders with the necessary tools to form and lead high performing teams. Our “Performance Based Leadership” course produces results.

At this operational level of leadership, the balance between management and leadership is the key. This is where leaders must possess an effective baseline of management skills to ensure operational fluidity with in their functional areas while leveraging “Operational Design” to ensure organizational performance.

At the most strategic level of an organization, creating value for shareholders and stakeholders is the expectation, however; “Strategic Leadership” requires vision, innovation, and empowerment while managing the internal and external pressures that often come with the position.

Program Overview

In a 21st century global marketplace where competition is at an all-time high and organizations are expected to do more with less, effective and transformational leadership is the difference between organizational success and failure.

At the WSU Tri-Cities Leadership Academy, we develop high performing leaders by helping business professionals find their natural style of leadership and then providing them with the necessary tools to become highly effective leaders.

Emotionally intelligent and transformational leaders are the nexus to a high performing organization. This is why we have developed a suite of workshops that focus on developing leadership skills that are based on an individual’s natural traits and abilities. Our curriculum builds upon these natural traits which results in a natural, comfortable, and effective application of leadership. We fit our training to the student, not the student to the training.

The WSU Tri-Cities Leadership Academy has developed custom programs to meet the needs of; Aspiring, Front-Line, Mid-Level, and Senior Executive leaders.

  • Leading Operational Excellence

    • Leading Operational Excellence
    • Location: WSU Tri-Cities, Consolidated Information Center (CIC) Building, Room TBA
    • Physical Address: 2770 Crimson Way, Richland, WA, 99354-1671
    • Times: 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
    • Cost: $995

This course will redefine how leaders/managers view their functional areas of operation by reexamining the why and how of organizational effort. Participants will learn how to develop a strategic engagement plan capable of maximizing performance through deliberate action and employee engagement. Participants will leave with a greater understanding of how to lead operational excellence through strategic operational planning and organizational analysis.

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  • Leadership for the 21st Century

    • An Introduction to Personal and Professional Intelligence (PPI)
    • Location: WSU Tri-Cities, Consolidated Information Center (CIC) Building, Room TBA
    • Physical Address: 2770 Crimson Way, Richland, WA, 99354-1671
    • Times: 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
    • Cost: $1,995

This workshop is intended for leaders at all levels. It is the foundation to developing an individual’s natural style of leadership by focusing on one’s Personal and Professional Intelligence.

Prior to attending this dynamic 4-day event, participants will be administered the EQi-2.0 leadership assessment ($500 value) as part of the workshop curriculum.

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  • Team 2.0

    • Team 2.0
    • Location: WSU Tri-Cities, Consolidated Information Center (CIC) Building, Room TBA
    • Physical Address: 2770 Crimson Way, Richland, WA, 99354-1671
    • Times: 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
    • Cost: $595

Team 2.0 maximizes the social and behavioral capacity of the individual contributor to enhance interpersonal skills and facilitate dynamic team cohesion. Our proprietary model – Personal and Professional Intelligence (PPI) has been proven to maximize team performance.

  • Be administered a Level B psychometric assessment to baseline and determine current social skill sets
  • Receive the PPI model
  • Learn how to create value for the team through individual contributions
  • Learn to influence positive change through interpersonal communications and conflict resolution

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  • Aspire to Lead

    • Aspire to Lead
    • Location: WSU Tri-Cities, Consolidated Information Center (CIC) Building, Room TBA
    • Physical Address: 2770 Crimson Way, Richland, WA, 99354-1671
    • Times: 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
    • Cost: $995

Aspire to Lead

This dynamic course is based on our unique Employee – Centric methodology which has been proven to be one of the most effective leadership approaches to date.  We introduce those who would aspire to lead to our highly regarded Personal and Professional Intelligence (PPI) approach to transformational leadership. PPI helps aspiring leaders to find their natural style of leadership and successfully create value for the organization and workforce alike.

Study after study has shown that by preparing employees to lead prior to being promoted creates value for the organization and sets the conditions for leader success. This fast-paced activity driven course is intended to prepare tomorrow’s leaders for the challenges of leading a 21st century workforce.

To establish a natural style of leadership baseline, participants will be administered an Emotional Intelligence psychometric assessment.

Course participants will learn to:

  • Lead across generational boundaries
  • Maximize team performance through employee – centric engagement
  • Understand the balance of management and leadership
  • Build trust through authenticity and transparency
  • Facilitate crucial and effective communications
  • Create shared accountability through defined roles and responsibilities
  • Empower employees toward mission ownership

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Misipati “Semi” Bird

Meet the Instructor

Prior to joining the WSU Tri-Cities Professional Development & Community Education team, Semi transitioned from the battlefield to the boardroom with over 23 years of military service. As an Army Special Forces “Green Beret,” Semi received two of our nation’s highest awards for heroism and valor on the battlefield; the Bronze Star – Valor, and the Purple Heart, for wounds received in combat. Semi knows first-hand, the value of high performing teams and their impact on organizational performance. Semi has leveraged his experience of extreme leadership in developing a suite of highly effective workshops, seminars, and courses focusing on developing high performing teams and emotionally intelligent leaders.

Semi has held several senior positions in training and leadership development over the years in various sectors of industry to include; government, banking, and education. In his last position, Semi led strategic training initiatives as the Director of Training and Leadership Development for a U.S. government agency.

Semi earned his first graduate degree from Villanova University where he studied Human Resource development and is currently pursuing his PhD. in Education with emphasis on Global Training and Development. Semi holds certifications in Emotional Intelligence, Behavioral Analysis, Human Resources, Organizational Performance, Lean Six Sigma, and is currently an Executive in Residence at Washington State University.

Learning Outcomes


An authentic leader serves as a role model for moral and fair behavior. A transparent approach commands esteem and confidence from employees.

A leader who coaches effectively is seen as a mentor who supports employee growth. Employees are nurtured towards achieving their highest levels of performance.

A leader provides insight by sharing a purpose and hopeful vision for colleagues to follow. Employees are compelled and inspired to exceed goals.

An innovative leader focuses on taking risks, spurring colleagues’ ingenuity and autonomous thought. Knowledge is valued and challenges are viewed as learning opportunities.

  • Impulse Control
  • Stress Tolerance
  • Problem Solving
  • Independence
Contact Us

Contact the Professional Development & Community Education (PDCE) office at WSU Tri-Cities to learn more about the program. Always feel free to let us know your thoughts at your convenience!

Phone: 509-372-7174

Email: tricities.pdce@wsu.edu

Office hours are Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Learn our strategy for developing High Performing Individuals, Leaders, and Organizations.