Are You the Future of Banking?

MBA Leadership Development Academy


The future of banking is now. Cultivating high-performing leaders is the only sure-fire strategy to succeed in today’s rapidly changing banking environment. That’s why the MBA is so excited to announce the fifth offering of the MBA Leadership Development Academy.

As Baby Boomers move into retirement, the banking industry will need to identify and train our next generation of leaders. This world-class leadership development program is designed specifically to hone the leadership skills of high-potential, mid-career bankers in Minnesota. The program instructors, presented below, bring a wealth of experience and an approach that will challenge participants to grow as leaders. This will be an unforgettable experience that will help shape the rest of your career.  

The Ideal Candidate

There are no age requirements for this program. The ideal candidate is:
  • A mid-career banker with significant potential for leadership;
  • Highly motivated to take your banking career to the next level; and
  • Committed to helping your team and your bank succeed.

The Program in Detail

The program consists of four, two-day sessions over the course of 10 months. The class size will be limited to 25 participants. Tuition for the full year is $3,950.

In addition to the four in-depth training sessions, participants are highly encouraged to take part in the MBA’s Annual Summit and Bank Day at the Capitol.

To help make attendance at these events possible, participants will receive a 50 percent discount on registration for the two Annual Summits that bookend the program and will be allowed to attend Bank Day at the Capitol without charge during the class year. At the 2022 Annual Summit, you will be formally recognized as the new class of the MBA Leadership Development Academy and at the 2023 Annual Summit, you will be recognized as a successful graduate of the program.  

Session 1 - It’s Simple, But It Isn’t Easy

June 14-16, 2022

Location: Madden's Resort, Brainerd

Leadership of organizations, teams and individuals is based on timeless core principles. These principles are simple to understand but not as easy to implement, maintain and develop into outstanding results. Session 1 will explore these core principles of leadership while also inspiring motivation, discipline and dedication to the pursuit of excellence no matter the leadership challenge. 

Content for Session I includes:
  • Moving from Manager to Leader
  • The Personality Traits, Styles and Potential of Leaders
  • Teamwork – The Foundation of Organizational Excellence
  • Public Speaking with Confidence and Impact
  • Banks of the Future – Leveraging the Inevitable Changes
  • The Promises, Challenges and Necessity of the Digital Revolution

Session 2 – Do Something That Scares You
September 20-22, 2022 
Location: Sugar Lake Lodge, Grand Rapids

Leaders can emerge on every level of the organizational chart. Often what defines a leader is their willingness to face difficult situations that require courageous decisions or decisive action. In this session, participants will examine their own personal and professional willingness and comfort taking risks, challenging the status quo and engaging in out-of-the-box thinking. In addition, participants will explore how strong, high-performance teams push themselves to take risks and engage as one entity to meet uncertainty and challenge, enabling them to emerge as an even stronger organization. 

Content for Session 2 includes:
  • Leadership Lessons from the Navy SEALS
  • Communication Styles across the Organization
  • Pushing the Limits on What You Currently Know and Do at Your Bank
  • The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Speaking
  • Managing the Stress of Leadership
  • Navigating the Challenges of a Strong Team Culture

Session 3 – Limitations are Self Imposed
February 7-9, 2023
Location: Sugar Lake Lodge, Grand Rapids

Often, the limitations that come with change at the bank seem insurmountable. In reality, these limitations are self-imposed because leaders don’t have the knowledge, skill or experience to manage change. This session will focus on the inevitability of change in organizations, large or small, and will offer models and practices that will support leaders in taking a pro-active stance in directing that change. Participants will learn to leverage resources and communicate messages that will make any change, from core conversions to mergers to organizational re-structuring and staff turn-over, an event that can be directed for optimal bank outcomes. 

Content for Session 3 includes:
  • Recognizing and Managing Acute and Chronic Crises at the Bank
  • Peer-to-Peer Problem Solving
  • Emotional Intelligence as a Tool for Change
  • Crisis Communication
  • Leading a Team Under Pressure
  • Mission and Project Planning

Session 4 – Who Dares, Wins
May 16-18, 2023
Location: Sugar Lake Lodge, Grand Rapids

The final session focuses on a thorough assessment of the leadership knowledge, skills and experience gained during the year-long leadership development program to guarantee transfer back to the benefit of the bank. In addition, the imperative of “daring” to meet the challenges of bank leaders of the future will be emphasized, along with the understanding that the “win” of becoming a strong leader is beneficial to their banks, their communities and their lives. 

Content for Session 4 includes:
  • Using Organizational Culture to Drive Business Results
  • Recruiting and Hiring the Next Generation of Employees
  • Going Beyond – The High Performance Team
  • Building a Professional Network for Influencing and Impact
  • Becoming an Advocate for the Industry
  • Taking it Back – Realizing Personal and Professional Transformation

Learning Outcomes

At the conclusion of this program, participants will have the skills to:
  • Apply core concepts of – and know the difference between – leadership and management
  • Articulate and advocate persuasively for the bank and industry
  • Make courageous decisions crucial to the bank’s success
  • Think, plan and successfully execute bank initiatives
  • Deliver compelling business presentations
  • Motivate themselves and others to help the bank thrive
  • Contribute to the future of banking with innovative, forward thinking
  • Build and lead high performance teams
  • Develop organizational cultures that sustain success

The Approach

The three core faculty members for the MBA Leadership Development Academy represent a diverse and powerful set of skills and experiences. However, what makes their approach successful is their unique commitment to team teaching and learning. The entire faculty is always with the class, whether in the classroom or outdoors, putting into practice the very principles of leadership and teamwork that are at the foundation of the course. Although each instructor brings a different leadership specialization to the program that is reflected in the content they present, the connections between the content and the instructors are what ultimately provide real value back at the bank. The faculty have implemented this philosophy at banking leadership schools across the country, as well as with companies outside of banking – and the results are always incredible.

Location and Lodging Details

The program will kick off at Madden’s on Gull Lake, Brainerd.  The resort, situated on a lake with peaceful surroundings, offers a truly inspiring location to launch your experience as a participant in the Leadership Development Academy.

The remaining three sessions will take place at the Leadership Lodge at Sugar Lake Lodge near Grand Rapids. The Leadership Lodge is designed specifically to encourage teamwork, inspire creativity and take you to new heights.

Upon acceptance into the program, MBA staff will work with you to arrange accommodations at this location. Tuition does not include hotel costs, but does include all onsite meals. The contracted rates at Madden's Resort range from $151-$184 (plus taxes) per night and the Sugar Lake Lodge rates are $203.34 and $299.48 (includes sales tax and fees) per night.