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Bredenberg Associates provide proven approaches and leading-edge resources for harnessing your team's energy, talents, and creativity. Our coaches mentor leaders to cultivate cultures of trust, accountability, synergy, and get the work done. We equip your team with the leadership skills and innovation solutions to navigate nimbly and sustainably in today's environment of dynamic change.

Services we offer:

⚬ Leadership Development

⚬ Executive & Team Coaching

⚬ Strategic Visioning & Planning

⚬ High-Impact Workforce Training

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⚬ Train-the-Trainer & Certificate Programs

⚬ Organizational Learning Design & Systems

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Tuesday, February 20, 2018

What is The Work of Leaders?

Comprehensively researched, thought-provoking, and eminently practical VAE: The Work of Leaders stimulates fresh conversations and new perspectives regardless of the leader's knowledge or experience. It's an opportunity for leaders at all levels of learning to reflect on how they approach each step of their work along a "leadership continua" and helps leaders take action with personalized tips and strategies that give clear direction and are easy to apply. Introductory chapters introduce the steps of the VAE process, defines, demystifies, and contextualizes each one.

Book: The Work of Leaders: How Vision, Alignment and Execution will Change the Way You Lead by Julie Straw, Barry Davis, Mark Scullard, Susie Kukkonen

"The Work of Leaders is a bright gem of a book. In a crystal clear and to-the-point style, the authors make leadership instantly accessible with a memorable model, rock solid fundamentals, original research, compelling stories, and highly practical tips for putting the principles to immediate use. There are invaluable lessons on every page, and you'll enjoy discovering each one. We highly recommend The Work of Leaders to anyone who aspires to make extraordinary things happen in organizations."
—Jim Kouzes & Barry Posner, authors of the bestselling The Leadership Challenge®

Case Study: Creating a Legacy of Leaders to Shape the Future of Business Growth

Profile: The Work of Leaders

The Work of Leaders Model:

More details from Everything DiSC:

Everything DiSC Work of Leaders® is classroom training that uses online pre-work, engaging facilitation with contemporary video, and online follow-up to create a personalized learning experience. Based on best practices, Work of Leaders connects unique leadership styles to real-world demands, generating powerful conversations that provide a clear path for action.
Everything DiSC Work of Leaders approaches leadership as a one-to-many relationship, as opposed to the one-to-one relationship explored in Everything DiSC® Management. It focuses on tangible steps directed at leading a group or organization toward desired outcomes.
Using the framework of Vision, Alignment, and Execution, Work of Leaders encourages leaders to understand their own leadership styles and how they impact their effectiveness. Rich, compelling narrative adds depth to the data and strong visuals support the learning process by illustrating key messages.


  • Result of four-year research and development effort
  • Analyzed and distilled the work of prominent leadership researchers
  • Input from more than 300 subject-matter experts at over 150 organizations
  • Identified leadership best practices
If you are interested in learning even more about the profiles generated, reports, follow-up tools, facilitation and more, go to the Everything DiSC solutions page and select the yellow bar labeled Work of Leaders. It looks like this:
Intrigued? Give us a call (727-308-0812) or schedule a complimentary discovery session. We would love to chat with you about this possible solution for your team!

What is Leadership?

Evidenced by the hundreds of leadership books, podcasts and TED Talks, leadership is a complex and evolving process that has many elements and expressions. Fundamentally leaders lead groups of people from point A to point B...and onward to fulfill the purpose of their organization. To do this, leaders must craft and communicate a vision, build alignment, and champion execution. Simple, but rarely easy. All leaders bring their own ideas, experience and approaches to their leadership. They each have different styles and strengths. They may have proven track records and scores of achievements.
Man reading

But the question remains,
“Can you lead better...and how?”

Great leaders are lifelong learners. They learn from mentors, research, and from their own experience. Great leaders have discipline, grit and emotional agility.

In our work with leaders, we look at leadership as a practice, not just a position. We equip them with leading-edge tools and techniques for leveraging their strengths and expanding their leadership skills. We are always on the lookout for information and resources that can be quickly absorbed and applied. That’s why The Work of Leaders is a core element of our leadership coaching and development curriculum and activities.

Want to learn more about The Work of Leaders? Check it out here (video explanation included!)

Related article: Being Presidential

Being Presidential

This month we celebrate United States’ Presidents so it’s a great opportunity to look at what presidents are and what they do. Of course, there are many kinds of presidents... Presidents of countries, companies, boards of directors, clubs. All function as the leader of their organization--providing vision, direction and deploying resources for the fulfillment of its purpose.

The current US President’s style and behavior are causing many people to question what is expected of the presidential role. When should a leader’s personal “style” adapt to the expectations and function of the role? What does the position of president prescribe...and where is there room for personal expression? More than listening to what leaders say, followers watch how they act...and trust, follow and engage accordingly.

The lineage of US presidents provides an interesting perspective of leadership in the context of the country’s history and how individuals stepped into roles that they were selected* to fill...from the reluctant (and richest) founding president, George Washington, to our current celebrity POTUS, Donald Trump. While we aren’t scholars of history or presidents, we do work with presidents of companies and leaders of organizations, so understanding the roles and responsibilities of leadership and governance is a major part of our work.

Despite the lofty title, Presidents aren’t expected to know how to do everything. However, in their role as leader, they need to be able to set the direction and communicate a vision of success in ways that engage people to work together to achieve it. They preside over a group of people whose mission is to steer the organization in fulfilling its purpose. Presidents are where the “buck stops” and need to surround themselves with people who bring knowledge, experience, and expertise for their counsel. They need to foster trust and cultivate a culture of accountability. They should welcome productive conflict within their teams when it serves to expand perspectives and bring about better solutions.

Effective presidents assure that their teams are equipped with a working knowledge of governance and systems thinking, use data and policies to inform decision-making, and instill curiosity and collaboration in leading their organizations.

Can you lead better...and how?

For resources related to this topic, check out What is Leadership? and What is The Work of Leaders?

*I chose this word since the current Electoral College process, gerrymandered districts, confirmed Russian intervention and an entrenched two-party system that undermines, or certainly dilutes, a process where citizens’ votes actually elect a candidate by popularity.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Press Release: Bredenberg Associates Achieves Highest Sales Honor

Press Release   

February 7, 2018 

Contact Information:
Ingrid Bredenberg, M.A.
Bredenberg Associates

Local Business Achieves Highest Sales Honor

Minneapolis, MN—

Wiley, the developer of proven workplace assessment-driven solutions Everything DiSC® and The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team®, announced local business Bredenberg Associates as a 2017 Ruby award-winning Partner. This recognition commends Bredenberg Associates’ commitment to building better workplaces.

“We are excited to partner with professionals like Bredenberg Associates who want to make a difference in the world of work,” says Susie Kukkonen, Vice President of Partner Channels at Wiley. “Bredenberg Associates’ dedication to helping clients succeed, combined with their expertise in delivering Everything DiSC and The Five Behaviors is highly valuable to any organization. We are honored to have them as an Authorized Partner.”

About Bredenberg Associates
For over 30 years, Bredenberg Associates’ strategic consultants and trainers have been working with leaders and teams in healthcare, government, higher education and business helping them take their organizations to the next level. From visioning to action planning, Bredenberg Associates experts equip leaders with essential skills and cutting edge tools for organizational transformation. “Partnering with Wiley Publishing allows us to bring the best research-based assessments to our clients,” says Ingrid Bredenberg, founder and senior consultant. Bredenberg Associates has offices in Albany, NY, St. Petersburg, Florida and Durham, NC.

About Everything DiSC®
Everything DiSC is the leading suite of DiSC®-based workplace training and assessment solutions. These advanced applications combine online assessment, classroom facilitation, and post-training follow-up to create powerful, personalized workplace development experiences. With a global network of independent Partners, Everything DiSC solutions are used in thousands of organizations, including major government agencies and Fortune 500 companies.

About The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team®
The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team is the result of the partnership between Wiley and best– selling author Patrick Lencioni. This unique team program has a simple goal—to improve team effectiveness and productivity through the understanding and application of The Five BehaviorsTM: Trust, Conflict, Commitment, Accountability, and Results. Powered by the personality inventory of Everything DiSC and All TypesTM, The Five Behaviors highlights the impact of personality on team development, helping talented individuals discover how to work together as a cohesive team.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Leadership Quick Tip: Visioning

Become a better leader and team member by harnessing the energy of your desires, defining your dreams and sharing your vision.
  • Desires - Sometimes it’s easiest to start with what’s working that you’d like to change. Where is there pain or tension? What do you want instead?
  • Dreams - How would you be feeling if things were different? What would others be doing or saying? What would you be doing? Don’t worry about “how” this will happen. Focus on what you or your situation will look and feel when the shift has happened.
  • Visions - Write it down. Describe this new situation. Focus on the positive results. Draw a picture or take images from a magazine that represent this vision. Create a Vision Board or a Dream Book -- a collage of pictures and words that represent this desired state. Talk “as if” it has already happened.
In our Leadership Innovation Academy programs, we guide leaders and teams through a visioning process that ignites their creativity, aligns their visions and lays a foundation for planning and action.

This highly interactive 3 - 4 hour process helps teams:
     1. Create a shared vision of the future
     2. Clarify priorities and goals
     3. Engage and align team members
     4. Communicate compelling messages about their purpose

Want more information about the Leadership Innovation Academy’s Visioning Process? Contact us at (727) 308-0812

Monday, January 8, 2018

Desires, Dreams, Visions

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. -- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Martin Luther King JR - Free Pictures at Historical Stock Photos.comJanuary is the month that we celebrate a great man and a powerful leader, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The media, schools and workplaces share stories about his work and struggles. There are celebrations with speakers, music and activities designed to bring people together in unity and activism. Communities sponsor service projects inspired by his principles and activism.  

One of his most referenced speech is “I have a Dream”, first made in Detroit after he and an interracial group of dignitaries led 125,000 people in what was then the largest civil rights march in the country. He made a similar speech later at the even larger March on Washington.

What made this, and other speeches so compelling? What can we learn from Dr. King? Leaders, take note...

Vision - He paints a clear picture of a desired future where his “four little children...will be judged by the content of their character, not the color of their skin.” He goes on to describe a world where oppression is transformed into an “oasis of freedom and justice.” Leaders must consistently present a positive vision of the future that people can see, want to be part of, and be willing to work toward.

Storytelling and metaphor - People love stories. Good stories can be told and retold. They become the foundation upon which to build plans and take action. Metaphors give meaning and substance to abstract concepts like freedom, unity, service.  

Repetition and cadence - Important statements about purpose, priorities, and goals are worthy of repetition...particularly if they are positive and uplifting. We may not speak like Dr. King, but we can learn from the way he uses pace, pauses and tone to carry the listener along with the message.

Passion - It begins with a desire. Dr. King desired freedom from oppression and equal opportunity for all. You can hear the emotion in his voice and words. It ignites and resonates with emotions that humans can feel. If a leader isn’t passionate about the purpose or project...and communicates it with feeling, others won’t be inspired to engage and act.

Action - Dr. King walked his talk. He took risks. He stood for his values. He was inclusive. He was willing to change his mind when better information was presented. This is not the easy path. If leaders expect their teams to perform, they must show and model the way forward.

Continuous Learning - Dr King honed his speaking craft through his years of ministry, diplomacy, and activism. One learns to speak eloquently by practicing, practicing, practicing. Learning to speak clearly and compellingly is a leadership best practice that can (and should) be developed through coaching, video feedback, Toastmasters or public speaking courses. You will gain confidence, competence and comfort in communicating to groups of all sizes. This will help you be a better leader...and your followers deserve it.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Gratitude & Appreciation: The Overlooked Keys to Workplace Success

"Help people reach their full potential. Catch them doing something right.”
— Ken Blanchard, PhD & Spencer Johnson, MD

I am grateful photo

When was the last time that you expressed your gratitude towards a co-worker, a colleague, team, or even a manager? And I don’t just mean a “thank you.” I’m referring to specifics - a thank you of value to show that you truly notice another person’s talents and effort. Gratitude and appreciation work like magic...sparking motivation, elevating energy, and improving performance.  If your workplace is stressful, co-workers lack motivation, or goals lag...try catching people doing something right and showing appreciation on a regular basis. A few moments of positive, focused attention can help remedy the situation! Here’s a sneak peek from The New One Minute Manager, the updated classic resource for improving workplace environment and results through three powerful, yet simple secrets.

The New One Minute Manager Book
Ken Blanchard, PhD and Spencer Johnson, MD share their secrets to cultivating a productive, honest, and motivated team in “The New One Minute Manager” and it begins with gratitude. Their key to success in the workplace boils down to the fact that they understand people and what makes them tick.
Think of times when you excelled in life, whether routine as making your bed for a fresh new start on your day.  Or when you finished a project that took months or even years to complete but you produced something you were proud of.
What do they all have in common?
What was memorable about them that motivated you to keep going with that habit or to strive for further success?
It’s likely you felt good about yourself and had some...or even a lot of confidence.
One of the One Minute Manager’s “secrets” is that:

People Who Feel
Good About Themselves
Good Results

But there’s more… A simple “thank you” doesn’t cut it for providing the satisfaction and motivation that people need. There is more value in giving immediate and specific appreciation. Try to “catch people doing something right” and give them praise right then and there! A great way to do this is to take some time to roam the office and notice the great work people are doing. Use these moments to show your appreciation and give some praise; but remember, only give praise where it is deserved, otherwise, it acts as a demotivated and devalues those who work hard at what they do. When praising, be specific. Let the individual know what you noticed, why you appreciate her/his work and how it helped you and/or the team, and give encouragement to keep it up! Not only does this benefit the person receiving praise and motivate them to excel, but it also makes the praiser feel good about themselves and the leadership that they are providing! In the words of Blanchard and Johnson’s One Minute Manager:

Help People
Reach Their
Full Potential.

Catch Them
Doing Something

Strong leaders are those who provide meaningful encouragement and who inspire true growth in those around them. Expressing timely, deserved, and specific gratitude is a key to being a successful leader. When people feel appreciated they think and speak more positively, leaving less room for gossip, negativity, and frustration; they are more motivated to tackle and complete bigger and better projects; and the relationship between boss and employee evolves into one of partnership, where both parties have the desire to work together to achieve excellence. Take up the habit of expressing your gratitude and giving praise to those around you. I assure you, you’ll only receive positive results! After all, it is the season to be thankful!

We appreciate your dedication to your leadership journey
As a Change Agent, your efforts make a positive impact on everyone around you.
We equip leaders like you with innovative tools and techniques to help your team work better together.

Leadership Innovation Academy Team
(727) 308-0812
Schedule a complimentary Discovery Session by clicking here