Razor's Edge Leadership Series

Last year we completely revamped our Razor’s Edge Leadership Series and our participants told
us it was a success! This year we plan to keep the full day format and also bring back the leadership
mentors that help us add real world context to all of our topics.

Our mornings will be spent focusing on supervisory skills, particularly those that are important from a
human resources perspective. While many of these topics may seem as if they are geared more toward a human resources professional, we will examine them through the lens of a supervisor. Our afternoons will be spent on a wide ranging variety of leadership topics and we will conclude each day with time spent with our mentors. A networking lunch is also included with the program each day. 

Note: The afternoon sessions will be limited to 30 people. 


Sessions Schedule Our Mentors Our Speakers Event Details


All Day SESSIONS - 9:00 A.M. TO 4:00 P.M.

Nov. 6th – Leadership Now Conference

The Leadership Now Conference is focused on the importance of leadership in our rural region. This
event features both keynote and breakout sessions for participants at all levels of leadership. The cost of attending the conference will be covered as part of your enrollment in the Razor’s Edge Leadership Series.

This event will be held on a Thursday  at the Bridge View Center. 


Morning Sessions - 9:00 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.

Sept. 18th – Employment Law Basics 

This session will provide a general overview of basic employment law and compliance issues
that provide the foundational framework for a supervisor. A grasp of employment law will help
avoid legal pitfalls while helping create and sustain a welcoming and equitable environment.

Oct. 16th – Harassment & Discrimination

Supervisors and managers play a key role in recognizing and responding to sexual and other forms of harassment and discrimination. This training will raise supervisors’ awareness and provide the tools to help prevent and resolve instances of sexual and other forms of harassment while creating and sustaining a culture of civility and respect in the workplace.

Dec. 18th – Recruiting & Hiring: Becoming the Employer of Choice

Hiring and onboarding is the most critical, yet often most mismanaged, part of an employee’s career. This session will provide tools and insights to help you find and retain the best of the best as an
employer of choice.

Jan. 15th – Hiring and Retention for a Diverse Workforce

Attracting and retaining a diverse workforce doesn’tend with recruiting, it only begins with recruiting.
It requires creating and sustaining a welcoming and inclusive environment that creates a sense of
belonging and engagement for all employees.

Feb. 19th – Performance Management

In this session, we will discuss how to effectively evaluate an employee’s performance. While yearly
evaluations are still standard in many companies, effective performance management goes beyond
the yearly sit down and is effectively driven by best practices in setting expectations, transparency, and accountability.

Mar. 18th – Discipline & Parting Ways (Part 1)

While no one looks forward to disciplining or firing
employees, it is a reality that these situations will
occur from time to time. Disciplinary issues and
termination of employment effects recruiting,
retention, employee relations, morale, productivity
and more. Numerous legal risks may arise as well
when an employer fires an employee.

Mar. 18th - Workplace Flexibility (Part 2)

The bottom-line benefits of workplace flexibility are increasingly important for employee productivity
and retention. Less attention has been paid to the challenges faced when integrating flexibility into
work groups. In this session we will discuss the essentials of workplace flexibility including how to
supervise remote employees, tools and technology, and legal and operational considerations of
alternative work arrangements.

Apr. 15th – Superstar Supervisor Metrics

Depending on your background, as a part of the leadership team, it is essential that you understand
how your business generates profit and have the ability to read basic financial statements. In this
class, your instructor will guide you through the basics of operational key performance indicators
and business finance.

May 20th – Time Management

There are never enough hours in the day, but you can learn to be more effective with the ones you
are given. This session will provide you with several action steps that will allow you to take control of
your day and make sure you are unleashing all of your productive potential. We will cover managing
time, wasting time, personal time study, planning and tools, the Eisenhower Matrix, meetings, and

Note: Lunch will be provided from 11:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. for those who have registered for the complete series (full day).


Afternoon Sessions - 12:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Sep. 18th - Toolbox 101 for New Leaders

This practical, meaty program is designed to help new leaders understand several of the key roles,
responsibilities, and expectations of leaders within an organization, and how to face each with skill and thoughtfulness.

Oct. 16th - Friend to Supervisor

Transitioning from friend to supervisor is one of the most challenging experiences that many new
leaders face. Learn how to navigate this change in relationship with professionalism and earn your new employees’ respect.

Dec. 18th - Leadership in Action (Panel Discussion)

In this popular session, area leaders will join Indian Hills President, Dr. Marlene Sprouse, in a question
and answer session designed to let participants ask experienced leaders about their path to leadership and how leadership theory can be turned into successful action.

Jan. 15th - Goal Setting: How to Chart the Path

In order to lead the way, you have to know where you are going. In this session participants will learn
the basic framework for strategic planning and goal setting. Best practices for keeping yourself and your team on track will also be discussed.

Feb. 19th - Carrots, Sticks, and Other Possibilities: What Motivates People?

This fun and engaging session will help participants identify the three essential ingredients of workplace motivation, and discuss several common workplace practices that tend to squelch employee motivation.

Mar. 18th - Difficult Conversations

While difficult conversations are never easy, there are steps leaders can take to help ensure they go as
smoothly as possible. Participants will learn some practical strategies for preparing for and engaging
in difficult conversations.

Apr. 15th - The Power of Listening

The ability to listen is an overlooked skill that consistently ranks among the most valuable traits
that a leader may possess. This session will discuss the power of listening first and speaking second,
as well as provide strategies for strengthening your personal listening abilities.

May 20th - Confidence with Conflict

Conflict is all around us – at work and at home. It is inevitable because no two people are exactly
alike. Conflict can be destructive or constructive, invigorating or draining. To manage conflict more
effectively and create a quality environment, people have to be willing to understand why conflict occurs and demonstrate a variety of strategies for dealing
with different people.

Note: Unless otherwise noted, these sessions will all meet in the Hills Diner on the main Ottumwa campus.


Razor's Edge Mentors:

Deb Cardin

Deb Cardin, RN, MS, FACHE worked in healthcare for more than 40 years. After serving in a variety of hospital and clinic nursing positions, she became a nursing instructor at IHCC then Program Director. Later she accepted the role of Chief Nurse Executive at Jefferson County Health Center where she was named the 2004 Iowa Organization of Nurse Leaders “Outstanding Nurse Executive”.  In 2008, she assumed the position of Chief Executive Officer and earned the distinction as a Fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives. She was also named to the 2012 “100 Great Iowa Nurses”. Now retired and living in Otley, Deb volunteers at both Hospice and the Senior Health Insurance Information Program.

Dr. Jim Lindenmayer

Dr. Lindenmayer’s educational career spanned nearly 40 years and encompassed the areas of admissions, financial aid, community education, human resources and culiminated in being President of Indian Hills Community College for 12 years. During his tenure as President, enrollment grew from 3500 students to a high of over 5500 students.  The scholarship endowment, which in itself is rare for a community college grew from 2 million dollars to about 25 million dollars. Jim was also instrumental in bringing a Job Corps Center to Ottumwa.  Since Jim’s retirement he has remained active by working briefly as a community college liaison with the University of Iowa, and serving on several local boards.  He is the current Chair of the National Job Corps Association, a trade organization located in Washington, D.C., and was recently appointed by the Governor to a position on the Iowa Board of Regents. Jim has an undergraduate degree from William Penn University, a Master’s from Truman State University and a Ph.D. from the University of Iowa.

Pete Nelson

Marvin “Pete” Nelson is a graduate of Fairfield High School and Parsons College and has spent his professional career in Fairfield’s manufacturing sector. Trained as a machinist, Pete worked his way up in several area companies and then launched his own venture, The Nelson Company in 1972. Pete built the company and served as President through 2005. He remains Chairman of the Board of directors at Nelson’s. Pete also actively serves on the Board of Directors for Faircast, Inc, the Vick Rail Scholarship Foundation, Nelco Farms Inc, and Roberts Park LTD. Over the years he has been involved with numerous other Fairfield and state organizations, including the Fairfield Community School Board, Fairfield Manufacturing Association, and Iowa Association of Business and Industry. Pete is also a pilot and Certified Flight Instructor.

John Pothoven

John Pothoven served four years in the United States Air Force and then began his civilian career as area teacher of agriculture. Soon John’s career path lead him into banking and it was in this industry that he spent 37 years, culminating in positions of President and Board Chair at MidWestOne Bank in Oskaloosa. John has served on numerous area boards, Including the Board of Indian Hills Community College where he has been the Board Chairman since 2009. He has also served, or is serving, on the Oskaloosa Community School Board, Oskaloosa Chamber Board and the Mahaska Health Partnership Board. John has been recognized many times for his community leadership, and the awards that he has received include: Outstanding Service to the American Institute of Banking, Citizen of the Year in Oskaloosa, the Iowa Governor’s Volunteer Award.

Joni Silverstein Sexton

Joni Silverstein Sexton is an award winning executive who has been recognized for outstanding achievement in marketing, business development, and general management. She spent a large portion of her career in the newspaper publishing industry and has held a variety of positions, including President and Publisher and Vice President, Corporate Market Development. In 2009, Joni switched gears and took on the role of running a non-profit, the Delaware Girls Initiative. During this time she cofounded Young@Art, a social enterprise that allows adjudicated youth to produce artwork and receive half of the revenue generated from the sale of their pieces. Joni continues to work as a Consultant and is an adjunct instructor for Workforce Solutions at Indian Hills.


Razor's Edge Speakers

Speakers Bios Comming Soon. 


Event Details: 

Maximum: 30 participants per session. 

Complete Series: VOC*4008*201 
Early Bird Price (Before 08-26-2019): $1,495
Regular Price: $1,595 

Location: Ottumwa Campus, Main Dining Hall 


moyer_profileAshley Moyer, Executive Director, Continuing Education & Workforce Solutions

Indian Hills Community College

525 Grandview Avenue Ottumwa, Iowa 52501

Phone: (641) 683-5227 or (800) 726-2585, ext. 5227
Email: Ashley.Moyer@indianhills.edu