Past Events 2017-06-23T08:10:47+00:00

Board Dynamics and Effective Leadership Events


Each event that we have participated in has provided a unique opportunity to share aspects of emotional connection in effective leadership. LFE speaks at all types of events and would love to take your audience to the next level. If you would like to have a seminar on effective team or board dynamics, please contact us.

The Orange County Fraud Conference provided us an opportunity to speak to internal auditors and fraud prevention professionals about the power of emotional connection. All fraud can be prevented with emotional connection. Internal auditors can sharpen all their skills and tools by understanding their own emotion and developing a safety with their teams.

The two day conference was held by The Institute of Internal Auditors, Information Systems Audit and Control Association, and the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners.

View the slides from the event:

Effective Fraud Prevention

Taking Board and Team Dynamics to the Next Level

Dr. Lola Gershfeld - TrustmakersEveryone wants to be a more effective leader – becoming one starts with emotional connection. Understanding emotion allows you to increase trust, collaboration, and results. Dr. Gershfeld had a wonderful time sharing her insights at Concordia University in Irvine. With several exercises to put the lessons into practice, we were able to really dive into the power of emotional connection.

During the event, Lola spoke about the Board/Team Dynamics Process along with ways business leaders can become more emotionally accessible, responsive, and engaged. After the talk, Lola led a productive conversation about how teams can get better results by harnessing their emotion.

View the entire presentation below:

The 2016 Board Dynamics Session prepared attendees in their role as CEO, Chairman, Lead Director, or Director with strategies to bring and keep their board united and strong during times of adversity.


2016 Board Dynamics Session Panelists

From left to right, Michael Gallagher, Susan Swenson, Cary Hyden, Dr. Lola Gershfeld PsyD, Gene Goda, Ed Merino

With the help of our expert panelists, the 2016 Board Dynamics Session was a great success. We wanted to take a moment to reflect on the event and highlight some of the particularly valuable points.
The event started out with a comprehensive summary of the Allergan transition from Michael Gallagher and Cary Hyden. Gallagher shed light on the intensity of the hostile take-over attempt and how the board stayed together even through negative public reaction and personal attacks. He attributes the board’s success to his open style of communication. Whenever one of his directors needed to vent and curse the wind, he would actively be available to them – late night calls and all.

Susan Swenson brought a very interesting perspective as she has recently moved from the Chair of the Board role of Novatel Wireless to the CEO role. Her unique view made our discussion well rounded and useful. Because Sue has served on so many different boards and in different capacities, she was able to tackle the big subjects of controlling stress and increasing engagement by creating a safe and sometimes fun environment. This was especially interesting as Sue also serves on the Wells Fargo board with 15 other directors.

We had two main stories to focus on. One was the Allergan hostile takeover fight where the board performed extremely well under the circumstances, and the other was the story brought to us by Gene Goda. Gene was working with a board that abandoned him in times of crises. Contrasting the failure of one board and the success of another was helpful in deciphering the way emotions played into the outcomes of both stories. Gene was interviewed by Dr. Lola Gershfeld who specializes in emotional focused training for CEOs and Directors. Dr. Gershfeld was able to examine the ramifications of poor emotional connections and how stress and fear played into each board’s performance.

Our resident executive board expert, Ed Merino moderated the event. His insight and well thought out questions kept the discussion moving and the audience engaged. Overall it was a great event and we look forward to our next session! If you would like more information on our sessions and what LFE does, please email us at info@levelfiveexecutive.com.

Creating Higher Board Engagement

Board Dynamics Session 2015Serving on a board should be a rewarding and uplifting experience. Yet, many board members struggle to stay engaged and focused on the task at hand.

Board meeting is the central experience with the organization; its success, or lack thereof, can impact a  company in many ways – meeting goals, being profitable, retaining talent, and fulfilling the mission – or not.

Those who serve on boards can benefit greatly from employing tools that can help a board accomplish all that it can and should.

At a November 13, 2015, Board Dynamics Seminar, attendees were empowered with the knowledge and skills needed to improve board interaction, engagement, and effectiveness by focusing on effective leadership skills and board dynamics. A panel of experts weighed in on the topics presented while attendees utilized a series of proprietary tools and materials to enhance the learning experience.

The program covered the following topics:

  •        Identify structures that improve your board function and effectiveness
  •        Create an environment for collaboration that delivers results
  •        Design effective agendas and board meetings to insure engagement and cooperation
  •        Incorporate best practices to avoid common pitfalls

Dr. Lola Gershfeld, founder of LFE, says she saw the need for the seminar series – and the tools she developed to optimize board interaction – because many boards don’t function at their highest potential.

“Engagement is the key,” says Dr. Gershfeld, “Boards deliver better results when members are fully engaged.”

She explains, “I find that boards are often seeking ways to improve members’ engagement and decision-making processes. They often want to be connected with each other and feel confident sharing ideas, opinions, and their experiences. Unfortunately, many boards create an environment that is perceived as competitive or even combative. Board members simply want to know that they are valued and that their contributions matter.”

The Board Member Kit that was included in the seminar was created as the result of academic research and work with boards of directors. It assists board members and those who work with board members in organizing board meetings and providing a foundation upon which board members can build productive, positive relationships that ultimately affect the bottom line.

Board Dynamics Session 2015One of the most popular items in the tool kit is a set of “Be Cards.” Each card focuses on one of 11 essential interaction skills necessary for establishing trusting relationships in the boardroom – and beyond. The kit also includes a manual entitled, “Board Dynamics Structures”, a Board Meeting Checklist, a Board Dynamics Structures Questionnaire, and a Board Meeting Observation Worksheet.

Dr. Victoria Collins, who serves on the board of First Foundation Bank and was one of the panelists, said, “I have served on many boards over the years, and I have never seen this kind of thoughtfulness given to the board process. Talk about leadership! Dr. Gershfeld is clearly a leader in this area. Her workbooks and support materials are simply outstanding.”

Ed Chan, CEO of C Pacific Foods, said of the seminar, “Many communication tactics  were presented that I hope to employ with my executive team. I am also thinking of forming a Board of Directors for my company. I think Level Five Executive could help us in choosing our board members, as well.”

Dr. Gershfeld has listened to the stories of many board members who have related their negative experiences serving on boards and the arguing, criticizing and blaming that often occurs.

“I want people to know this does not have to happen,” says Dr. Gershfeld, “Every company goes through ups and downs, and there will be emotions involved that are important to decision making. You have to look at what is important, and make sure you always refer back to the vision, mission and core values of the company. That is what unites board members – the ability to make decisions that are in alignment with these key factors.”

During the seminar on November 13, attendees also learned to identify processes that improve board function and effectiveness, create a collaborative, results-oriented environment and design effective agendas that enhance board engagement. They also learned how to incorporate best practices to avoid common pitfalls.

Attorney Brian Davis who attended the seminar, said, “Excellent presentation. I found it very helpful for building the necessary skills and the knowledge base to be an effective leader of a board.”

The seminar series is designed for those who currently serve, or wish to serve, on a corporate board, nonprofit board, or on a committee. It is also designed for anyone who serves as legal counsel or as a corporate secretary.

Dr. Gershfeld has listened to the stories of many board members who have related their negative experiences serving on boards and the arguing, criticizing and blaming that often occurs.

“I want people to know this does not have to happen,” says Dr. Gershfeld, “Every company goes through ups and downs, and there will be emotions involved that are important to decision making. You have to look at what is important, and make sure you always refer back to the vision, mission and core values of the company. That is what unites board members – the ability to make decisions that are in alignment with these key factors.”

During the seminar on November 13, attendees also learned to identify processes that improve board function and effectiveness, create a collaborative, results-oriented environment and design effective agendas that enhance board engagement. They also learned how to incorporate best practices to avoid common pitfalls.

Attendee Jon McClintock, Board Members of Boys Town said, “This program gave me an understanding that I did not have before.”

Seminar panelists included Dr. Victoria Collins, First Foundation board member and past chair of the Center Club Board of Governors; Ed Merino, CEO and Founder of Office of the Chairman, NACD LA Chapter FCD, & KPMG Roundtable; Paul Evan Greenwald, Esq., Greenwald & Hoffman, Chairman of the Center Club Board of Governors and Dr. Lola Gershfeld. Richard Franzi, founder and CEO of Critical Mass for Business, served as moderator.

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