SLA Offers Free Virtual Programs During COVID-19

Muncie, Ind. — Muncie Nonprofit Shafer Leadership Academy is offering free virtual leadership development programs to the public during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Now, More Than Ever

“We need leadership now, more than ever” said SLA Executive Director Mitch Isaacs. “In uncertain times people look to their leaders to provide calm, clear, and competent guidance.” Isaacs explained that many leaders have found themselves operating without a road map. It is his hope to provide local leaders an opportunity to discuss how to best serve their communities and organizations.

“Leaders need a place to gather in order learn from each other. This is one of our core services at Shafer Leadership Academy.  Gathering provides people with reinforcement and comfort.  We need to deliver that to our community, even when we can’t gather in the same room.”

Experiment and Innovate

Virtual programming is new for Shafer Leadership Academy. Although they have provided limited virtual offerings for select companies and organizations in the past, this is the first time SLA has offered a virtual lineup to the community.

“We see these circumstances as a chance to experiment and innovate. In took us about two weeks from the time we decided to cancel in person classes until we announced our virtual lineup.”  The virtual lineup, according to Isaacs, is a result of a survey Shafer Leadership Academy sent its membership not long after businesses and organizations began closing. “We thought it was important to listen first” Isaacs explained, “before acting. We were pleasantly surprised by the number of responses we received in just a few days’ time.  I think it speaks to people’s need to connect.”

Virtual Lineup

The virtual line up kicks off Thursday, March 26th with a “Screenside Chat” about leadership lessons.  According to Isaacs, “FDR’s fireside chats provided hope, comfort, and inspiration to the public during the Depression, and later World War 2.  Just as radio connected us then, the internet connects us now. Hopefully we can recreate a little bit of that same magic.” 

The next session, “Adapting to a Virtual World: Ideas for Extroverts and Introverts” provides guidance on how both personality types can adapt in the emerging world of virtual work. “I’ve noticed memes lately about checking on your extrovert friends” Isaacs offered. “It’s funny and kind of true. We wanted to explore that.”

The third session, “How to Talk to Your Team” returns to the Screenside Chat format. “We invited our CFO Consultant, Pam Messiner from Cathedral Capital, to facilitate this session. Pam has guided business of all sizes, from small to global, through a variety of critical decisions. Pam is levelheaded and data oriented. She’s got great insight into how leaders can stay calm and help their teams make strategic decisions” Isaacs reported.

The virtual lineup concludes with a webinar on “How to Inspire a Shared Vision.”  According to Isaacs this is one of the sessions SLA has offered virtually. “Our Program Director, Tisha Gierhart, facilitated this as a hybrid class for Ontario Systems last year and their team provided us with some great feedback.”

Shafer Leadership Academy’s virtual lineup is free and open to the public, although registration is required. Learn more about Shafer Leadership Academy and the current program opportunities at