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Articles | July 30, 2019

Training Top 125 Best Practice: Rosendin’s Leadership Academy

Some 80 percent of the content is taught by executives within the company. Each of the six workshops has a theme and runs 2.5 days.

Training Magazine

Rosendin Electric Inc. is an employee-owned company offering a range of electrical construction services, including engineering, design-build, construction project management, integrated electrical services, and instrumentation and control systems.

Rosendin established its Leadership Academy in 2013 in an effort to improve succession planning under the goal of “attracting, developing, and inspiring the best and brightest in the industry.” Each business unit selected one or two people to recommend for Leadership Academy. Currently, 57 employees are enrolled in the program.

Program Details

Some 80 percent of the content is taught by executives within the company. Each of the six workshops has a theme and runs 2.5 days. The first workshop relates to “Company Awareness” and culminates in an activity where attendees become the executive team for a fictitious company called “Sparky’s Electric.” During the course of this activity, they must make typical business decisions but with a few “surprise” circumstances cropping up unexpectedly. One participants noted: “I never saw myself as an executive until the Sparky’s activity; now I am much more confident I could do it if the opportunity presents itself.”

As part of the second workshop on “Self-Awareness,” 360-degree feedback is gathered on each attendee, and he or she must select three to four areas to target for improvement. In order to obtain Kirkpatrick Level 3 results, another series of 360 reviews is done after participants complete the first five workshops. As a result, scores improved in 83 percent of the targeted areas.

Workshop 3 focuses on “How You Present Yourself.” Between Workshops 2 and 3, attendees are given the book, “Getting to Yes,” and broken up into teams. Each team is assigned a portion of the book, which they must be prepared to teach at the workshop. Videos are taken and uploaded to a portal where each participant receives one-on-one coaching. There are reading assignments between workshops, and participants must demonstrate they have done the required homework by completing short online modules that include quiz questions.

Workshop 4 covers customer awareness. For this workshop, in addition to reading “The Outward Mindset,” a panel of Rosendin customers (general contractors, owners, and engineers) speak to the teams about what is important to them. This improved relationships with customers as they commented on how much they enjoyed being able to speak to Rosendin project teams about what was important to them.

Workshop 5 tackles “Building High-Performance Teams.” Instead of being given a book, participants are encouraged to do the research and reading on their own. Learners are divided into groups and instructed to teach a 30-minute class. Prior to the workshops, the teams were brought in to do their class in front of executives, who coached them. The second half of that workshop involved Odyssey Teams, which brought in its program of teambuilding with a purpose. All the participants worked together to build prosthetic hands that were shipped to countries around the world for landmine victims.

Workshop 6 introduces a Lean Concept of A3 Thinking. Participants are allowed to pick any company process or problem to improve, or an opportunity they would like to see the company take advantage of. Working through the A3 methodology, participants pitch their problem, or opportunity, to the executives. Winning teams are invited to showcase their A3 to the board of directors.


Since the inception of the Leadership Academy, there have been eight new business units created and all of them have been promotions of participants from within the Leadership Academy.

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About Rosendin

Headquartered in San Jose, Calif., Rosendin is employee-owned and one of the largest electrical contractors in the United States, employing over 7,500 people, with revenues averaging $2 billion. Established in 1919, Rosendin remains proud of our more than 100 years of building quality electrical and communications installations and value for our clients but, most importantly, for building people within our company and our communities. Our customers lead some of the most complex construction projects in history and rely on us for our knowledge, our ability to scale, and our dedication to quality. At Rosendin, we work to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to reach their full potential by building a culture that is diverse, safe, welcoming, and inclusive.

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