Lippert Launches Leadership Academy

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Elkhart-based Lippert Components Inc. has launched an initiative designed to help other businesses, nonprofits, and individuals with leadership and development training. The manufacturer says the Lippert Academy for Leadership will offer a variety of programs and services, including on-site training and leadership development programs, executive coaching, and speaking engagements. The academy is being led by Dustin Kaehr, who says the goal is to share what LCI has learned through its cultural journey and help businesses better align their own business and cultural strategies.

In an interview for Inside INdiana Business, Kaehr said there was a lot of demand for this type of assistance.

"As we went through really a transformation of culture at Lippert over the last five years, reducing turnover from, at the time, 127 percent down to 30 percent and as Jason Lippert, our CEO, has had conversations with people, there has been people asking, 'Hey could I talk to you about what you've done, talk to you about the journey you guys were on?'" said Kaehr. "So, it became obvious there was some demand there for it and even maybe beyond that, it's sort of a natural outreach of what Lippert is trying to do, not only with work as it relates to our key members, but the community in general."

Kaehr says the academy falls in line with the company's Acts of Service initiative, in which they are trying commit 100,000 hours of service and get other business communities on board to help raise the level of business and leadership in their communities.

The academy, according to Kaehr, can best be described as Lippert's own consulting agency. He says the they are currently testing and developing a two-day, in-house program where participants come to Lippert for training, which is expected to launch in the second or third quarter. The academy will also be able to travel to businesses and work on a variety of needs they may have.

"We've already been doing work over the last couple months as we've been building this," said Kaehr. "Everything from helping organizations with strategic planning to true leadership development, team building, off-site retreats, all the way up to speaking at conferences and leading keynotes and breakout sessions, and even some one-on-one executive coaching with people who just want a little bit of individual attention."

Kaehr says the academy's short-term goals are to gain more exposure for what it is trying to do because launching the academy is a stark departure from the manufacturing work for which Lippert is known. Long-term, he says the hope is to continue the grow the academy to help businesses and nonprofits throughout the country.

Kaehr said there was a lot of demand for this type of assistance.
Kaehr talked about the goals for the academy.
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