Professional Optimization

Professional Optimization

About This Course

A deeper dive. Develop optimal leadership potential.

Seasoned leaders have often shared that some of their greatest challenges came as they stepped into the role of “leader” and began focusing on shaping the work, roles, impact and careers of others. This is a challenging point of change and professional development.

Professional Optimization is designed to deepen our skills in leading others.  The course will take an in-depth look at our own leadership style, and further explore key skills needed to set expectations and guide others to exceptional performance.

*This course may be taken as a stand-alone course or coupled with Professional Foundations (Fall Semester) for additional expertise and recognition

Professional Credits Available

    CFRE    SHRM     National Registry of CPE Sponsors

*See Certificate Eligibility & Professional Credits

Course Logistics

Next start date: January 23, 2020

Contact Us
Register for Course
only a few seats remaining!

Partnership discounts available
3-6 persons per organization, per course, 15%

Bundling Discounts available
Register for more than one course in the 2019-2020 academic year, 5%

Bundling & Additional Certificate Recognition
We recommend combining with Professional Foundations (fall). Complete  the Professional Excellence suite for additional recognition and a customized, long-term professional development plan.


The Wake Forest University Certificates Program is an open-enrollment, non-credit bearing program.

Take-Aways & Learning Outcomes

This course takes a deeper dive into skills needed to guide others to exceptional performance.

  • Find your voice as a leader
  • Communicate a clear vision
  • Identify the top challenges experienced on the path to leading well
  • Effectively set expectations as a leader while holding yourself and others accountable
  • Engage and empower employees, work teams, and/or project teams to maximize strengths and positively impact results
  • Assess accurately individual strengths and know how to bring them to the table leveraging a wide range of styles and abilities
  • Positively select paths and opportunities that drive innovation, encourage best performance, and lead to effective decision-making
  • Evaluate what effective facilitation and effective feedback looks like
  • Answer the question: How important is “Who you know?” to a successful career?
  • Delegate effectively by understanding how, why, when, who and best practices.

Course Designed For

Professional Optimization is designed for current managers and those preparing to step into leadership opportunities. Many learned skills go into great leadership.  We’ll hone these together in this course. Bring your skills, your experience, your challenges and your questions. A deeper dive into professional development happens here to optimize career potential.

Certificate Course Details

  • Content & Competencies

    1. Introduction to Professional Optimization
    January 23, 2020

    This session will provide an overview of leadership models, setting the stage for our ongoing exploration of leadership skills. You will be introduced to a development planning tool that you will develop over the course of our work together, so that you will complete the program with a long-term development plan for your career.

    2. Management & Work Styles
    January 30, 2020

    Today’s leaders are tasked with maintaining their performance as individual contributors within their work environments while also managing others effectively. In this session, we will explore management styles and how to match them to individual employees’ needs. We will focus on talent and strength and how they can enhance both individual and team performance.

    3. Expectation Setting & Effective Delegation
    February 6, 2020

    Delegating is often cited as one of the most significant challenges leaders face. Sometimes, it feels simpler to just do things ourselves than figure out how to set expectations and hold others accountable. This session will focus on the case for delegation, and tools for doing it effectively.

    4. Developmental & Performance Feedback
    February 13, 2020

    In this session, we will explore different types of feedback, and how to deliver it in a way that drives performance and ongoing commitment. We will also talk about how to receive feedback from others. Feedback conversations can be difficult to have and increasing your confidence to have them is a real asset in the workplace.

    5. Employee Motivation
    February 20, 2020

    How does one motivate an employee or coworker? Does motivation need to be intrinsic, or can leaders inspire motivation in others? These questions will be explored, and motivation strategies will be discussed and practiced.

    6. Innovation
    February 27, 2020

    All leaders, whether explicitly or implicitly, are tasked with driving innovation in their organizations. This session explores creativity-inducing frameworks and techniques that can be employed with work groups and teams in your own environment.

    7. Networks & Partnerships
    March 5, 2020

    The old adage says: “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” In this session, we will explore the power of networks and how we can both contribute to and gather benefits from the networks we build and maintain. This discussion will also include the importance of mentors and sponsors in career development.

    8. Managerial Decision-Making
    March 19, 2020

    This session will focus on decision making, for yourself and for others. We will explore various decision-making tools, and facilitation skills to guide groups in making and committing to decisions.

  • Meet the Instructor


    Suzanne Danhauer, Lead Faculty

    Dr. Suzanne Danhauer is an Associate Professor and Vice Chair in the Department of Social Sciences & Health Policy in the Division of Public Health Sciences in the Wake Forest School of Medicine. She was recently appointed as the Director of Faculty Well-Being & Resilience in the Office of Faculty Affairs to lead efforts to decrease burnout and increase well-being in medical school faculty members. Dr. Danhauer is also the former Associate Director of the Office of Women in Medicine & Science. In that role, she directed the early career development and leadership development programs for women faculty.

    She is a clinical health psychologist whose research investigates: potential benefits of behavioral and integrative medicine modalities for cancer survivors; and psychological adaptation to cancer, specifically how survivors often report a variety of positive changes in their lives following cancer.

    Dr. Danhauer has also taught undergraduate courses in positive psychology, and more recently her teaching with medical students and academic medicine faculty members has incorporated “positive psychology” scientific findings for concepts such as happiness, positive emotions, strengths, and gratitude – and why they matter. She has completed training with the Gallup Organization in accelerated strengths coaching and leading high-performance teams and is a Gallup-certified strengths coach.

    Amy WallisAmy Wallis, Lead Faculty

    Dr. Wallis is a Full Professor of Practice in leadership and ethics in the Wake Forest University School of Business. She is an organizational development leader with experience in organizational strategy, talent and leadership development, and succession planning. Prior to joining the Wake Forest faculty in 2012, she was an organizational development leader in various international corporate environments focusing on organizational change, talent and leadership development, performance management, and succession planning. She has consulted with organizations in many industries, including travel, high tech, pharmaceutical, professional services, banking, and the non-profit sector.

  • Program Prerequisites

    Program Prerequisites

    Participants must have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree or the equivalent. A TOEFL examination for non-native speakers of English is not required but students are expected to read, write and comprehend English at the graduate level to fully participate in and gain from the program. Requests for exceptions to these requirements must be made in writing to the program director at
    The Wake Forest University Certificates Program is an open-enrollment, non-credit bearing program.
  • Time, Location & Parking


    All classes are held on Thursday evenings from 6:00-9:00 PM. Missed classes will not be refunded.

    Location & Parking

    Course will be held at the Wake Forest University Charlotte Center in Uptown Charlotte: 200 North College Street, Suite 150 Charlotte, North Carolina 28202

    Parking is available for class at no charge after 4PM in the Wake Forest University Charlotte Center Parking Garage located on 5th Street and adjacent to the Wake Forest Charlotte Center.  (You may enter/exit the garage from 5th or 6th Street.)  Please bring your parking ticket in for validation.

  • Cost


    $3600 one-time registration and payment for all 8 classes. Registration is complete and your place in the class reserved as full payment is received.  Payments are considered nonrefundable on/beyond their designated course registration deadline.

    What’s Included

    • Some course materials are provided
    • Parking provided, in the Wake Forest University Charlotte Center Parking Garage
    • Coffee and light snacks are available

    *Additional course materials may be recommended for student purchase.

  • Certificate Eligibility & Professional Credits

    Certificate Eligibility

    Participants attending all sessions and successfully completing all required coursework within the course time-frame are eligible to receive a Wake Forest University Certificate.


    *Professional Excellence Suite – Course Participants coupling this course, Professional Optimization (winter) with Professional Foundations (fall) receive additional certificate recognition for Professional Excellence.  

    There is a 5% discount for the second (or more) bundled courses taken in this 2019-2020 academic year.

    Up to 2 additional courses/specializations may be taken and recognized alongside Professional Excellence recognition.

    The Wake Forest University Certificates Program is an open-enrollment, non-credit bearing program.

    We invite you to contact us with questions or for more detail.

    Preapproved Professionals Credits


    CFRECertified Fund Raising Executive 
                  Setting standards in philanthropy
    Full participation in this course is applicable toward the 10 point maximum on the initial CFRE application and 5 point maximum on the recertification application.


    SHRMSociety for Human Resource Management
    Wake Forest University’s Professional Certificate Program is recognized by SHRM to offer Professional Development Credits (PDCs) for the SHRM-CPSM or SHRM-SCPSM. This program is valid for 24 PDCs for the SHRM-CPSM or SHRM-SCPSM. For more information about certification or recertification, please visit

    Program Level: Intermediate
    Delivery Method: Group Live
    CPE Credits available: 27.2 CPE credits
    Fields of Study: Personal Development

    Advanced preparation for the course is not required. To register for the course, please contact us at or register online here.

    For more information regarding administrative policies such as complaint and refund, please contact our office at 704-365-1717.

    Wake Forest University is registered with the National Association of State Board of Accountancy (NASBA) as a sponsor of Sponsors. State boards of accountancy have final authority on the acceptance of individual courses for CPE credits. Complaints regarding registered sponsors may be submitted to the National Registry of CPE Sponsors through its web site:

For More Information

For more information or to speak with a program advisor, please contact us.

A supportive learning community
Shared experience and applied skills
Additional recognition and accomplishment


Design Thinking 
December 10th @ 12:00PM
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Professional Optimization
December 12th @ 12:30PM
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Design Thinking
January 7th @ 12:00PM
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Professional Optimization
January 9th @ 12:30PM
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