Naifeh Center for Effective Leadership

Category: Features

Naifeh Center leadership participants at the Howard Baker Center rotunda

In 2005, the Center for Effective Leadership was established. Three years later, it was renamed the Naifeh Center for Effective Leadership (NCEL), honoring the legacy of the longest sitting Speaker of the House Jimmy Naifeh.

The NCEL promotes communication and fosters collaboration in every avenue possible. Most often, the NCEL uses the relationships it has already established with NCEL customers. It hosts a homecoming and alumni event annually to promote its efforts. It also utilizes its website and social media presence to highlight events such as graduations from certain NCEL programs that are available to employees.

The NCEL provides training and professional development for leaders at all levels, from the emerging supervisor to the experienced executive.

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“The Certified Public Manager program is an absolute must for those in the public sector realm,” states Marcus R. Kennedy, director of organizational development with the Knox County Government. “Expectations of public officials are rising, and this program will help instill, or refresh, the essential leadership skills and the continuous improvement mindset required to navigate the modern world and the modern workforce.”

With a long list of programs available to employees, including the Certified Public Manager program, the Administrative Professionals Academy and the IPS Leadership Academy, the most popularly known programs are the Tennessee Government Executive Institute, Tennessee Government Management Institute and Tennessee Government Professional Institute. These two-week programs were curated for individual contributors, managers and executives in state government.

Larry Patterson of the Tennessee Department of Correction said, “One of the most critical factors of success in any organization is the quality of its leaders. As a graduate of Management Institute and Executive Institute, I have experienced firsthand the tremendous professional development the Naifeh Center for Effective Leadership provides participants. Both programs have served me well, as they developed and strengthened my leadership skills, which has further prepared me to better serve the state of Tennessee.”

In January 2023, NCEL will begin offering individual training courses across the state to provide employees with classes that are easy to access and more affordable. These courses will be known as the Naifeh Professional Excellence Series.

Most courses offered by NCEL are in-person with options to attend virtually if necessary. Interestingly, much of the NCEL learning is kinesthetic. Therefore, in-person is most impactful for attendees.

NCEL continues its efforts of collaboration across the state. It proudly works with organizations in all parts of Tennessee to professionally develop its employees. For more information on NCEL, visit: