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Academy Leadership- Changed My Life

As a West Point graduate (USMA 1978), “Leadership” was always a subject near and dear to Jim Nalepa’s heart.

After service as a Captain in the Army, his primary profession was as a retained executive recruiter. His job was to build leadership teams by finding leaders that made an immediate positive impact on a client’s organization.

In the civilian world he saw leadership explained and extolled in a myriad of ways. Some courses came close, others fell deficient. That was until he attended the Academy Leadership’s three-day “Leadership Boot Camp Experience” (now evolved into a new course — the Leadership Excellence Course) in August of 2009.

He was so impressed with the structure and message of the course, built around the Navy’s definition of Leadership- “Know yourself, Know your People, Know your Stuff”, that he knew he had to a part of this team.

After the course, he met with Dennis Haley, (USNA 1967) and asked if he needed a new franchisee in Chicago, and if so, he was his man. The deal was done and he has been part of this growing company ever since.

From the start he believed that that his Executive Search practice would always be his bread and butter. That couldn’t have been father from the truth. With diligence, he offered this life changing course to business clients and through our affiliation with the Project Management Institute which has awarded the course a very sought after 36 Project Development Units (PDUs). He found a great need and even a thirst for “Leadership” in all endeavors—public, private, and not-for profit. Some clients found a way to pay for the course even though it was not budgeted. That need is as true today as it’s ever been.

The potential with Academy Leadership is limitless. His Academy Leadership business has grown six-fold since his first full year in 2010. He has established major Clients such as Abbott Laboratories, Siemens Energy but also has a core of smaller emerging companies that understand “ investing” in leadership training is the difference maker and the “ margin of excellence” that enables them to compete in the global and local market. They know that “Leaders” get results. He also has a cadre of faithful graduates that have followed him on to complete “The Advanced Leadership Course”.

Facilitating this course has been personally and professionally rewarding to Jim. Knowing that he has been able to motivate and inspire new generation of “Leaders” and is making a real difference in his client companies is something he will always cherish.

The camaraderie of the veterans involved in Academy Leadership is special as well. He has never felt so much mutual respect, so much mutual support and complete honesty and integrity from everyone associated with this company. We are truly brothers and sisters in arms committed to changing individuals, organizations, and perhaps the world — one “leader” at a time.

The day he joined Academy Leadership changed his life and met those aspirations he has had regarding promoting leadership development since the day he graduated from West Point.

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