Virtual Course

Modeling Customer Service in Your Leadership Style

Complete an online Birkman Method workplace and personality assessment tool and receive a personalized report to help understand and enhance your leadership style and communication, and teambuilding at work. Learn how to apply these findings to real-life situations and develop a personal action plan.
November 19, 2020
12:00pm EDT - 3:30pm EDT

Virtual Training

Join us on November 19 as we debut this course in a virtual format. It’s a convenient way to 'attend' the course, while still having the opportunity to interact with the instructor, your industry peers, and earn continuing education credits.


Attend one real-time session from Noon – 3:30 p.m. Eastern on November 19.

Course Overview

Ensuring that all utility employees and governing officials subscribe to a culture of excellence in customer service requires very specific leadership skills and strategies. Everyone has the ability to lead effectively in a variety of circumstances. To thrive as a leader, it is important to understand and know how to leverage our strengths, expectations and interests. 

You’ll complete the online Birkman Method workplace and personality assessment tool (in advance of the course) and receive a personalized report to help understand and enhance your leadership style and communication, and team-building at work. Learn how to apply these findings to real-life situations and develop a personal action plan to put to work immediately.

Please note: To enable the instructor to provide feedback on your assessment these will need to be completed before November 12. 

Course Topics

  • Defining what is leadership?
  • An introduction to personality and the Birkman method
  • The internal and external components of personality
  • Your interests and motivation
  • How to foster a culture of leadership and excellence in customer service

Recommended For

This course focuses on developing a culture of excellence in customer service among all public power utility employees and governing officials and, as such, is applicable to a broad range of utility professionals, management, and policymakers.

This course can also be taken as part of APPA’s Customer Service Management Certificate Program, which is designed for customer service directors, managers, and representatives.

Course Level

Basic: No prerequisites; some advanced preparation. In order to fully participate in the class discussion on leadership and personality style, you will be invited by the course instructor, Patty Cruz, to complete an online assessment with Birkman International. Attendees are required to fill out the assessment prior to this course.

This course is part of APPA’s Customer Service Management Certificate Program and is a good follow-up to the Strategies for Successful Customer Service Operations virtual course, taking place on Nov. 4.

Course Materials

You will receive access to electronic materials the afternoon before the course starts. While it is not essential to download the course manual in advance, you can access the presentation slides through the APPA electronic document portal at your convenience (for up to one year). A recording of the class will also be available through this portal, in case you can’t attend the live version.


The following continuing education credits will be provided, after successfully completing the live session (click here to review requirements). Certificates will be emailed by November 26. 

Recommended CEUs .3/PDHs 3.25/CPEs 3.8 
Field of Study: Specialized Knowledge


PCPatty Cruz, Executive Consultant, nFront Consulting, Austin, Texas

Patty Cruz has over 20 years in the energy industry with a specialty in utility organizational effectiveness. She has helped clients achieve higher levels of performance and business transformation by evaluating the alignment of the organization against its strategic plan, leadership, corporate structure and culture. She has worked with utilities to define their strategic direction and implement action plans to achieve their purpose or vision.   

Patty has also worked with utility executives to enhance leadership skills and develop teams to lead the organization through with workforce issues, face industry challenges, conduct process redesign efforts to adapt to new technologies, and develop effective internal and external communication strategies. She is certified in the Birkman Method and Cultural Transformation Tools. Previously, Patty held leadership and consulting positions at Hometown Connections and Leidos.


Contact us at [email protected].

Register Now

Registration fees:

  • $400 for members
  • $800 for nonmembers

Not a member? Join today and save on your course registration. Call Member Services at 202-467-2926 to learn more.

Group Discounts

Save an additional $50 on each registration for the Public Power Forward Virtual Summit when your organization registers 5 or more people. The larger your group, the more you save!  

Number of registrants Discount
(per person)

Registration Fee

Registration Fee
1-4 n/a $400 $800
5-10 $50 $350 $750
11-15 $100 $300 $700
16+ $150 $250 $650

Contact [email protected] for more information and to request the group registration form to receive this special discount.  

Attendees may also be interested in the Strategies for Successful Customer Service Operations virtual course, taking place on Nov. 4.


Registrants who cancel in writing on or before November 12, 2020, are entitled to a refund of their registration fee, minus a $50 cancellation fee. Registrants who cancel after November 12 will not receive a refund, but attendee substitutions will be allowed for this event only. Registrants and no-shows who do not cancel by November 12 are responsible for the full registration fee and are not entitled to a refund.


Contact [email protected].

Earn While You Learn!

Participate in online programs to earn Continuing Education Units (CEUs), Professional Development Hours (PDHs) and Continuing Professional Education credits (CPEs). This course is eligible for the following credits:

Recommended CEUs .3/PDHs 3.25/CPEs 3.8
Field of Study: Specialized Knowledge


  • Attendees are required to attend and participate in the entire live event and complete an online evaluation at the end of the course
  • Partial credit cannot be given
  • Attendance is monitored by an Association staff member
  • Certificates will be emailed out on November 26
  • The class is recorded (in case you miss the live event), though credits can only be given for attending the live event

What educational credits are available?

You can earn the following kinds of educational credits for attending live sessions during the conference:

  • Continuing Education Units (CEUs) - The American Public Power Association is accredited by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET) and is authorized to issue the IACET CEU. For information regarding certification status, attendance requirements and obtaining attendees transcripts, contact [email protected] or 202-467-2965.
  • Continuing Professional Education (CPE) Credits - The American Public Power Association is registered with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) as a sponsor of continuing professional education on the National Registry of CPE Sponsors. State boards of accountancy have final authority on the acceptance of individual courses for CPE credit. Complaints regarding registered sponsors may be submitted to the National Registry of CPE Sponsors through its website: There are no prerequisites for the courses offered; no advance preparation is required for any courses. Courses are group-live offerings. Credit hours and areas of study for the courses are listed on the individual course pages. For more information regarding administrative policies, such as clarification of requirements, complaints, and refunds, please contact [email protected].
  • Professional Development Hours (PDHs) - The American Public Power Association’s educational practices are consistent with the criteria for awarding Professional Development Hours (PDHs) as established by the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES). Course eligibility and number of PDHs may vary by state.


Format and Log-In Information

This class will be offered on the Zoom meeting platform. Presented in a 3.5 hour interactive session, featuring real-time presentation, Q&A, online polling, group discussions, and case studies.

You’ll receive a logistics email one week in advance of the class.

You will receive your Zoom access link the afternoon before the course from the APPA Academy <[email protected]>. Please reach out to [email protected] if you do not receive that email.

New to Zoom?

If you haven't participated in a Zoom meeting before, please download the Zoom web client from the Zoom Download Center. This will enable you to access all of the Zoom tools and functionality vs. using the web version. For the course, you will need an Internet connection and sound (we recommend using your computer’s audio and microphone, though a phone number will also be provided). Then, visit to ensure you are able to join a meeting. 

If you are not able to download the Zoom web client, you can still participate via your Internet browser. We recommend using Chrome for the best results. If you use your Internet browser, your functionality may be more limited (for example, you will only be able to see one video feed at a time), and you will need to create a Zoom account. (Account creation is a free and straightforward process, but you will want to do this in advance so you do not miss any part of the meeting).

Privacy and Security

The American Public Power Association takes your privacy and security very seriously. For this reason, we have put the following security measures in place for this course:

  • A random Meeting ID
  • Password-protected
  • Enabled waiting room to screen meeting participants
  • Restricted screen sharing to hosts only

Code of Conduct

Participants agree to abide by the APPA Code of Conduct. If participants engage in unacceptable behavior as outlined in the code, the Association may take any action it deems appropriate, including but not limited to, expulsion from the current and future meetings, with no warning or refund.


Contact us at [email protected].