Iowa State Memorial Union

Peak Performance Leadership


All successful leaders share one powerful characteristic, desire –a desire for personal growth, helping others to grow, and ongoing learning. Now, more than ever, companies are looking for college students who have a strong desire to lead, a high level of confidence, and a mindset of, “I will find a way." Unfortunately, most college students don’t know where to find a program, training, or someone to help coach them in these areas.  

Peak Performance Leadership is the Memorial Union at Iowa State’s premier leadership program designed to coach you in all areas of your life including leadership, relationship skills, career success, and interpersonal skills. Peak Performance Leadership is the only program that ties these four elements together so that you grow and feel successful in all areas of your life.

As a college student, you’re living in the most defining moment of your life. Now is the time to discover your true ability to lead with confidence and live a successful life.  It’s time to own your future.  Don’t wait to get lucky, take charge of your success because no one else will. 

Everything you need, is within you now!

Peak Performance Leadership focuses on four areas of development:

1. Leadership

No matter who you think you are, where you come from, or whether you’ve ever been formally trained as a leader, this program will quickly coach you into new levels of leadership and success. This section provides you the opportunity to practice your leadership and to gain valuable insights and feedback from coaches and other participants. The difference between good and great leadership is realizing that leadership must start with knowing how to lead yourself first. If you can’t lead yourself, how can you lead others? You will be coached on how to:

  • Lead small and large groups
  • Work with individuals with different personalities
  • Understand where conflict originates and how to resolve any conflict
  • Understand emotional intelligence and how it strengthens your ability to lead
  • Present your ideas to upper management
  • Develop executive communication skills not taught in school


“I was the student body President when I entered into this program.  I then realized how much more I needed to know to become the leader the students deserved! Everyone needs to go through this program!"  J. Heilman


2. Career Success

If you’re anything like the average college student, you may or may not have a solid plan to ensure your success in acquiring the job you want, how to move up in the company, and how to find a supervisor who is focused on your success just as much as the company. If your plan does not have the essentials for getting you started on a successful career, you need to apply for this program. This program is what employers want for their current employees! Imagine when they see it on your resume. Employers want students to be trained in these skills. Success is not a matter of luck; it is a matter of disciplined practice. The career success module coaches you on:

  • What employers want out of their star employees
  • How to double the chances for getting the job you want
  • How to read interviewers and know what they are looking for BEFORE the interview
  • How to use informational interviews to improve your chances of getting the job
  • Developing a 90 Day Success Plan that will help you secure the job!


“While I was in this program, I was offered a job without even interviewing. The company we were working with saw my leadership skills and told me they wanted me to work for them, asap!”  A. Brannan


3. Interpersonal Success

Interpersonal success often depends on how we feel about ourselves, whether we feel important, if we have a solid group of friends, and whether we feel like we can succeed in life. Interpersonal success is about how you can strengthen your success mindset. If you struggle with your mindset, you hinder your ability to lead others, develop a successful career, and could even cripple relationships with co-workers and loved ones. The interpersonal section coaches you on:

  • How to discover and understand your top six human needs
  • Shifting your core beliefs to improve how you feel about yourself and your success
  • Develop unstoppable confidence in minutes!
  • How to redefine yourself to overcome past issues that hinder your success
  • Identify the barriers that create conflict between teams and loved ones
  • How to develop a mindset of, “I can do ANYTHING!”
  • Discover how to take control of your emotions and how you feel about yourself


“As an international student, I learned so much about communication, speaking in public, and how to lead with confidence.  I discovered having a great mindset is half the battle of leading others!"   N. Dharmadhikari


4. Relationships

Developing strong interpersonal relationships with peers and supervisors at work can be daunting. Often, these relationships can make or break how successful you are at work. You will be coached on how to:

  • Develop effective team relationships with colleagues and supervisors
  • Learn the top five communication styles that make outstanding leaders
  • Determine how to motivate yourself and others
  • How to set yourself up as a leader early on in your career
  • Understand how emotional intelligence increases team cohesion
  • Learn how company culture and values can provide clues to your advancement


“This program changed my life completely. I now own my own engineering firm and I married my soulmate, whom I met in this program!”  K. Black

If you’re serious about improving your leadership skills and preparing yourself to succeed in life after college, then there is no excuse for you not to apply now.  Peak Performance Leadership is a program that is free to all ISU juniors through graduate students.

Remember, Peak Performance Leadership coaches you on:

  • Unstoppable confidence
  • What employers want from recent graduates
  • Creating a “I will find a way” mindset (employers #1 goal)
  • Leadership skill development
  • Working with individuals with different personalities
  • Conflict management skills
  • How to know what future employers will ask you during interviews
  • How to double the chances you will get the job you want through one simple technique
  • Emotional intelligence and how it strengthens how others perceive you as a leader
  • How to double your self-esteem within minutes
  • How to present to large or small groups with extreme confidence and ability
  • Personality traits that undermine leadership
  • Creating positive relationships at home and work
  • Learn executive communication skills not taught in school


The How: We can’t share all our secrets to the success of this program. However, Peak Performance Leadership was designed for anyone to learn and grow. However, only 24 individuals are admitted into the program each year. We use live coaching during each workshop (no lectures), immersion learning, speed learning techniques, the latest science in accelerated teaching and learning, and the latest methods in helping participants discover the ability to create massive change in all areas of their lives. You will graduate from this program knowing that your life has changed for the positive AND you will have the skill set to help others do the same. 

Who is eligible to apply:

All Iowa State University students who are enrolled as a Junior or above, including graduate students may apply for acceptance into the program.

Future years will allow for students from surrounding universities to join for a small fee. 

Program dates:

Attendance is mandatory at all workshops and the weekend retreat.  Students may miss up to two meetings before they must withdraw from the program.

February Retreat: February 24-26, 2023

Date Start End Location Event Type
Tues 1/24/23 4:00PM 7:00PM Room 3560 Opening Ceremony
Tues 1/31/23 4:00PM 7:00PM Room 3560 Workshop
Tues 2/7/23 4:00PM 7:00PM Room 3560 Workshop
Tues 2/14/23 4:00PM 7:00PM Oak Room Workshop
Tues 2/21/23 4:00PM 7:00PM  Room 3560 Workshop
Fri 2/24 - 2/26/23 4:00PM 7:00PM Room 3560 Retreat
Tues 2/28/23 4:00PM 7:00PM Room 3560 Workshop
Tues 3/07/23 4:00PM 7:00PM Room 3560 Workshop
Tues 3/14/23 - - Spring Break No Workshop
Tues 3/21/23 4:00PM 7:00PM Room 3560 Workshop
Tues 3/28/23 4:00PM 7:00PM Room 3560 Workshop
Tues 4/4/23 4:00PM 7:00PM Room 3560 Workshop
Tues 4/11/23 4:00PM 7:00PM Room 3560 Workshop
Tues 4/18/23 4:00PM 7:00PM Room 3560 Workshop
Tues 4/25/23 4:00PM 7:00PM Durham Great Hall

Closing Ceremony















Application Process:

For the Spring 2023 semester, apply at Peak Performance LeadershipThe application process consists of an application and one 30-minute interview. Apply by Wednesday December 7, 2022. All interviews will be completed by December 9. Interviews begin November 16. You will be notified of your acceptance into the program within 48 hours of your interview. After you complete your application, please email and set up a 30-minute zoom call OR a 30 minute in-person interview; whichever suits your current situation.

If you have any questions before the interview, please email Dr. Steve Winfrey.


Own your future and manage yourself, or someone else will! 

Ready to apply? Fill out our application by December 7, 2022

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