Organizations hire Melissa Luna to facilitate team meetings and provide trainings for managers and employees in Career and Organizational Development.

“You can count on me to improve employee engagement in your organization.” – Melissa Luna

Families and professionals hire Melissa to streamline career exploration resulting in identification of interests, strengths and career fit. “

My first love in career development? Strategically helping others identify and communicate about their assets and learning styles.” – Melissa Luna

“Career growth and professional development are among the top engagement and retention factors for employees today,” writes Wendy Tan and Beverly Crowell in a September, 2015 TD magazine article.

Currently less than 34% of U.S. employees are engaged with work. When an employee is fully engaged, they are loyal and psychologically committed to the organization. They are more productive and more likely to stay with their company.

Source: Employee Engagement. Gallup.  September 2015.


Youth and Professionals
-Career and College Exploration

Company and Organizations
-Myers Briggs Type Indicator
-Leadership Development
-Multi-generational Challenges and Strategies

Online Training Courses for Organizations and Proffesionals
-Organizational Development Badge Series
-Career Development Badge Series


The professional and career development within an organizations or directly with individuals need to be designed to enhance the fulfillment and performance of employees. This is a priority for Strategic Advancement LLC. Our desire is that there is a positive impact on the performance for individuals and teams, in addition to giving them a better understanding about their career direction, what motivates them, and how to address communication challenges.

We offer evaluation of current programs and development of customized, practical strategies and training to deliver the quality results you need and expect. Our focus is helping maximize your teams’ strengths, improve retention, and assist you in the successful navigation of change management. We believe concentrated efforts on these core areas are critical to ensuring an ongoing, competitive edge.

Offering plenty of opportunities for employees to build their skills should be a priority for leaders looking to increase engagement and in turn, retention rates. After all, talented employees don’t want to stagnate professionally—they want to develop their skills, advance, and thrive. Companies can offer advancement opportunities in a variety of ways, from promotions to in-house training, to college-level courses that the company funds. Promotional opportunities are limited in service roles, so providing unique in-house training, coupled with career coaching sessions will appeal to younger populations.

The benefits of providing training and development for organizations can directly improve efficiency, productivity of employees, and increases engagement within organizations. In addition, there is less wastage of time, money, and resources when employees are properly trained.

Providing development tools and training programs is critical to keep individuals engaged in their careers. Our focus is helping them understand individual strengths, improve the communication skills, and successfully identify the career fit.  In some cases, this might also include how to conduct a college/job search and how to development personal marketing materials (resume, cover letter, LinkedIn profile, interviewing skills).

We offer seminar series geared towards career and self-exploration.  Seminars include:

  1. Career and College Exploration
  2. StrengthFinder, Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and the DISC Profile (Identifying Interests and Strengths) Assessments
  3. Resume and Cover Letter Development
  4. Informational Interviewing and Job Interviewing Skills
  5.  Establishing On-line Presence including Developing a LinkedIn Profile
  6. Job Search Strategies
  7. Professional Etiquette

In addition to seminar offerings, we provide individual career coaching sessions to review the assessment information and can develop a career profile to help young adults and professionals tailor their search according to interests, skills, motivators, strengths, interpersonal preferences, and cultural fit.

Training and development can be described as “an educational process which involves the sharpening of skills, concepts, changing of attitude and gaining more knowledge to enhance the performance of employees”.[1] “Benefits of Training & Development in an Organization”. Kashmir Observer. Retrieved 2016-03-31. Talent development encompasses a variety of components such as training, career development, career management, and organizational development, and training and development.

Training options can include:

Strengths – Teams focused on using strengths daily have 12.5% greater productivity.  Companies with engaged employees have a 15% lower turnover rate.  95% of employers believe training can improve retention, help avoid hefty recruitment costs, and reduce sick days. Employees consistently using strengths at their job are 60% more likely to be engaged. Our goal is support the team so they function from a “good” to “great” model.  Training can be divided into three key areas.  We would also recommend a coaching session to be provided for all participants:

Part 1: Individual Strengths (2.5 Hours)

  • Identifying Individual
  • Understanding How to Recognize Strengths Personally and Professionally
  • Recognizing Overuse of Strengths and Negative Impact on Team

Part 2: Team Dynamics and Leveraging Strengths (2.5 Hours)

  • Creating Complimentary Partnerships Utilizing Strengths
  • Understanding Leadership Domains, Trust, and Communications

Part 3: Deeper Dive/Coaching Manager Tools (2.5 Hours)

  • Learning How to Utilize Team Grid
  • Understanding Manager Tools for Team Member Strengths Coaching
  • Applying Activity Tools
  • Identifying Ways to Purposefully Apply Respective Talents

Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) – Participants will go through a self-exploration process, identifying personality types and preferences by taking the Meyer’s Briggs indicator.  Included in the training will be strategies to work with others who may have a different way to approach people, situations, decision making, and time management.   Carl Jung originally developed his theory of types as part of his counseling practice with clients. The core of Type theory has its roots in the practice of psychological counseling, and Type is used there today. Type can shed light on a number of issues commonly dealt with in counseling such as: self-esteem, relationship difficulties, life development and transitions, decision making, and others.

Leadership Development – We offer a leadership development series that can include the following sessions:

  1. Leadership Exercise:  Resorts:  Resorts is an experiential training exercise that examines behavior in a setting where teams must understand the team goals and interact with other teams in order to achieve their goals. It consists of two smaller exercise sets, first in a fixed-sum exercise where there must be at least one losing team, and second in a variable-sum exercise where all teams can achieve their goals. In each exercise, each team is given a folder of materials, including a real estate map showing where the team needs to acquire a set of properties, most held by other teams, and sufficient deeds and money to acquire the properties.  (3 Hours)
  2. Leadership Exercise:  Summit:  Summit is an experiential training exercise that leads to increased emotional involvement with their team during the activity. This is facilitated by requiring trainees to invest a small amount of money, which together with a matching amount invested by the trainers, creates a bank from which amounts can be won or lost as a result of interactions between the teams. The activity revolves around a series of negotiations pertaining to twenty “weapon” cards given each team, which they must decide whether to “arm” or “disarm” and whether they can convince themselves and/or the other team to “not attack” at the conclusion of 10 moves. Each move requires them to arm or disarm up to three weapon cards. At the conclusion of the 10th move, each team must decide to either “Attack” or “Not Attack” the other team. In an attack money will transfer from the lesser-armed team to the greater armed team. In the event of no attack, money will transfer from the trainer’s bank to each of the team’s banks, depending on how many cards have been disarmed. The exercise will then be restarted until a total of three “rounds” have been completed.  This exercise typically requires about 2 to 2-1/2 hours for play and 1 to 1-1/2 hours for discussion.
  3. Improving Communications – Platinum Rules:  Adapting Communication for Your Team and Customers:  Each participant will complete the Platinum Rules assessment at the start of the class.  The instructor will interpret the results afterwards, providing participants with an understanding about their individual interpersonal communication style.  The value/learning objective for the Platinum Rules is to gain an understanding about individual interpersonal styles and how to effective adapt communications depending on the clients/team member’s interpersonal style.  No cost for the assessment.  (2 Hours)
  4. Building Trust:  Successful teamwork is built on a foundation of trust. Each member of the team must establish trust, cultivate trust through his actions and words, and work to maintain it. Each member also needs to be able to trust his team members to make a commitment to the team and its goals, work competently with those goals in mind, and communicate consistently about any issues that affect the team.  Trust is an essential aspect of leadership development.  We will learn how to build trust, recognize when there are issues with trust, and have an opportunity to experience activities that demonstrate the importance of trust.
  5. Leadership vs Management: and Leadership Theory:  Participants will learn about the differences between management and leadership.  We will also gain insight on the characteristics of great leaderships, along with development the right attitude about leadership.  Participants will be provided a deep understanding about how to lead during periods of change, through internal/external conflict, and during adversity.
  6. Power, Persuasion, and Influence:  When in organizational settings, leaders must exert power to achieve individual, team, and organizational goals. Leaders must be able to influence their followers to achieve greater performance, their superiors and peers to make important decisions, and stake-holders to ensure the vitality of the organization.  But the proper application of power is important.  During this session, participants will learn how to leverage power in a productive manner, which ties to persuasion.  The participants will go through multiple activities to gain a practical understanding of how this can be incorporated in their leadership approach, positively impacting the engagement of team members and customers.   Participants will also watch the movie “12 Angry Men” to see examples of power utilization.
  7. Coaching & Motivating Team:  Business coaching has gone from fad to fundamental. Leaders and organizations have come to understand how valuable it can be, and they’re adding “the ability to coach and develop others” to the ever-growing list of skills they require in all their managers.  During this training, the participant will learn how to build relationships, provide assessments, challenge thinking/assumptions, support/encourage, and drive results.  In addition, the participants will learn how to motivate team members by sharing passion, communicating culture, learning how to appropriately challenge, and properly compensate team members.
  8. Emotional Intelligence:  When it comes to happiness and success in life, emotional intelligence (EQ) matters just as much as intellectual ability (IQ). Emotional intelligence helps you build stronger relationships, succeed at work, and achieve your career and personal goals.   Emotional intelligence (EQ) is built by reducing stress, remaining focused, and staying connected to yourself and others. You can do this by learning key skills. The first two skills are essential for controlling and managing overwhelming stress and the last three skills greatly improve communication. These skills will be developed during the training.  Each skill builds on the lessons learned in practicing the earlier skills and include:
    • The ability to quickly reduce stress in the moment in a variety of settings
    • The ability to recognize your emotions and keep them from overwhelming you
    • The ability to connect emotionally with others by using nonverbal communication
    • The ability to use humor and play to stay connected in challenging situations
    • The ability to resolve conflicts positively and with confidence

Multi-Generational Challenges and Strategies:  For the first time in the workplace, there are four generations trying to work effectively together.  By 2026, approximately 75% of the workforce will be millennials.  Leadership needs to recognize how these generations are different, along with creating strategies to help the various generations be more engaged with one another.  This also means they need to revisit recruitment strategies and how they want to define their work culture.  This course will help leaders and team members understand the various generational differences, how to leverage these differences to create a more engaging workplace, and strategies to make a sustainable organization for future growth and stability.

“Helping you maximize your team’s strengths, improve communication, and successfully navigate change management is my focus and commitment.  I offer evaluation or current recruitment and retention programs; develop customized strategies, as well as training to deliver the quality results you need and expect.” – Melissa Luna

Strategic Advancement LLC will be teaching an online training series through CSU Online.  Links to the class registrations will be provided once content is completed.  Some additional information is provided.


  • LinkedIn.  Building Brand Awareness for Services and Organizations
  • Creating an Engaged Multi-Generational Workplace
  • Coaching Techniques to Create a Successful Team


  • LinkedIn.  Building A Robust Profile
  • Navigating A Multi-Generational Workplace
  • What Do I Want My Career to Look Like

This is a three-part training series for professional teams inside an organization. There are three courses that participants can complete to receive the Organizational Development Badge. Enroll in courses individually or all three for Badge completion.

LinkedIn. Building Brand Awareness for Services and Organizations
LinkedIn connects organizations with potential business prospects, as well as other industry experts. LinkedIn is also a building block for businesses to be found, thus increasing their online brand awareness. As LinkedIn connections increase, so do business opportunities, as well as other relationships such as new hires, business partners, and potential customers.
Participants will:

  •  Create effective ways of raising brand awareness and generating qualified leads
  •  Develop company/organizational career page
  •  Create groups and events through company profile to further engage your followers
  •  Develop other strategies to increase followers and online presence
Creating An Engaged Multi-Generational Workplace
Today, there are three generations (and in some cases for) that currently coexist in the workplace. Managers who harness this unprecedented opportunity for growth, development, and collaboration, while building bridges between generations, will thrive. During this training, we will discuss various ways to engage the multi-generational workplace.
Participants will:
  • Implement rewards/recognition programs customized to generational needs
  •  Build a culture on the shared needs of the multi-generational workforce to strengthen retention efforts
  •  Create a sense of teamwork that expands all generations
  •  Identify factors that impact team engagement (job structure, resource access, and/or workplace culture)
Coaching Techniques to Create Successful Teams
It is essential for managers to learn and apply coaching techniques to build successful teams. Coaching, when utilized to improve team performance, can require different approaches for different teams and people. What works for one team may not necessarily work for another.  Additional tailored resources and techniques will be provided specific to your organization’s needs.
Participants will:
  • Create effective working relationships by the manager through recognizing team members’ needs, preferences, and work styles
  • Help team members recognize their own styles, while appreciating the different styles of other colleagues
  •  Assess success of current organizational systems such as reward/recognition, performance management, and training

Advancing organizations and individuals both professionally and personally

Melissa has developed a Leadership Program for Bank of Colorado based on our needs and goals. She has been very helpful in determining the tools needed to provide our employees the opportunities that allow them to grow and develop professionally. Melissa is professional, accessible, and very well liked and respected by our employees. I would totally recommend her for your training needs. On February 8, 2016

Mary Diedrich

Director of Training, Bank of Colorado

Melissa “Hit The Nail on the Head” with my leadership profile. I feel like the leadership class is helping me understand my own coaching style, and it has opened my eyes to see my employees in a different light. I am able to change my leadership style to connect with my employees so they understand what I expect from each of them. In my individual coaching session, we reviewed my personality profile and strengths, and I was able to see myself in whole new light.

Nicole Walters

Brand President, Bank of Colorado

Chris Horn

Director, Channels and Marketing, Kroll Factual Data

Jared Houghton

Commercial Lender | Consumer Lender | Real Estate Lender | Credit Analyst | Banker