Every person, to the best of his or her ability, should be a good and loyal citizen and an emerging servant leader. The Grindstone Institute’s programs are designed to develop such people for our society.

— Mike Dovilla


Interpreting DISC and Motivators reports to improve self-awareness

Whether you are an individual who would like to improve your ability to communicate with others or an organizational decision maker concerned with recruiting and retaining the right people, assessments are a great resource. Mike Dovilla is a certified practitioner of the DISC and Motivators assessments, which provide an accurate picture of both how and why every individual behaves as he or she does.

What is DISC?

DISC is a short description of you, custom designed in 10-15 minutes. It helps you to recognize your own style, see what works about you, and control your own style. It tells others how to communicate with you, anticipates normal tensions in relationships, and shows you how to read others and adapt your communication accordingly.

What is Motivators?

Motivators builds on DISC to provide additional insight into the beliefs and drivers that influence our choices and actions. The seven dimensions of motivation filter and guide decisions uniquely for each person, influencing individual priorities and decision-making. Where DISC reveals how we behave, Motivators explains why.

How can I use these resources as an individual, executive, or HR professional?

DISC and Motivators are powerful tools that offer a substantial return on investment. Whether you are trying to become a more influential leader who wants to improve your ability to interact effectively with others, a C-suite executive or small business owner who would like to get your team to work better with one another, or a hiring manager who wants an accurate way of measuring whether a potential employee will be a good fit for your team – DISC and Motivators are essential. Contact us today to learn more about how to save money for your company by making sure the right people are in the right roles at the right time.


Coaching and mentoring leaders to realize their full potential

Are there tried and true principles that are always certain to help a person grow? Absolutely! The Grindstone Institute and our certified John Maxwell Team coaches stand ready to guide you or your team. Our small group leadership training sessions, called Master Mind Groups, are a great place to start. Using resources such as Dr. John C. Maxwell’s book, The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth,* we partner with you to explore how to reach your full potential by increasing awareness, intentionality, and other key elements of personal development.

Join a four-week session for 90 minutes per week, calling in from anywhere. Each class is just $99 per person and is limited to ten participants. Groups fill quickly, so sign up today!

Grindstone can also work with your company or organization to design a customized curriculum that is right for your team. Examples:

  • Solo practitioners in real estate, accounting, medicine, law, and other professional services aiming to take their practices to the next level
  • Small and medium-sized businesses that are ready to scale up and need a new leadership mindset to get them over the hump
  • Trade associations and chambers of commerce that provide programs to members looking to improve their leadership and communication skills
  • Educators seeking to become more effective at inspiring students to achieve their goals
  • Anyone experiencing leadership pain points and looking for ideas to navigate and overcome them

Contact us for a free 30-minute consultation to discuss your objectives.

*various John Maxwell Team resources available


Inspiring others by sharing diverse leadership experiences

Looking for a keynote speaker for your organization’s next annual meeting or weekly gathering of a chamber of commerce or civic group? Invite Mike Dovilla, founder and president of The Grindstone Institute, to visit with your team! Mike will share leadership insights gained from experiences as the former majority whip of the Ohio House of Representatives, chief of staff of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, a senior officer in the U.S. Navy, and national president of the Phi Kappa Tau Fraternity. Mike combines entertaining anecdotes from more than two decades in and around politics, the military, and the volunteer/nonprofit arena with leadership principles that are applicable to any organization.

Mike Dovilla and The Grindstone Institute’s strategic partners stand ready to work with you to put together a program that is just right for your company, agency, or nonprofit including:

  • 15-20 minute programs for meetings of chambers of commerce and civic, fraternal, or veterans service organizations – offered as a complimentary service to our community
  • Keynote speeches for annual meetings of boards of directors and trade associations
  • Programs for national conventions of membership organizations, such as fraternities and sororities
  • Retreats for political caucuses, elected officials’ staff teams, and government agencies
  • Diversity and inclusion workshops geared toward leading multi-generational teams in a professional environment

Contact us today to request Mike Dovilla or another Grindstone speaker at your next event!


Offering organizational frameworks for growth and success

It can be challenging to develop a strategy, get your entire team on board, and then execute according to the plan. Sometimes it helps to have a fresh perspective. That’s where Grindstone can help.

Our facilitators will work with you to develop a strategic planning workshop designed to organize your thoughts, cultivate buy-in from team members, and prepare a roadmap to execute the group’s vision. Grindstone’s customized half-day and full-day strategy sessions are ideal for drafting a blueprint and recommending effective ways to make it a reality.

One strategic resource that always receives positive feedback from our clients is The Leadership Game.  Based on the teachings of Dr. John C. Maxwell, this 90-minute simulation helps organizations improve their leadership intelligence and increase their effectiveness. Play the game with 6-12 of your most influential leaders. By the end you’ll learn to appreciate one another and forge stronger relationships – a winning edge for any business or organization. After the simulation, we’ll sit down with the team’s manager for a one-on-one debrief that highlights areas for potential development, which the game revealed.

Contact us today to schedule your own round of The Leadership Game or a personalized strategic planning workshop with your team.


Developing America’s next generation of leaders

At the heart of The Grindstone Institute’s purpose is a belief that sustaining our uniquely American form of self-government doesn’t happen automatically. It requires proactive involvement to pass along the wisdom of the ages to future generations.

Grindstone’s Emerging Servant Leaders Program (ESLP) is designed to engage youth who wish to grow as leaders focused on serving a cause larger than self. ESLP aims to help Ohio high school students become engaged, compassionate citizens through an extracurricular program that conveys lessons in civics and civility.

Composed of seven modules geared toward high school students, ESLP allows Grindstone to come alongside schools, churches, social service agencies, and nonprofit organizations to share lessons in communication, civility, gratitude and, notably, why every American – regardless of background – has a reason and a responsibility to love our country.

Our innovative curriculum incorporates practical exercises and important lessons built upon Grindstone’s five founding values of leadership, communication, patriotism, service, and faith:

ESLP Modules

  1. Self-awareness
  2. Civility
  3. Citizenship
  4. Responsibility
  5. Gratitude
  6. Attitude
  7. Capstone

We welcome our community’s involvement in this important initiative. For more information or to be a partner organization or corporate sponsor, please contact us .


Partnering with institutions of higher education to develop young people

At The Grindstone Institute, we believe the university experience at its best is more than classroom learning. To take full advantage of these critical years that bridge the gap to being a full-fledged adult, one must endeavor to develop a robust set of intangible traits to realize his or her potential.  That’s why we’ve created our Campus Leadership Program.

Since 1997, Mike Dovilla has mentored hundreds of students on campuses ranging from small private colleges to large public universities. As an advisor, regional officer, national board member, and ultimately national president of the Phi Kappa Tau Fraternity – guiding a men’s leadership organization with almost 5,000 undergraduates and over 65,000 living alumni – Mike understands the value of building relationships, honing interpersonal skills, and developing competency in leading others.

Over the past two decades, Mike has interacted with and lead fellow members of his own Generation X cohort, mentored Millennials from the classroom to the early stages of their professional careers, and guided the newest college students from Generation Z on campuses across the United States. He offers a toolbox of proven leadership resources and is eager to come to your college or university to engage with today’s student leaders.

Components of the Campus Leadership Program include:

  • Keynote speeches
  • Leadership retreats for student government
  • Facilitated workshops for fraternities and sororities
  • Diversity and inclusion programs

To design an opportunity to sharpen your campus leaders with Grindstone, please contact contact us.