At the big green barn south of Dunn Road in rural Sturgeon Bay, the lawn ornaments are mind-boggling. It’s the home of Team Leadership Center, Inc. (TLC) and Door County’s Adventure Center, a magnet for families who seek an active bonding experience and a professional beacon to companies worldwide who want the best teambuilding experience.
Tim Pflieger grew up on these same 80 acres, and when he returned from his career in higher education, he believed there was a better way to teach. A renovation got underway. With the help of his brother Jon and his dad Pat, the loft where 16,000 bales of hay had resided became a huge open area surrounded by old easy chairs and sofas. The lower regions are carpeted with diced tires so you bounce when you walk. The rare wooden king silo is the only wooden king climbing silo in the country, and lots of ropes and other interesting stuff complete the décor.
All instructors at TLC are certified instructors, certified annually by a third-party vendor, and the company’s safety record is excellent.
Since its inception 17 years ago, bookings have risen, from 43 during the first year to 280 programs so far this year. Pflieger is booked solid until August and it’s filling up fast. The facilities are open all year, but the high season for kayaking is Memorial Day to Labor Day. The mix of offerings covers so much that there is a constant demand from clients – from something as simple as a birthday party to a Whitefish Dunes (State Park) Shoreline Interpretive Kayak Tour to the sophisticated administration of a Needs Analysis of organizational issues for a variety of groups from government, business, academia and, of course, collegiate and other kinds of sports.
Workshops and seminars list thought-provoking topics; Communicating for Success; Coaching and Mentoring; Influential Supervision; and Time Management are a few. Pflieger notes, “The key ingredient in successful communication is not your perspective, but that of another.”
What else? How about rock climbing, flat water canoeing, fly fishing, camping (Leave No Trace), snow shoeing, and the annual Becoming an Outdoor Woman (BOW) workshops and youth classes. A kayaking rental concession is operated at Beach Park in Egg Harbor.
TLC facilitates programs as well at St. Norbert College’s Challenge Course in DePere, and will provide programs at the site of a client’s choice.
Administration of this multi-faceted endeavor flourishes under Tim Pflieger’s leadership. He once majored in pre-veterinary and got an undergraduate degree in plant science, followed by a Master’s in business (University of Wisconsin). Along with rock climbing, mountaineering, kayaking, and even becoming an EMT, he is a visible advertisement for his business – lean, energetic, articulate and brimming with enthusiasm. “We are so unique in what we do,” he says. “We ask a group, ‘How serious are you about leadership?’ You can form a group of people, but you must unify them. What is function or dysfunction? If you are not who you say you are, your competitors already know it.
“We have positioned ourselves in all we do as a professional organization in diverse areas and created processes that are unique, learning with something in our hands and not only in our minds, being fully engaged.”
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