Category Archives: Mentoring

Reflections on the Kansas City / County Management Conference 2017

Comments submitted by Martina Böhringer and Lisa Krauss, international Interns from Germany
We are in a German degree program to become civil servants. Part of this is the opportunity to participate in a three-month internship abroad to learn more about different ways of administration and to improve our social and language skills.

During this internship we had the chance to attend the Kansas City / County Management Conference 2017 in Lawrence.

The occasion to combine different views on administration helped us to learn more about American government and about “Leading through Change.” After a brief introduction about the election last November, Dr. Mark Funkhouser pointed out seven different statements essential for innovative cities which will help them to realize changes. Following his presentation, there was a great panel discussion about the same matter.

We also learned that communication with citizens is a big part of success. This was touched on during the first panel and was the main topic of a later panel discussion about “In the Absence of (Local) Newspapers,” too. The information exchange between local government and the citizens is a general challenge, and we could learn a lot for our German cities.

KCCM 2017 Conference Theme Leading Through Change
The presentation by Dr. Heather Getha-Taylor about “The Balancing Act of Internal and External Community Building” was interactive and showed different models which improve communication inside the administration and create leadership. We have learned multiple models in our German degree program, and through the conference presentation we were able to deepen our knowledge and see a different point of view. Within the panel discussion: “Lessons from the Military: Community Building” we acquired how to communicate in difficult situations.

The Kansas City / County Management Conference 2017 in Lawrence was a great opportunity to combine the German and the American local governments and to expand our knowledge about leadership in different situations.

Reflections from Kansas Certified Public Manager Graduate: Colleen Stuart

Comments Delivered by Lieutenant Colleen Stuart, Topeka Police Department

On December 2, 2016


2016 Certified Public Manager Lt. Colleen Stuart from the Topeka Police Department speaks on behalf of her Law Enforcement Leadership Academy cohort.

2016 Certified Public Manager Lt. Colleen Stuart from the Topeka Police Department speaks on behalf of her Law Enforcement Leadership Academy cohort.

Although this Command School program is young, it is already highly sought after.  I recall feeling uneasy when Chief Brown announced in a Staff meeting he wanted to speak to LT Harden and I afterwards.  As we sat with him he very quickly asked if we would both consider participating in the KU PMC LELA Command School beginning in January 2016. Chief Brown wanted to invest in his Commanders to prepare them for future roles within the department.  I was honored to have been given the opportunity.

Afterwards, I began thinking of this year long program and what it would entail. I was a new LT at the time. While I had everything to learn, I knew discussion and networking was a large part of the program. What could I possibly contribute to a class full of experienced Chiefs, Sheriffs and Commanders from agencies across Kansas?

Over the course of the year, which was done before I was ready to let go of these amazing people; I took ideas back to my agency from our sessions- ideas like the one page project manager, the better understanding of how people are motivated and deal with conflict and the painful emotional intelligence profile. But I also learned much more than the lesson plans.

No matter the size of agency, there are similar issues and obstacles. When things go well we celebrate the same victories and we all share the same passion to protect and serve our communities. There are different leadership paths towards getting that job done; those that are at heart a street cop & soldier leading by example and from the front as our beloved CPT Dave Melton from the KCK PD did, leaders who are hardened administrators, no sugarcoating and seeing the bottom line but with a true heart for their people, and visionaries and innovators who look beyond the way things have always been done to what can be improved and done in a new way.  Each person within my class had a slightly different view of how to lead, how to deal with a situation, and I absorbed everything I could while I was in their midst.

Before I go I would like to thank Jonathan- our principal instructor.  Jonathan is the only non-law enforcement person I have met who seemed to really understand the quirks of our profession.  He understands why law enforcement thinks like we do, he would laugh knowing our brand of humor- even dishing it out on occasion. He created a learning environment that was enjoyable, relatable and valuable. He also hurt right alongside us when our brother in blue was taken tragically. He does not wear a badge but will always be one of us in my book.

In closing, I appreciate the opportunity I was given to join this program. As a result I stand now a better law enforcement officer, a better version of myself, because of each person in my LELA #3 class. And I thank each one of them for sharing who they are.  Thank you.


Reflections from Kansas Certified Public Manager Graduate: Daniel Cecil

Comments Delivered by Daniel Cecil, Assistant Director of Public Building & Grounds, City of Dodge City Parks.

On December 2, 2016

Daniel Cecil, graduate from the Hays CPM cohort, with PMC Director Laura Howard, University of Kansas Provost Neeli Bendapudi, and CPM Program Manager Terri Callahan.

Daniel Cecil, graduate speaker from the Hays Certified Public Manager cohort, with KU Public Management Center Director Laura Howard, University of Kansas Provost Neeli Bendapudi, and Certified Public Management Program Manager Terri Callahan.

Good Morning,

Thank you for attending the 2016 Kansas Certified Public Manager Program graduation Ceremony. I am Daniel Cecil from Dodge City and member of the Hays Cohort.

Back in January, when we first met as a class in Hays, there were many people who came from many walks of life, brought together by this class to improve themselves, their careers and the organizations they worked for and represented. We knew nothing or very little about one another so everyone was on their best behavior, ready to listen and learn about the expectations and course material Terri was about to send our way.

As the months went by, we went from a room full of strangers to friends that came together once a month for 2 days to talk, discuss and debate topics ranging from budgets and planning to managing projects and building relationships. We shared stories about work experiences and asked one another for advice and opinions on the tough questions we faced on the job. It was nice to know other people in the workforce were facing some of the same issues as myself and had positive feedback as well as solutions!

Even when we weren’t in class, many good memories were made. Group lunch was a regular occurrence in Hays with the help of the local class members providing their culinary expertise when we needed a restaurant to go to. We traveled to the City of Russell to watch the movie Seabiscuit on their big screen that was generously offered to us as an option. Setting on the rooftop patio at the Oread during the collaboration conference telling jokes and stories will be something I won’t soon forget.

Today as we gather for the last time as the 2016 class, I would like to thank Terri and all of the instructors for their time and dedication to the program to make it what it is, the best. The program is challenging yet rewarding. The capstone project provides an opportunity to improve on a work situation the individual has identified as an issue and the individual development plan allows people to continuously improve in both their work and personal lives. These projects along with the people and memories have made Certified Public Manager 2016 something to remember.

I believe that everyone who takes this class and fully invests themselves in learning and engaging will come away with a quality experience.


Thank you.

Reaching out to create a “Developmental Network”

Last week, KU Public Administration Department Chair Marilu Goodyear met with participants in our Emerging Leaders Academy to discuss the research on mentoring and offer some guidance to help them identify areas in which they might seek mentoring and people who they know who might fill that role.

Emphasis on people. Plural.

Marilu cited research by Kathleen Kram who interviewed employees in organizations about mentoring. When asked if they had a mentor, most people said no. But Kram’s research found that in fact most of her interviewees named multiple people in their work lives who served various mentoring functions. Kram thus posited that most career professionals have “developmental networks” of people in their lives rather than single mentors.

The following graphic, from Marilu’s 2006 article “Mentoring: A Learning Collaboration,” offers an example of what such a network might look like.

As she notes, “these networks consist not only of senior staff in the profession but also of peers and even junior professionals, who often can help veterans learn a new skill. Family members and friends can also play important roles in a developmental network, particularly in the areas of role modeling and psychosocial support.”

This approach takes away the expectation that one senior executive in an organization can both know and provide everything a junior executive needs, an assumption that was rarely borne out in practice.

Importantly, it also relocates the responsibility for effective mentoring relationships from the organization and the senior executives to the mentees who “develop their own developmental networks in relation to their particular needs. Mentees reach out to individuals around them to seek assistance in the functional areas where they need help.”

Have you ever found mentoring from an unlikely source who fits with this idea of a “developmental network”? What possibilities does this approach open for you? Share your experiences in the comments!

Upcoming Events at the KU Edwards Campus

There’s something for everyone in July at the KU Edwards Campus, with an event next week featuring the Public Administration Department Chair, Marilu Goodyear.

Mentoring: How to Reach Out for Professional Improvement with Dr. Marilu Goodyear
8am, July 7, Regnier Hall auditorium
Managing your career is an important aspect of overall personal happiness. Reaching out for advice and counsel from others is a way of understanding how well our perceptions about ourselves matches reality. How can I reach out effectively? How do I know whether someone will be a good mentor? These are a few of the questions that will be addressed in this presentation.
Click here for more information and/or to RSVP.

Start2Finish 5K Run: Saturday, July 10, 7am
Start at Johnson County Community College. Finish at the University of Kansas Edwards Campus. That’s the premise behind Start2Finish, an educational partnership between JCCC and KU Edwards Campus, and it’s also the premise behind the Third Annual Start2Finish 5K Run-Walk benefiting undergraduate scholarships. Click here for the route map and registration information.

Prospective Student Information Session, Thursday, July 15 at 6pm
Thinking about returning to school to finish an undergrad degree or for a masters? KU Edwards offers a variety of options at both levels (including an undergraduate major in public administration and the master of public administration). The info session is a great way to learn more about the programs and support offered at Edwards. Click here for more information.

Marilu Goodyear’s work on mentoring highlighted in Edwards Campus newsletter

We were delighted to see our colleague, Public Administration Department chair Dr. Marilu Goodyear, featured in the spring 2010 Edwards Campus newsletter. The article features her work on mentorship research.

“The research on mentoring pretty much proves that if you have one or more mentors you develop relationships with, it leads to an increase in compensation and career satisfaction,” Goodyear said. “For the organization, there is a decrease in turnover rates if there are more employees with mentors.” Read more.