Reflections from Kansas Certified Public Manager Graduate: Megan Milner

Comments Delivered by Megan Milner, Deputy Superintendent, Kansas Juvenile Corrections Complex

On December 2, 2016

Megan Milner, 2016 Certified Public Manager graduate, speaks on behalf of her Topeka cohort.

Megan Milner, 2016 Certified Public Manager graduate, speaks on behalf of her Topeka cohort.

Good morning.

I am Megan Milner. I am with the Kansas Juvenile Correctional Complex and was asked to say a few words about the benefits of the CPM program.

In Topeka, our class was held each month at a national historic site, the Brown V. Board of Education building. For a group of people who were meeting with the purpose of learning how to better lead and manage people, being in this building was a constant reminder that how we treat other people matters.

I’ve put together a short list of those things that I found, and my fellow classmates found, to be most beneficial in the CPM program:

  1. Coffee – a very wise person recently told me that a yawn is a silent scream for This really resonated with me, so the steady supply of caffeinated fuel was very much appreciated.
  2. The thermostat, and having control of said thermostat, was a highly valued commodity in the Topeka
  3. I looked through my CPM notebook and randomly pulled out some of the ideas or phrases that, looking back, really made an impression on Things like:
    1. Servant leadership…
    2. Emotional intelligence…
    3. Learning to appreciate and value differences…
    4. Deep smarts…
    5. We completed our own flowcharts and org charts, and all had to face the ominous question of whether or not our position was really relevant to our organization (which, for the purposes of my supervisor and Deputy Secretary in the audience today, the answer was yes)
    6. We talked about creating public value for our agency…
    7. We learned that there is a fine science to putting together a PowerPoint…
    8. Remember discussing rock stars, steady-eddy’s and bottom dwellers?
    9. There were so many areas that we studied over the past year and I mention some of these as a reminder of what we went through and how far we have come since January.
  4. The CPM staff and facilitators – We are very privileged to have been able to learn from such a high caliber of Thank you for sharing your stories and experiences and mistakes so that we can be better leaders. Your devotion and enthusiasm for the program helped create a learning environment free of judgement or disapproval, and we could tell you genuinely cared about us and our success.
  5. Our fellow classmates – If one were to speak to every individual in this CPM program and ask them what was most beneficial, I am confident you would hear similar answers from almost everyone: having the opportunity to interact and network with such a talented and smart group of There were many times during our classes when one of you said something that stopped me in my tracks and made me re-think and re-evaluate what I was doing. The insight and experiences offered by our peers were an instrumental part of making this program work. Public service is a very rewarding occupation…and at the same time, it can be complex, frustrating and challenging. But if the future of public service in Kansas is sitting in this room today, from what I have seen, we are in pretty good hands.

As I was reminiscing and looking through my CPM notebook, I found a quote that I wanted to end with today. This quote was shared with us in the very first CPM class in January and I jotted it down on a sticky note and put it in my notebook. I think it holds as much relevance at the end of our CPM program as it did the day we began. The quote is:

“Undertake something that is difficult; it will do you good. Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered, you will never grow.”

Thank you very much for the opportunity to speak today and congratulations to all of the CPM graduates on your hard work!