As a former state government reporter and political aficionado, what’s happening inside the State Capitol often interests me. But I’ve found this year’s session of the Kansas Legislature particularly intriguing for studying civic leadership.
Lawmakers began their annual 90-day session in early January with many difficult issues on their plate. Not only must they redraw the state’s legislative and congressional district boundaries, but Gov. Sam Brownback has laid out an ambitious agenda that includes flattening the tax code and revamping how we fund schools.
These issues represent deep, daunting challenges for lawmakers. Making progress on them will require skilled leadership, the kind that helps people navigate uneasy change and figure out what’s essential and what’s expendable.
Some have theorized that in order for a person to contribute to a greater good, they first must believe their own “glass” is fairly full, if not overflowing. Many agree that there is a certain hierarchy of need that must be met before people give. That’s why it is often referred to as “giving back.”
So here’s my question: Is it possible that your current glass, no matter its size, may NEVER be full enough for you? Can your glass ever really be full without contributing to something bigger than you and yours?
After attracting nearly 100 interested organizations from across the state, the Kansas Leadership Center’s Academy for Team Leadership – offering the winning organization up to $1 million in leadership training – has narrowed its list to seven finalists.
The finalists are:
The Kansas State Dept. of Education/KS Assc. of School Boards/ESSDACK – Interested in improving graduation rates (statewide focus).
USD 259/260 – Urban and suburban school districts interested in creating (and implementing?) a new model for the 21st century high school designed to have larger numbers of students graduate prepared for college or career.
Kansas Action for Children – Interested in reducing infant mortality in Kansas.
Thrive Allen County – health in southeast Kansas
Dodge City Community College – Interested in working more collaboratively in the region to improve the quality of life and economy of southwest Kansas. (This is similar to the SEK Project 17 effort, but focused on SW KS.)
Lawrence Public Schools/United Way of Douglas County – Interested in increasing high school graduation rate (local focus).
Visioneering Wichita Health Alliance – Interested in improving the health and quality of life of citizens using identified priorities of the alliance.
KLC plans to announce the winner by mid-February.
I mention all this not just because it’s fun to reminisce, but because KLC is rolling out “The Art and Practice of Civic Leadership Development” to a new cohort of Kansans in their 20s and 30s this year. You can read the details about the program here: http://www.kansasleadershipcenter.org/artandpractice.
If you think you have the passion and capacity to nurture leadership in others, I’d definitely encourage you to look into it.
Register Now For the Women Managing the Farm Conference GardnerEDGE Keynote speakers include Dana Peterson, National Association of Wheat Growers; Dan Thomson, Veterinarian, K-State Research & Extension; Cheryl Tevis, Successful Farming Magazine; Ed O’Malley, Kansas Leadership Center; and Cheryl Unruh, Author, … See all stories on this topic » GardnerEDGE
Leadership group coming to Newton Newton Kansan By Ashley Bergner The Kansas Leadership Center believes learning how to exercise effective leadership isn’t just important for elected officials or business CEOs. They think anyone in the community can step up to be a leader, and their goal is to show … See all stories on [...]
The Kansas Leadership Center is unveiling a new program for Kansans under 40 – The Art and Practice of Civic Leadership Development – and will traverse the state in the coming weeks looking for promising candidates.
Interested citizens can explore this opportunity to learn to develop leadership in others at one of four, regional “What’s the Buzz?” socials: in Wichita – Feb. 9; Hays – March. 1; Garden City – March. 8; and Kansas City – Mar. 27. Each event begins at 6:00 p.m., includes dinner, and opportunities to learn about the full range of KLC programming from faculty, staff and alumni.
If you’re a civically engaged person looking to move from the comfortable center of your ability to the edge of your potential, you still have a chance to enroll in the cutting-edge civic leadership development program, Your Leadership Edge.
The innovative program has brought Kansas Leadership Center theories and principles to select cities across the state, and is coming to Newton Feb. 10, 15-16 and 29th. Act now before the class of 60 fills up.
Indeed, interest group influence peddling, the steady loss of middle ground, a decline in media clout have fueled our current, caustic political atmosphere.
But the problem isn’t the most important part of the equation, challenged teleconference host and KLC President and CEO Ed O’Malley. What we choose to do about it is.