The exceptional leader in the 21st century will not define diversity along racial and gender lines, but will recognize the composite talents, skills, experiences and perspectives that make each individual unique, and will embrace and leverage that uniqueness to benefit the collective purpose. Beyond the traditional challenges associated with differences along racial, gender and ethnic lines, complex issues such as same-sex unions, illegal immigration, and religious, political and ideological differences are stifling growth and inhibiting competitiveness.
Advance Kansas was created to strengthen and accelerate leaders' abilities to address these complex issues and build communities that work well for future generations across all demographic lines. Participants hold leadership positions in business, government, and community organizations and are chosen from nominees who have been asked to apply. Classes, limited to around 40 participants, are shaped to reflect the diverse demographic characteristics of the region.
Advance Kansas is unique in several ways.
First, it's not a race and gender sensitivity program; it's a leadership development program that will build skills that are applicable to all types of diversity issues, including race and gender. The skills are as applicable for addressing intra-group tension as they are for tension across groups.
Second, Advance Kansas is a program for leaders and decision makers that have the capacity to impact direction within their own organizations and in the community at large. The select group of leaders invited to participate in the program represent a dynamic group who are engaged in the community and committed to progress.
Third, Advance Kansas is not simply an academic exercise. As part of the program, leaders delve into real-time community issues and mobilize to develop actionable initiatives to address those issues.
Fourth, the program exposes participants to a new lens through which to view diversity, and provides tools for examining diversity dynamics and diagnosing underlying tension. Participants will learn skills that support effective decisions around complex issues.
Finally, Advance Kansas builds new relationships and takes existing relationships to a new level. Over time, graduates of Advance Kansas will become a key community-of-interest for addressing challenges and opportunities throughout the state.
Name: Mary Moon