Weekly Update: Mentors, Geeks, Brands, Bosses

Weekly Update: Mentors, Geeks, Brands, Bosses

Dear ELGL members,

It’s hard to believe it, but #ELGL17 is right around the corner. Bridget Kozlowski took the reigns on conference planning this year and she’s done a phenomenal job. Initially, it was nerve wracking to delegate away ELGL’s biggest event, but when you work with amazing people, delegation is always a great thing: ELGL’s conference is getting a fresh perspective, Bridget is overseeing a huge team of people and planning a national event (great for her resume), and ELGL stays true to our mission to empower our members to do great things and expand their potential. I can’t wait to see all of the awesomeness that Bridget and her team have put together and will be sharing all of it via social media from Detroit!

What I’m reading:

What I’m listening to:

  • Power washers, weed eaters, lawn mowers: it’s the first nice weekend in ages, and my suburban neighborhood is literally buzzing with people doing yard work.

What I’m watching:

  • Veep & Silicon Valley – the two best comedies on TV and they both have new seasons right now. Totally worth the added expense for HBO.

Three Cheers for Mentors

Over the past two weeks, I’ve met with four of my mentors – Chris Jordan, John Morgan, Greg McKenzie, and Tom Eiland. All of the meetings were routine check-ins; I’m fortunate that each of them regularly take the time to meet with me and talk about work, life, etc.

And because I met with all of them in such a close time frame, it got me re-reading this article. I talk about this article a lot in presentations, because I think the idea of needing sponsors is critical, especially for women.

I like the idea of finding people who will “bang the table” for you; the idea of mentorship but with more power. And I especially like this section of the article:

The No. 1 criterion for me in terms of people I mentor is whether a person is willing to do it for somebody else. If I’m going to invest the time with you, if I am going to get up at 6 a.m. on my way to the airport and call you about an issue you might have, I have to feel comfortable that when somebody calls you at six in the morning that you’re going to do the same thing for them.

A great reminder that mentorship/sponsorship goes two ways – you can’t just benefit from it yourself, you have to be willing to do the same for other people.

Data Geeks

This week, the UNC MPA team working on the gender and race data collection for North Carolina local governments presented their findings to Stacy Schweikhart, Lauren Stott, and me. And they knocked it out of the park!

I’m really excited that UNC is sending them to Detroit in a few weeks so they can present their findings at #ELGL17. Their data collection is important, and the data template they’ve created can be replicated in other states too. We’re at a critical starting point in providing comprehensive data on local government leadership diversity.

I don’t want to spoil the surprise and share their entire presentation, but here’s something interesting from their findings:

They found that 21.2% of North Carolina CAOs are women, which is a big difference from the 12.1% presented in the ICMA data (which only includes ICMA members).

I’m hopeful that as more states begin to collect and share data using the template we’ve created, we’ll continue to find clarity and understanding about the true percentage of women and people of color in leadership. And while 21.2% isn’t worth doing cartwheels about (I’m not doing any gymnastics until we’re at the 50% mark), it’s certainly a lot better than 12.1%

ELGL Brand

As you know, ELGL is doing a digital services upgrade with leadership from Luke Fretwell and Kevin Herman at ProudCity. As part of this exercise, we’re reviewing our brand and exploring who we are, what we do, and why we do it. This week, Kevin had our team answer the question: “how is ELGL different from other organizations?” Here are some of my favorite answers we received on Twitter:

Be My Boss

This week, I also developed a job description for the ELGL board of directors position. You’ll remember that we’re currently looking for three new board members. Here’s the link to the board application. We also set the date for an ELGL annual meeting for May 31, 2017 at which time we’ll update our bylaws and constitution to reflect the new board structure, the appointment of an executive director, and some much-needed cleanup language and procedural updates.

I’ve received a few questions about the timeframe we’re operating under – board apps are due May 12; the annual meeting is May 31; and the start of the new fiscal year is July 1. I’m anxious to get our affairs in order by July 1 and to do this, we need a board that can approve a budget in June. If you have any questions about the board position, the process, or our documents update, please let me know.