MAPE members graduate Emerging Leaders

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Emerging Leaders

MAPE’s next generation of leaders graduated on March 15 after seven months of class and homework as part of state’s Emerging Leader Institute (ELI), a program for state employees, rooted in leadership development.

In the photo on the right: MAPE leader Ellena Schoop, second from left, recently graduated from the state’s Senior Leadership Program.

The annual program begins each September and is limited to 72 state employees first identified within their agencies as ready to prepare for future leadership opportunities and then selected by an executive committee. More than half of this year’s graduates are MAPE members.

Participants in the ELI program sharpen creative/strategic thinking, interpersonal and leadership skills.

“I saw participating in the State ELI program as an opportunity to sharpen my skills, meet new peers/network, and better position myself for a leadership role in the future,” said Whitney Ridlon, Local 1401 (Dept. of Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board). “I have been able to meet many other passionate and ambitious peers who want to make a positive difference through their work.”

Many say they have already begun to apply the things they’ve learned in the ELI program to the work they do every day for the State of Minnesota.

“The course work has provided me with new tools to think about my work and my collaboration with colleagues, which has already proved useful,” said Ben Jaques-Leslie, Local 201 (Dept. of Human Services). “Most importantly, having new connections across state agencies provides me a larger network to draw upon to support my work.”

Local 1001 activist Heather Hirsch said her supervisor recommended ELI as part of her professional development plan and the skills she’s learned will benefit her team, division, agency and union.

“As a result of my participation, I have had conversations with my supervisor about taking on more responsibility and leading new strategies in my current role,” Hirsch said. “I look forward to bringing this into my work with MAPE as well.”

Ellena Schoop, MAPE Region 7 Director, recently graduated from the state’s advanced leadership course, Senior Leadership Institute, and echoed Hirsch’s willingness to bring the skills she’s learned into her union leadership work.

“What I found fascinating is I thought I would go in and get tools and tricks to be a better leader, but we focused on personal development; not focusing on your weaknesses, but on your strengths,” Schoop said. “I’ll apply this with MAPE and engage stakeholders by seeking feedback from others, which I’ve learned is important.”

One graduate said the program confirmed leadership is not limited to those with direct reports. Another said the institute fostered a longtime dream to complete a long-delayed graduate program.

But one thing is for sure; all graduates plan to use what they’ve learned to continue serving the citizens of Minnesota through enhanced personal and professional development.

“If my leadership skills, knowledge and abilities are enhanced through my participation in the ELI program, then I am able to pay it forward and enhance those individuals with whom I work and interact with daily,” said Andre Moody, Local 401, Dept. of Revenue.

For more information about the state’s leadership development opportunities, go here