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[Pacific Lutheran Scene]

Leadership and Service

PLU leadership training takes shape

By Drew Brown, Editor

[image] Susan Mann
Susan Mann conducting the Leadership Seminar.

Becoming a leader is not as easy as it looks. Imagine being thrust into a leadership position for the first time like Sue Mkrtichian, who was recently promoted to Director of Student Health Services at PLU.

“I had no idea of the many things I would need to handle,” Mkrtichian said. “I was overwhelmed.” Luckily for Mkrtichian, PLU has recently created a program that has perfectly fit her challenges as a new leader.

PLU President Loren J. Anderson called on Susan Mann, Director of Human Resource Services, to develop a leadership program. Anderson felt PLU needed to create a larger and even more skilled pool of campus leaders.

The Leadership Seminar that Mann helped create includes a mix of 16 faculty and administrator participants from all areas of PLU. The objectives are simple: support the university’s cultural shift, refine talents, enhance leadership and interpersonal skills and improve knowledge of policies.

“PLU has changed a lot in the last decades, and so has the culture,” Mann said. “Very few universities have an opportunity to develop a program like this.”

Some of the main topics this year have been: Principles for a Collaborative Workplace, Giving and Receiving Constructive Feedback, Personal Strategies for Navigating Change, The Multicultural Work and Learning Environment, Influencing for Win-Win Outcomes, and Coaching: Bringing Out the Best in Others.

The thread that weaves through all seminars is collaboration. Mann believes that one of the real values of the Seminar is the opportunity for people to come together from different areas, develop deeper relationships, share ideas and solve problems together.

“For the university to spend its resources this way feels very supportive and encouraging,” Mkrtichian said. “I like knowing peers across campus, people I might not otherwise meet. This cross section will help me get things done. The subjects have been very practical and we have had ample opportunities to practice our new skills. I am very impressed.”

Faculty and administrators who are interested in nominating themselves or others to participate in the Leadership Seminar in the future are encouraged to contact Mann.




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