What's black, white, and read all over?

Ann Daniels
Director of Technical Services
APWA Kansas City Office

No, it's not a newspaper. The answer is: The Baker's Dozen and the Baker's Menu brochures. And what might those be? A carefully researched and prepared list of the basic Core Competencies needed for good Public Works Leaders and Managers. And who, you ask, compiled them? Members of the Leadership and Management Committee, one of APWA's Technical Committees. The two brochures are now available on the Leadership and Management page of the APWA website at Both can be downloaded and printed in color.

Members of this year's committee include: Sue Hann, Chair, Palm Bay, FL; George Haines, Gillette, WY; Patty Hilderbrand, Kansas City, MO; John Ostrowski, Vancouver, WA; Bill Sterling, Port Angeles, WA; and Gary Strack, Overland Park, KS. Diane Linderman serves as the Director-at-Large for Leadership and Management.

This very active group of leaders/managers has devoted a great deal of personal time to developing not only the list of competencies but to writing articles on each of the twenty-six items which help to define how the competency fits into the world of public works. Each of the articles has been printed in the APWA Reporter and can be found at the online Reporter page, beginning with the December 2003 issue. Each month's installment brings many requests for the entire series so if you have missed an issue, check it out online.

Several of the committee members have written chapters for the curricula of the Public Works Institutes and have pledged their support to encouraging each APWA chapter to sponsor their own institute.

The 2005-06 Business Plan for the group states, "The Leadership and Management Committee will provide direction and motivation to the membership to foster qualities of effective leadership and management within the professions responsible for development and administration of public works infrastructure." One strategy planned to meet this goal is the continuation of the emphasis on how public works leaders and managers can improve themselves and strengthen their positions through continued growth and development.

With this goal in mind, members will prepare and present three educational sessions for the 2006 APWA Congress which will emphasize the importance of being a good leader and/or manager, including one which will focus on the age-old question, "Is there a difference between a leader and a manager?"

A new focus of the committee is joining with the Diversity Committee in support of the Women in Public Works initiative. As co-sponsors of the first Open Forum held during Congress in Minneapolis, they have determined an overwhelming interest from the attendees at enhancing the networking, mentoring, and career development of women who have chosen to join the public works profession.

Never hesitant about stepping up to the plate with new ideas and plans, committee members will also be developing new ideas and plans for the Emerging Public Works Leaders Forum held each year for first-time Congress attendees who have joined the public works field within the past five years. The program will be revamped for the coming year, utilizing many suggestions from this year's leaders and mentors. Watch for ways you and your chapter can participate.

The Leadership and Management Committee PowerPoint presentation is now available for chapters and branches to download and show as program material for chapter meetings (just go to /Documents/About/TechSvcs/Leadership/LM-Committee.ppt). The presentation details the role, responsibility and activities of the committee and is made available in an attempt to familiarize members at the local level with the resources available and only an e-mail away.

By monitoring the Management infoNOW Community, members are willing and eager to share their information, ideas and expertise with members seeking advice or direction in working through issues in their own agencies.

A couple of new publications are in the works, along with the articles written by committee members included in this issue.

If it sounds like the members of this committee are actively involved in finding ways to offer good leadership and management tips, techniques and tools, it should. Not only has each member contributed to educational sessions, articles, publications and information sharing, they are heavily involved in the operation of their own agencies. That's what leaders and managers do. And these members are doing it on your behalf and doing it well. Thanks.

Ann Daniels can be reached at (816) 595-5223 or