Our Mission

Serve as a catalyst for the continued development of leadership throughout Kansas by:

  • Annually identifying leaders from across Kansas.
  • Informing those leaders about key state issues.
  • Inspiring those leaders to maintain involvement in the social, business and political fabric of Kansas communities.
  • Maintaining a cohesive, relevant, Leadership Kansas alumni network.

The History

Leadership Kansas is one of the oldest and most prestigious statewide leadership programs in the country. Established by former Governor Robert Bennett and Gary Sherrer, and supported and administered by the Kansas Chamber, the program is entering its fourth decade of educating and motivating Kansas leaders from all four corners of the state. The Leadership Kansas Program remains committed to its original mission to inspire persons to maintain involvement in the social, business and political fabric of Kansas' communities.

The Program

Leadership Kansas is a statewide program that was designed to enhance and motivate future leaders from various Kansas communities. Each year close to 500 people are nominated to apply for the program. Upon the conclusion of a thorough and thoughtful application and selection process, 40 individuals are selected to participate in the class. Leadership Kansas is dedicated to ensuring geographic, racial, occupational, and gender diversity so that each class is truly representative of the state.

The Training

Once selected, the class orientation emphasizes leadership skills and development. Throughout the program, the class is then exposed to recognized experts from a vast array of fields/professions and engaged in educational and informational training sessions in six different Kansas communities. The diversity of the discussion topics which may include: business, education, agriculture, public policy, societal health and development, economics and government, will help further shape each class member's personal and professional development. As most of the over 1,100 Leadership Kansas alumni can attest, graduates of the program will leave well-educated and better quipped to shoulder important leadership responsibilities in their respective communities and careers. Graduates are given the opportunity to participate in numerous alumni social and educational activities as well as opportunities to help shape future Leadership Kansas programs.

The Benefits

Leadership Kansas benefits are diverse as the participants. Graduates gain enhanced communication skills, creativity, exposure to future business trends, and expanding their thought processes. Leadership Kansas 2015 Class graduates will have:

  • An inclusive network of colleagues and resources
  • A broad understanding of state and business issues
  • A better sense of personal leadership potential and enhanced leadership skills

Employers of Leadership Kansas Participants Acquire:

  • Valued employees connected to a diverse network of dynamic Kansas leaders
  • Individuals with knowledge and capacity to engage a variety of issues at the state and community levels
  • State energized and motivated to apply Leadership Kansas skills to organizational situations
  • Leaders prepared to address to momentous issues of our day

Successful applicants are individuals with track records of success in business and community. Leadership Kansas seeks diverse applicants open to new ideas and viewpoints with a desire to strengthen their state, communities, and employers. Class members are selected based on leadership contributions in their professions and communities and their willingness to contribute to Kansas' future progress. Participation is open to all citizens of the state.

Nomination Process

Nomination forms are sent to local and statewide groups, associations, Chamber members, elected officials and individuals. Persons not receiving nomination information are encouraged to visit the Leadership Kansas webpage at www.leadershipkansas.org to electronically self-nominate or nominate other qualified persons. Nominations for the 2015 Program will be accepted until December 31, 2014. All nominated persons to the 2015 Leadership Kansas program will receive information on the program, including dates, cost, and the application process. Questions may be e-mailed to lkstaff@leadershipkansas.org.

Application and Selection Process

The Leadership Kansas Board of Trustees extends an invitation to applicants for consideration for one of 40 positions in the upcoming Leadership Kansas class. Applicants should be able to demonstrate an increasing level of responsibility, potential for continuing to play a leadership role in Kansas, and evidence of professional and personal improvement since completing their formal education. Work experience scope of personal interests, level of community involvement, and recognition of leadership abilities through receipt of honors/awards may also have significant impact in the final selection process. Only those willing to thoughtfully and completely fill out an application, and attend and participate in all six program sessions and the initial orientation, need apply.

There is a $50 application fee. Tuition of $1,500 per participant is charged to cover program costs and meals associated with the sessions. Participants will be responsible for their own transportation and lodging expenses. Scholarships are available, up to $750 per person, for those selected to the program who require financial assistance to participate.

A total of 40 participants will be selected from those applying for the program. Selections will be made by an independent committee in March. The selection process is designed to provide a class representative of the diverse elements of our state.

All applicants not selected for the 2015 program year may apply for a future Leadership Kansas program year.




Leadership Kansas is an affiliate of The Kansas Chamber

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Leadership Kansas
900 S. Kansas Avenue
Topeka KS 66612
(785) 290-0017

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