Director's Column

Joe Mazzola

Director of Organizational Development, Joe Mazzola

McKinney Courier-Gazette, December 23, 2018


City of McKinney’s Leadership Academy Graduation

As our city grows, we want our staff to be more than competent to meet the growing needs of the community, so we are continuing to place a priority on our organizational culture, employee retention and development. We are striving to create a workforce that emphasizes leadership at all levels. Just imagine the potential of a thousand leaders making decisions at their level to better serve you!


On Friday, Dec. 14, more than 40 McKinney employees completed the City of McKinney’s second annual Leadership Academy. The program focuses on forging cross-departmental relationships and improving leadership skills. Participants are divided into two groups, managers or supervisors, and commit to monthly training sessions on subjects as essential as communication, organizational culture, servant leadership, conflict management and relationship-building.


Leadership at All Levels

“As the City of McKinney continues to become a high-performing organization, our Leadership Academy affords us an opportunity to invest in our future using the natural talents of our employees,” said City Manager Paul Grimes. “As we push toward the model of having ‘leadership at all levels,’ the work these participants have done and the strides they will make in their departments are key to our supporting the city’s astonishing growth.”


Participants in the class were tasked with evaluating and providing recommendations on how the organization can improve. Teams were organized to review leadership philosophy, performance management review and also how employee recognition is handled in the city. As a capstone for the class, the teams presented their research to the executive leadership team and provided suggestions for the future.


Employees Speak About the Experience

When asked to recap their experiences this year, participants were unanimous in their approval for the program. “The McKinney Leadership Academy is a true representation of the city’s desire to continue developing strong leaders who serve the community,” said Engineering Manager Nicholas Ataie, one of the 2018 graduates.


“I think it’s a great asset that involves employees in the process of normal business,” said Parks Maintenance Supervisor Boady Sandlin.


”The class has empowered me with confidence and encouragement to be bold in the way I lead my staff members,” said Parks Supervisor Sumner Haye.


Perhaps Senior Accountant Melissa Poole summed it up best when she said, “The Leadership Academy has helped me be more effective with my co-workers and my team. It has helped me see different points of view.”


The Leadership Academy class is just one example of several training opportunities the city offers employees. We believe the investment in our employees now will continue to pay off for years to come.