For the Governing Body and Management Team





Consultant Information:

Carol Nalbandian, Ph.D.

John Nalbandian, Ph.D.

2006 Riviera Ct.

Lawrence, KS  66047-1998

(785) 41-6012

Carol:  cnalband@aol.com,



John:   nalband@ku.edu,





Ž             Identify the attributes of the high performance governing body and the obstacles to high performance.  Explore political and administrative perspectives on governing and decision making.

Ž             Increase understanding and appreciation of leadership styles and team profile of the governing body and management team, focusing on the strengths of each person.

Ž             Develop a broad vision for the future of the community with specific short-term objectives that would achieve that vision.


Preparation:  Phone interviews

Carol Nalbandian will call the mayor and members of the governing body to clarify expectations for the retreat, to learn about city issues each considers important, and to seek input regarding the proposed agenda.


Governing body members will also be asked to complete before the retreat the leadership style instrument described below in Segment II.


Segment I:  Understanding Values, Politics, and Professionalism

This segment will provide council and staff with new insights about the values, dynamics, and relationships that affect political and administrative decision-making.  Some helpful models for looking at decision-making will be discussed, and participants will have an opportunity to look at scenarios, which illustrate values and decision-making in action.  Topics will include the three characteristics of high performing governing bodies; the value conflicts inherent in the work of elected officials and the most effective partnership between the governing body and professional staff.


Because of his experience as both an elected official and professor in public management, John Nalbandian has the unique perspective for empathy and understanding of both the roles of elected official and administrative staff.


Segment II:  Understanding Personal Strengths and Leadership Styles

Using the self-assessment instrument, "The Strength Deployment Inventory" (SDI; www.personalstrengths.com), council and staff will learn more about the strengths of each person's leadership style and how the collective strengths can best be used to build a more effective team.  Based on Relationship Awareness Theory, the SDI provides insights into the motivation behind behavior and increases both self-understanding and understanding of others.  The instrument is particularly helpful because it is non-judgmental, it makes good sense to people, and its concepts are easy to apply.  It also looks at an individual's style not only when things are going well but also under situations of conflict.  This instrument does not presume that there are problems, but it is a tool used to enhance effectiveness and cooperation.  Participants will also share their scores.  We have found that this session is an excellent team building experience.


Segment III:  Strategic Planning and Goal Setting

Governing body members begin by sharing their “dreams and fears” for the city.  Based on this and a discussion of the major issues facing the city, broad strategic goals will emerge.  These will become more specific by identifying and prioritizing short-term objectives.  The broad strategic goals will give citizens a clearer and inspiring picture of the future of the city as envisioned by the Governing Body, and the short-term priorities will provide staff with policy direction to guide their daily tasks.  The results can be integrated with prior activities so that a coordinated plan can be developed.  This session concludes with a discussion of how to track progress toward objectives and what the immediate next steps should be to continue the momentum of the retreat.


If desired, to end the session John and Carol can meet with staff to discuss ways of integrating new goals with existing goals.




Fees will be $7,500 and $1,000 for the phone interviews (total fee:  $8,500).  Phone interviews are optional.  The above three segments constitute the 1.75 day retreat, with Segments I and II provided on the first day and Segment III on the second day.  In addition to fees, there is a charge for reasonable travel expenses and the cost of the Strength Deployment Inventory, which is $15 per instrument plus shipping.



Carol Nalbandian, Ph.D., has been a consultant and trainer for over twenty-five years.  She has worked as the director and a senior consultant for the Menninger Leadership Center in Topeka, Kansas and director of management programs at the KU School of Business.  She serves as the director of the Leadership Academy for Local Government Executives in the Kansas City metro area.  This program, which is in its 8th year, is sponsored by the Mid-America Regional Council and was developed by John and Carol.  She has also been the director of management programs at the University of Kansas School of Business.  She has also been the director of management programs at the University of Kansas School of Business.  Her consulting and training experience is in organizational development, interpersonal communication, strategic planning, leadership development, and team building.  She has consulted with local governments nationally and in the Kansas City metropolitan area.  She has also worked as a mediator and executive coach.  She has an M.S. in counseling and a Ph.D. in organizational psychology.


In 2007, Carol and John were named by the National Forum of Black Public Administrators as “Educators of the Year.”  In 2008, the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce recognized both of them with the Buford Watson “Public Service” award.


John Nalbandian, Ph.D., recently stepped down as chair of the University of Kansas Public Administration Department.  The department specializes in training students for careers in local government.  US News and World Report has rated it as the number one local government academic program in the country.  In addition to his faculty position at KU, he is the Melikian Distinguished Visiting Scholar of Urban Affairs at Arizona State University.  In the 1990s, he served on the city council in Lawrence, Kansas, for eight years, including two terms as mayor.  He has worked with elected officials, professional staff, and academic audiences throughout the United States, and in Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom conducting workshops, training sessions and group facilitation.  John recently delivered the keynote plenary presentation to the Municipal Association of Victoria, Australia.  He has been recognized both as an “Elected Official of the Year” and “Public Administrator of the Year.”  In 2008 he received a university wide Kemper Foundation teaching award.  He is also a Fellow in the National Academy of Public Administration.  www.goodlocalgovernment.org



Recent related experience of Carol and John as a team:


North Kansas City, MO



San Luis Obispo,CA



Mesa, AZ