The Minnesota Rising 2012 Un/Conference: Leveraging Expansive Leadership for Our Minnesota was held on Saturday, September 22, 2012 from 10:00AM – 4:30PM at DLR Group offices in Minneapolis, MN. Hosted by and for emerging leaders, the Un/Conference engaged emerging leaders across Minnesota in an energizing day of innovative learning and dialogue, skill-building, and network-building with their peers! See below for the content curated from the talented thinkers, doers, and presenters in the room that day.


11:00am Mentorship and the Emerging Professional
Desiree Culpitt and Julia Quanrud

The Minnesota Rising Un/Conference brought together a diverse set of mentors for the panel “Mentorship and the Emerging Professional.”  Panel guests included:

  • Nancy Martel, Client Liaison at DLR Group
  • Susan Schuster, Senior Community Affairs Consultant, Public and Health Affairs at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota
  • Ben Marcy, We-Make-It Man at Bedlam Theatre, Adjunct Professor at St. Kate’s, Leadership Specialist at University of Minnesota
  • Marc Hosmer, Executive Director/CEO at Urban Boatbuilders, Non-Profit Services Program Assistant at Charities Review Council
  • Consuelo Gutierrez-Crosby, Civic Leadership Program Coordinator at Macalester College Civic Engagement Center

Seated in a circle with participants, the panelists shared their ideas and experiences with mentorship and then exchanged questions and ideas with the audience.  Key insights included:

  • Determine what kind of mentoring relationship you want. Mentor relationships can be formal or informal.  Informal mentorships lack the facilitator or program that establishes a formal mentorship; informal mentorships are about taking someone under your wing.  Formal mentorships have set goals, timelines, and outcomes.
    • If you have a formal mentorship opportunity, take it.  Opportunities are rare for formal mentorships.If you’re an informal mentor, it’s the responsibility of the mentee to manage the relationship.
    • Your boss is not your mentor.  You need to be able to show your weaknesses to a mentor, which isn’t always advisable with a boss.
  • What do mentors get out of a mentoring relationship?
    • Mentorship is about paying it forward.  Mentors are looking to return on the investment others made in them.
    • Mentors value how the relationship helps them grow, as well as the new perspectives they gain from their mentee.
  • Tips for finding a mentor:
    • Identify what you need in a mentor and look for a mentor who has that experience.
    • Network and conduct informational interviews to find your mentor.
    • Ask your boss for ideas on who could mentor you.
    • Don’t be afraid to ask people to mentor you.
  • Alternative forms of mentorship:
    • Recently, some individuals have been seeking mentors that are significantly younger than themselves, turning traditional mentoring relationships on their head.
    • Form a group of peers at other companies to get together with and share concerns.
    • Get involved in a networking group or a coaching circle.
  • Tricks for setting your mentorship up for success:
    • Read up on mentorship so that you have a knowledge base to inform what you need from the relationship.
    • Set goals and share them with your mentor.
    • Readjust and diversify your goals.
    • Self-advocacy and asking questions are critical mentee skills.
    • Trust is a two-way street.  A mentor and a mentee need to know their strengths and weeknesses and be ready to share them.
    • WIFM:  “What’s in if for me?”  Keep this acronym in mind when you have a mentor.  What is your mentor getting out of the experience?
    • Don’t let this concept get in the way of seeking a mentor, however.
    • Ask what you can do to help your mentor.  Bring your help to them.
    • When you look good, you make your mentor look good.
    • Sometimes, though, a mentor may see those benefits only with time and reflection.  It’s an investment.
    • Mentors should be good listeners and ask the mentee questions.
    • When the mentor listens, they should avoid judgment.  A good mentor is also reliable and flexible.

Recommended reading:

  • The Leader Who Had No Titles: A Modern Fable on Real Success in Business and in Life by Robin Sharma
  • Leaders of Today and Tomorrow (LOTT) Fellows Program, a formal mentorship program for college-aged and emerging professional women through the League of Women Voters.  Applications due October 12.
  • The Mentoring Partnership of Minnesota can help you find a mentor program (both youth and adult opportunities).  More information here.
  • The Amherst H. Wilder Foundation hosts Neighborhood Leadership Programs.  More information here.
11:00am Getting Your Idea Off the Ground!
Allison Holland
Check out her prezi on “Getting Your Idea Off the Ground!
11:00am Meaningful Engagement in Social Change – Choosing and Getting Involved with a Nonprofit
Lynette Dumalag, Katie Imholte, Katie Tharp, Stephanie Payne
See the presentation online at Issuu!
2:00pm From Hero to Host: Leading in complexity

Rinal Ray and Leah Lundquist 

From Hero to Host:
Leading through conversations that matter
Rinal Ray & Leah
September 22, 2012
“Leadership in the Age of Complexity.” by Margaret Wheatley
and Deborah Frieze. 2010. <>
Dave Snowden explains the Cynefin Framework, a way to reframe the context in order to
determine the best problem-solving approach:
A video from an Art of Hosting training sponsored by
InCommons in Minnesota describes the 4-Fold
, the conceptual foundation for the many participatory methods that
are considered “hosting” practices:
Art of Hosting Steward Tuesday Ryan-Hart explaining the Chaordic Path:
The concept of Divergence/Convergence
in group process acted out by participants in a January 2012 University of
Minnesota Art of Hosting training:
“The Art of Powerful Questions: Catalyzing Insight,
Innovation and Action.” By Eric Vogt, Juanita Brown & David Isaacs. 2009.
To learn more about Art
of Hosting
Art of Hosting is a practice of looking for the deep patterns around groups that work and creating meetings where people can do their best work together.  Practically, it is a fusion of some very powerful participatory facilitation tools and practices (appreciative inquiry, world café, proaction café, open space technology, and circle practice).  Used together, they are a flexible way to help people lead and help groups move into connection and deep conversation and action fast. It has come from a group of practitioners who were looking for ways to support the people they were working with to work at the boundary of connection and innovation.

International Community of Practice Online



2:00pm Professional Success is as Easy as P.I.E.
Al Coleman

See his presentation online at Issuu!

2:00pm So, You Want that Promotion? How to Use Management Theory for Success
Sarah Morris

See her presentation online at Issuu!

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