Copy the Leader: Feloniz Lovato-Winston
Feloniz Lovato-Winston is the Director of Kansas Public Radio and the Kansas Audio-Reader Network.

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Jayhawks in leadership positions are everywhere you look, including through the Jayhawk Career Network. KU Alumni, in partnership with SumnerOne, is highlighting Jayhawk leaders who are models for others in their industries with our “Copy the Leader” program.

What do you do in your work?

I am brand-new to my current position, director of Kansas Public Radio and the Kansas Audio-Reader Network. My official start date was September 18, but I have been fortunate to start learning some aspects of the job from retiring director Dan Skinner over the past several weeks. I’ve spent the prior thirteen years in development for both organizations, first at Audio-Reader, and most recently at Kansas Public Radio. The two organizations share staff, airwaves, a beautiful building full of custom studios on the KU campus, and a similar mission – to provide access to news, information, literature and cultural experiences, free of charge, using broadcast and digital technology. My job is to manage both organizations, and work with our staff, volunteers, donors and the University of Kansas to continue to fulfill our mission.

What are the qualities of a good leader?
I believe that good leaders are humble, honest and adept listeners. I have found that providing space for collaboration and honest conversations where all available points of view are considered leads to the best possible outcomes.
How do you practice leadership at your job?

I work with a group of very talented and creative individuals, so it’s in everyone’s best interest, especially our listeners, for me to trust the expertise of KPR and Audio-Reader staff, and provide space opportunities for them to do engaging work that they enjoy. I practice leadership by asking questions, listening, and helping out however I can – especially with the big picture stuff. I focus on providing access to professional development opportunities, ensuring everyone has the equipment equipment and software they need to do their jobs, facilitating meetings and connections that can lead to exciting new collaborations. I also think it’s important to model a positive work environment where people feel safe sharing ideas, asking questions and taking risks.

What makes a team or group successful?

I think that a team is most successful when they both enjoy the work they do and feel supported, by the entire team and their supervisor. I’ve been at KPR and Audio-Reader for quite some time, and it’s really because I have always enjoyed the work and I believe in what we do. I love to read, and I grew up listening to public radio with my mom and dad. I know all of our staff feel the same way – and that passion really does help us meet our goals. One of the things I’ve learned as a supervisor is that projects are more fun and successful when we all work together.

How can leaders in your industry help their organizations adapt to change?

The media landscape is changing rapidly. You don’t have to work in public radio to know that! We still have a strong radio audience, but more and more people are streaming our content and prefer to listen to their favorite programs on-demand. Leaders in the broadcast and reading services industries need to keep looking to their listeners for guidance on how best to serve them, and then work with their talented staff to meet those needs.

Read more about Feloniz Lovato-Winston here.

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