Magazine article Public Management

What's Your Favorite Piece of Leadership Advice?

Magazine article Public Management

What's Your Favorite Piece of Leadership Advice?

Article excerpt


City Manager

Parkland, Florida

What advice did I receive? From the funny (make sure you put on the same color socks each day), to the serious (understand the politics of your organization). But the best leadership advice I received was from my mentor and that was to be open.

He had worked in government for a long time and had been through many difficult situations. He implored me to be open to new ideas, to communication, and to just being open.

I took this to heart by having an open-door policy, and I am fortunate that employees take advantage of it. We have cry sessions when employees are having personal issues, we have laughs when we cannot believe what a resident just did, and we have serious times when problems need solutions.

I feel the employees are comfortable in coming to see me because I do not sit at my desk. To be a leader, you need to be visible. I am lucky that my organization is fairly small so I can visit offices and employees in the field on a regular basis. That familiarity allows employees to know me and for me to know them.

It always amazes me when I see a smile from an employee when I ask about his or her family, especially when I use family names. The value of employee support to me as the face and leader of the organization cannot be measured.


City Manager Norfolk, Virginia

I am the youngest of seven children born to my mother and father in rural Virginia. …

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