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

CARYN GARDNER-YOUNG

City Manager

Parkland, Florida

cgardneryoung@cityofparkland.org

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.

MARCUS JONES

City Manager Norfolk, Virginia

marcus.jones@norfolk.gov

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

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