Leveraging a 360 Assessment for Professional Growth

Feedback is a great way to support, re-direct and encourage your employees.  But as leaders in local government you can take those 1-on-1 feedback sessions one step further by asking your employee “what can I do differently to better support you or make your work more effective?” This simple feedback question allows the employee to share their concerns, it models your authenticity to them and helps you improve as a manager.

Monthly or quarterly “sit-down” feedback sessions are great, but another type of feedback called 360 Feedback can be even more transformative.

The public safety model

In local government, public safety teams regularly hold “after action” reviews of emergency calls to discuss lessons learned from an event.  In those feedback sessions the group reviews the call and then determines how to reduce errors and challenges in future calls based on what they just experienced.   This idea of getting a broad range...

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Resolving to be Your Best

According to a study by the University of Scranton’s Journal of Clinical Psychology, roughly forty-five (45%) of Americans make New Year’s resolutions.  Seventy-five (75%) maintain them for a week and sixty-four (64%) maintain their resolutions for one month.  Only forty-six (46%) maintain their resolutions for more than 6 months. 

As a leader influencing your local government, it’s important to set strategic goals or resolutions for yourself each year – you might call them resolutions for your City, County or Department.  While you probably have a Council or Commission or Manager eager to set goals for you, it’s important to pursue a few goals you see as vital to your team’s success.

The first step is to document your resolutions in writing.   People are 50% more likely to achieve a goal if it’s written down.

A Look Back: Look back on the past year and consider what you did well and what you...

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Building Trust on Your Team

Having a high level of trust on City and County teams is paramount to the success of everything you do.  Trust between individuals and teams can either stifle success or multiply success.  Great sports teams who were under-rated in terms of skills often beat teams with much greater talent because they trusted each other and worked as a team.

Having a high level of trust on your team (whether it’s a department team, project team or city management team) has a range of positive benefits to those in local government.   Below are a few indicators to know if you have high trust on your team: 

  • Is your team open to hearing honest feedback?
  • Do your team members express their ideas in a transparent and honest way?
  • Are your team members protective or careful in how they talk to each other?
  • Do they know that the intentions of the people they work with are good?
  • Does your team take input personally?

Your team may or may not have these attributes and it’s...

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Coaching as a Strategic Development Tool for Cities and Counties

There are some great coaches that have influenced athletes over time.  You probably can think of some examples.    

In local government, you're the coach and the players are your employees.   As with all coaching, it’s the athlete who has to carry out and execute the plans.  You're not "on the field" and shouldn't be….you're on the sidelines encouraging, cheering and directing, just like a coach.   

Coaching is based on the idea that you believe the person is capable of solving their own issue.  Your goal is to help them develop a path to address a need by asking great questions.

Coaching is not a few things….

  • Coaching is not an annual review
  • Coaching is not feedback per se
  • Coaching is not being someone’s friend, although you may like the person
  • Coaching does not rely on your inspiration, but rather the person’s
  • Coaching is not directly telling someone what to do

Coaches facilitate, they don’t offer...

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Leading in Customer Service

Whether you are Director of Finance at a City, a County Manager or a Public Works Manager, providing customer service to other departments or to citizens is everyone’s job and it’s job #1.  As a leader you should be involved in the design, implementation and measurement of a customer service strategy to ensure your department is serving others well. 

Citizens are becoming more and more accustomed to next day delivery and ease of shopping all brought about by customer service innovation at Amazon and other online retailers.   They’ve tried to perfect the experience of shopping and they’ve raised the bar for other providers of services, including cities and counties.

In this blog we want to share six service strategies you can oversee to ensure the delivery of exceptional customer service in your department, city or county.

#1 Define Success

As a leader or manager, you should oversee the successful definition of customer...

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The Power of Productive Meetings

Most of us think of meetings as boring or dislike them for one reason or another.   So, often they lack real progress, decisions are often avoided, they lack purpose, the wrong people are at the meeting or they last too long.

To avoid this history, here are three principles, you as a leader, can employ for more effective meetings:

  • Consistency and clarity of purpose
  • Foster healthy team debate
  • Meeting agendas and best practices

Consistency and Clarity of Purpose: No one wants to hold a meeting “just to hold a meeting” and one shouldn’t.  Here are just a few reasons why holding regular team meetings can add value to your team.  

  1. Regular meetings allow for clarity on projects and assignments
  2. They help you reinforce important and timely goals
  3. They give you space to discuss and clear roadblocks for near-term goals
  4. They’re a great time to do some creative idea sharing around services
  5. They’re great for recognizing great performance and...
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How Appreciation Affects Job Performance

Want something you can do that is free and yields a 40%+ growth in productivity?

In today’s blog we want to remind you of a free, yet powerful tool in your arsenal to help motivate employees and get them more engaged - showing appreciation.

Different from appreciation is recognition, where you point out something wonderful someone did.  Recognition is conditioned on behavior.   But appreciation has to do with the person… and how they add to the team.

Appreciation is based on who you are (your identity), and recognition is based on what you do your performance.  The benefits of expressing appreciation are stunning.  Both recognizing others and appreciating others has tremendous impact on employee performance.

According to a study by the HAAS School of Business at UC Berkeley, when people are recognized for work they did well (their actions) they are 23% more effective and productive over those that were not recognized.

Yet, when people felt...

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Four ways to lead any personality type on your team

 

As a leader, it's important to know the people you work with. Strong relationships lead to stronger teams, and stronger teams lead to a more productive and more successful company. But getting to know people isn't just knowing their favorite TV show or the name of their spouse. That's trivia. To effectively manage your team, you've got to be aware of and understand your team members' personalities.

There are tons of personality tests out there: Myers-Briggs, Big Five,...

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Succession Planning Grid Using the 9-Box Grid

Local government leaders know that it’s important to have a succession plan and a way to identify each person’s development needs related to future roles.  A terrific tool for cities and counties to use to identify gaps in readiness the 9-Box Grid.

Since local government base salary can sometimes sway employees to leave (and make it hard to attract quality talent) city and county leaders need to do all you can to groom and develop the talent you have in-house.

A 9-Box is a fairly simple approach to assessing your employees’ current potential and performance.

As the title describes, there are nine boxes in this assessment grid. Each box represents a type of employee that’s on your team and each type needs something different to grow and prosper.

 The vertical part of the grid has to do with potential.  

  • Do your employees have the potential to grow and develop into a leader and into a future larger role, of say….Water Billing Manager?

...

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Practices for Effective Local Government Leadership and Management

Uncategorized Oct 23, 2020
At LeaderGov we embrace the comprehensive leadership practices of ICMA and put them to work in our online workshops.   We hope you enjoy this overview of 14 areas of quality leadership for local government.   

1. PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL INTEGRITY

Being fair, honest, and ethical in all personal and professional relationships and activities

Leadership dimensions that contribute to this core content area are:

  • Fostering ethical behavior throughout the organization through exemplary personal actions
  • Ensuring the decision-making model reflects integrity, honesty, and openness.

Management dimensions that contribute to this core content area are:

  • Conducting professional relationships and activities fairly, honestly, ethically, and in conformance with the ICMA Code of Ethics and the policies of your local government to maintain public confidence in the profession and local government
  • Performing official and personal affairs in a manner that clearly conveys that...
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