Most of us want to be good at what we do. We want to be exceptional. Figuring out what it takes to get there is tough. We need to know what excellence looks like, we need a realistic assessment of where we are and we need insight into how to keep moving forward in a way that supports continued growth. The challenge is that most of our formative learning periods have specific stages and outcomes that signal when we have arrived. The journey to excellence is a little bit more circuitous.
On August 2022, the Ontario government introduced legislation to give “strong mayor” powers to the mayors of Toronto and Ottawa. This Municipal World feature explores the implications of this legislation. It asks where it came from, why it was created, its implications and whether it is needed. Awarded the best feature article of Municipal World magazine for 2022.
How people experience working with you depends upon a number of factors. A big part of that is process. As I have written about extensively, process is important. It helps to coordinate, to deliver results, and to codify expectations and principles into guidelines that can be followed. Those benefits tend to be internal to an organization, however. Frustrations and unintended consequences can occur when those same processes bleed to the outside. For those who lead with process, consider this a cautionary tale.
It has been a while since I have posted here. I have unintentionally taken a bit of a summer hiatus. New projects have emerged, and I’ve also been reflecting on my overall focus and intent here as I find my voice and hit my stride with some of my other endeavours. I’m excited to be back here, contributing, observing, reflecting and sharing. I look forward to that continuing going forward.
Too many of us think that leaders are born, not made. We presume that leadership is an innate skill that we either have, or we do not. The reality is that leadership skills can be successfully taught, and learned. More importantly, good leadership gets demonstrated in a variety of contexts, by people of all levels and from all walks of life. Leadership isn’t necessarily the product of conscious intention; it shows up because it is needed. Above all, though, leadership is a performance; it involves embracing the behaviours and performing the roles that are essential in the moment, in response to the situation, to attain the outcomes that are required.
Last week was a difficult one for many. In one decision, rights have been taken away that were long-accepted as fact. There has been a lot of rage and sadness and frustration expressed already. There have also been calls highlighting the importance of others making their voice heard in support. That’s an interesting challenge. It is not easy being an ally. It is not something we are trained for. Nonetheless, there are approaches and strategies to engage in that will help.