There is no limit to what you can accomplish if you don’t have to take credit and are prepared to be accountable


A question posed:

The mayor’s role extends well beyond officiating at council meetings or other municipal proceedings. Additional important roles are providing leadership, promoting positive relationships, and being a model of good governance. It is also often said that a Mayor should be a “Man of the People”, which is defined in Wiktionary as “One who shows understanding of and sympathy for the concerns of ordinary people, and who has a rapport with and acceptance by ordinary people.”

If elected, what will you do to provide leadership, promote positive relationships, be a model of good governance, and most importantly, be a man of the people?

I’m not sure I would change my approach to a great extent, other than perhaps making a conscious effort to take my nose out of council work more often to make time for more community events and performances.

To me being a man of the people means more than being social, it also means being interested in the community to the degree where you participate.

  • It means the understanding you get about young parents concerns because you attended the early childhood learning workshop and the presentation for the $10-a-day daycare initiative;
  • understanding the difficulties around attracting medical practitioners because you attended a GP for Me workshop;
  • volunteering to draw up the design for the bike park proponents;
  • building gingerbread houses for IPS and Tir-na-nOg fundraisers;
  • sitting in the dunk tank at Bowfest, and
  • participating in a webinar on designating historic buildings and places on Bowen Island.

The most fun I have had (so far) during this election was hosting 10 students from Island Discovery Learning Centre at Municipal Hall and watching them work through finding consensus on a location for the Fire Hall. Let’s hope the new council can be equally efficient when this question comes before them!

I believe leadership is a role exeercised lightly and with respect. A leader is first a listener – it is important to understand where people want to go and why – then a facilitator helping to build consensus around approach and implementation, and finally a champion of the plan.

My style of leadership comes from being deeply familiar with the issue and clearly articulating all facets of it so that the dialogue is informed. Opinions are a natural outgrowth of the information we have, so accurate information is essential to consensus.

Leaders must have the courage of their convictions. This can sometimes lead to choices others find difficult and uncomfortable, so a good leader is always ready to collaborate – always looking for the win-win. Promoting positive relationships is about trusting people, trusting them to be truthful, trusting them to know their job better than you do, giving them both responsibility and authority and always being respectful and honest – and a good dose of humour never hurts.

Occasionally things go awry, people don’t live up to expectations, consensus can’t be reached… Leadership means recognizing the situation, making the changes necessary to continue the process and holding oneself accountable.

My approach to leadership: There is no limit to what you can accomplish if you don’t have to take credit and are prepared to be accountable.

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