Days Like This – Recommencement of My Leadership Journey

My life as a local government CEO recommenced on Thursday night. The decision was effective immediately. Suddenly, thoughts flashed through my mind: leadership, communication, collaboration, training and development…

Dusting off the hat, briefcase (I don’t use it these days, but I must have a copy of my qualifications etc with me) and syncing of all electronic devices

The first step – leadership

My appointment is temporary, but until further notice. It’s something I said I would never do again. There’s a lot to be done.

That night, I hit the phone and contacted my executive team and other key players (a number of these work remotely). I received a warm welcome – I have worked with them before, in other places.

The second step – communication

On Friday, I prepared a notice to all staff – yes I prepared it myself. This had to be a personal communication from me. I then sent it through via my computer some 40 minutes before the work day commenced.

However, I had arranged for all staff to be advised by others as soon as they arrived, in person. I won’t be on site until Tuesday.

The third step – collaboration

I then hit the phone again at 7AM. I finally got off the phone at 6PM.

Many of the calls I made were to staff directly. I needed to reassure them that it was business as usual and I needed various updates around key matters and some minor ones.

I was more than happy I had covered off on everything. In short I had:

  • Implemented with my PA the organisation’s new communication, meeting and feedback structure;
  • Minimised risks through securing of the organisations records and IT;
  • Identified the gaps regarding the administration of the organisation including internal resources and financial management;
  • Confirmed the level of support required for community services to work effectively;
  • Reviewed a number of key plans and capital projects within the works and services area;
  • Evaluated the regulatory functions: building, planning and health; and
  • Firmed up closing out the new strategic and corporate plans.

At day’s end I was able to issue an update to the council (in effect my board of directors). I affirmed with them my leadership and management approach, my thoughts on the gaps in the organisation and the status of the immediate strategic issues. My message was clear – I have no hidden agendas and I am a team player.

The fourth step – training and development

During my gap analysis on the Friday, a number of suggestions were made regarding how to address the lack of skills and knowledge in the customer service areas. These gaps are causing a broad level of frustration for community members.

Knowing how important the frontline is, I commenced preparations regarding closing these gaps straight away. As a result, I will be in a position next week to delegate the arrangements to the managers concerned so they can commence the required upskilling almost immediately.

Other reflections

For someone like me, taking over and reinvigorating an organisation is second nature. All that know how, suddenly reappeared.

The methodology I have used over the last few days is based on the advice I have shared on this blog many times now.

Of course, what happened on Thursday night and through Friday wasn’t everything, but it gives you some idea of the core issues I needed to address before walking through the door.

Days Like This

All through Friday, Van Morrison’s song “Days Like This” was running through my head. It sums up what I will strive for going forward:

When it’s not always raining there’ll be days like this
When there’s no one complaining there’ll be days like this
When everything falls into place like the flick of a switch
Well my mama told me there’ll be days like this 

When you don’t need to worry there’ll be days like this
When no one’s in a hurry there’ll be days like this
When you don’t get betrayed by that old Judas kiss
Oh my mama told me there’ll be days like this 

When you don’t need an answer there’ll be days like this
When you don’t meet a chancer there’ll be days like this 
When all the parts of the puzzle start to look like they fit it
Then I must remember there’ll be days like this 

There’ll be days like this 

When everyone is up front and they’re not playing tricks
When you don’t have no freeloaders out to get their kicks
When it’s nobody’s business the way that you want to live
I just have to remember there’ll be days like this 

When no one steps on my dreams there’ll be days like this
When people understand what I mean there’ll be days like this
When you ring out the changes of how everything is
Well my mama told me there’ll be days like this

24 Comments on “Days Like This – Recommencement of My Leadership Journey”

  1. G’day SurePaw,

    “What a difference a day makes – 24 little hours”…

    Reckon that’s my favourite Ivan song, Sean, and you’ve motivated me to nail it on my Angel 2!!

    Strong themes of personal connections & reassurance resonate here, BigCat.

    All the best way out West,
    Laney of The UnderCroft

    Liked by 1 person

    • Cheers, Laney! Thank you for your comments on the strong themes – they are a must, regardless the size of the organisation 😊

      We managed to nail quite a few songs yesterday. We are going for the stripped back sound – letting the guitars “do the talking.” The vocals were quite good too. The Angel 2 is a niece looking guitar 🤩


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