WHAT SKILLS SHOULD AN EFFECTIVE TOWN MANAGER POSSESS! I Guarantee I have seen most of these in Tommie Jones!! Never in Tebo!!

In compiling this list, which applies to businesses as well, it may be realized why White Springs has not found ideal Town Managers.  Or, if they find a manager they blow it. It is not just money which brings a good person to a challenging job, but community and the determination to make things greater than before.

The council is never wrong and in most cases, will not allow change or eliminate ineffective people who cost the Town money. The Council micromanages and up to this time, they have never respected new ideas. Part of the reason is ego because everyone wishes to be recognized for doing something, but at some point, you all need to just let a new manager do his or her job and make certain you receive reports on what is transpiring. Communication is important in business relationships as it is in personal relationships.

Until we get our debt burden down and finally get ourselves out of this financial dilemma, our spending will be lean…but a good manager will use his or her abilities to figure out ways to save the Town Money. The Town officials have never really had GOALS of which they have required Staff to handle. GOALS are something which a person needs to reach.….the fundamental principle is to have a vision and goals and implement them. 

Now most people tell me that to be what I have listed below is impossible, which it is not if you are dedicated to the goals.

  • A Town manager must be a leader rather than just a manager
  • A Town Manager is someone who will identify a vision and “sell” it to others – the council, staff and the community and move forward.
  • The ideal Town Manager should have strong diplomatic skills since he or she will be working for numerous bosses while trying to motivate his or her staff and others around him or her.
  • Since it is important for everyone to have a common goal and work toward those common objectives, a Town manager must be skillful in developing a very strong vision that people can support.
  • The Town Manager must be able to read a community so that the public may be comfortable with him or her.
  • A Town Manager must be able to relate to a community and have good listening skills to feel the pulse of the community.  This means being very involved in community events, by engaging in the community and making sure the organization does so as well.
  • The Town Manager’s values, his or her personal values and the values of the organization being led have to be in line with community values.
  • The Town Manager must be at the heart of the Town’s use of funds. The Town Manager is the one who proposes the allocation of resources.
  • A Town Manager must become an expert at time management using techniques to reduce interruptions and have ideas for refocusing.
  • A Town Manager must know when to ask for help.  He or she may use the people around you or ask willing citizens to assist when resources are short. Ask especially people who do something better than you do, tell them what you need and give them the opportunity to step up.
  • The Town Manager must separate important issues from the urgent issues.
  • The Town Manager must not be afraid to change his or her mind.  When more information is received and one realizes that he or she is wrong, not changing one’s mind would be worse.
  • The Town Manager fights to make certain the resources are there and take the initiative to reduce local costs
  • A Town Manager must keep the entity fiscally strong.  If money needs to be borrowed, the Town Manager fills in the gaps between tax receipts and improved bond ratings, keeping interest rates down in short term and long term loans.
  • The Town Manager is a professional rather than political appointment, and that good experience in one community can be carried over to the next. 
  • A Town Manager must be able to identify problems so he or she knows what to do.
  • A Town Manager manages results not how one manage the why.  If a Town manager has a clear objective of what is wanted, that will work.
  • A Town manager must be seen in public, be engaged and involved with the various programs and clubs.  The Town manager is the human face to the entity he or she represents.
  • The Town Manager’s role is to keep employee morale up at all time and to create a place, an ambiance, where people feel they are contributing. 
  • The Town Manager must be fair so that you earn the respect of people by setting an example
  • A Town Manager cannot rely on one person to do it all It must be a team effort.  If he or she sets an expectation as a “modus operandi” for your immediate staff, he or she will accomplish a team effort.
  • A Town Manager must be familiar with the Town Charter, all ordinances and the laws of the State and must follow them.
  • It cannot be just a job for a Town Manager.  A Town Manager must take ownership and be a stakeholder, not just go to sleep and work for the Town Love your job every day and change the Community and the world.
  • A Town Manager must ask staff what they do and what staff believes is a waste of their time.  Question reports that collect data which is never used.  In other words the Town Manager eliminates unnecessary work from the workplace.
  • A Town Manager must get rid of people who do not share the vision, mission and passion of the entity because they will cost you in the long run.  Hire the right people.
  • A Town Manager must hire the best and smartest people he or she can find and brainstorm with them to solve problems.  Give your staff the tools they need, delegate and allow them to do their job.
  • A Town Manager must be an excellent communicator not only being able to go before a large audience but to talk at council meetings 
  • Again the Town Manager must develop good listening skills.  The Town Manager has been hired to listen.  When people bring issues to his or her attention, he or she should not start by telling them what to do but rather listen to them.  That is a difficult task since we are always under the illusion that we know the answers.  A Town Manager must be able to analyze and receive new information.

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