Let's talk Leadership!

Leadership in the role of Mayor

I am a team player by nature, so  I prefer collaboration, cooperation and partnership, but when needed I can stand alone and make a critical decision. And over the last 3 years I have done both.

I think the role of Mayor is not widely understood in our community and it  is assumed I have more decision making power that I do.  As  Mayor I only have one vote on each decision except if the vote is tied (equal numbers for and against an issue), when I have an additional casting vote. Once a decision of the Council is made as Mayor I must promote that outcome and talk from the majority position when ever representing Council. So the Mayor must represent the majority decisions to Government, other organisations and the public. They can hold their own view but their job is to convey the democratic decisions not push their own agenda.

It is also assumed the Mayor has more power than they do. A Mayor cannot tell the Chief Executive what to do or direct staff to carry out specific activities. They set the direction but the CE directs the activities of Council.

I have heard a lot at candidate meetings about leadership, and want to make it quite clear than no Mayor can get anywhere on their own. They need strong teams and to get agreements between councillors.  I believe that to be effective a leader must enable and empower others to do their best work. That is why all councillors had leadership roles on Council. I set up 3 new committees to enable people to make a positive difference. These were: Economic Development, Environment and Central City. The Chairs and Deputies did a great job. I am proud of the whole team at Council and thank them for their contributions. 

In Politics a range of different views is normal and debate is part of good decision making. However, strongly believe you should play the issue an not the person. How can you build strong teams if you put others down, name and shame them to build up your argument or yourself?

Mayoral candidates can promise the world to be popular with a range of voters but they cannot be effective on their own. They need more than half the votes on any key issue, for a start. That means valuing the views of your colleagues and seeking to find solutions together.

My commitment to you is to use the skills, talents and passions of all councillors to form a strong team to work with you and for you.


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