Leadership is fundamental to effective and efficient governance. Leadership isn’t about power. It’s about influence, cooperation, communications, and getting things done in a way that makes most people happy most of the time.
Leadership is not a one-way street, flowing from the top down. Especially in small town government, it should function more like a rotary because here, leadership should form a loop. In business, we call this process a continuous improvement loop.
What does that mean for Groton? We must choose the right individuals to govern our community. We, the residents, are the leaders, and the members of the Board of Selectmen are our delegates. We have to vote for the best people, the best selectmen, to lead the town.
What does that mean for Town Hall? The Board of Selectmen must choose the right people to manage our employees and resources. It must also ensure that they are responsible to the Board of Selectmen, and through the board, to the voters. Town managers and employees implement the policies that the selectmen and voters decide are important, not the other way around.
And the ultimate customers, all the people who live in town, give feedback to their selectmen at their weekly meetings or the polls.
I have always been a student of leadership. In 2014, I began to focus on the qualities of leadership while working on my degree in business management.
I agree with many people that the most important traits are the ability to inspire a shared vision; the ability to model the way things should be done; a willingness to always challenge the process, to constantly evaluate and look for ways to improve the way things are done; to enable and encourage others to act by building strong teams; and to encourage the heart. This may be the most important, because accomplishing extraordinary things in town governemnt or in any organization is hard work. To keep hope and determination alive, leaders recognize contributions that individuals make. In every winning team, the members need to share in the rewards of their efforts, so leaders celebrate accomplishments. They make people feel like heroes.
I practice these ideals every day at work with my employees, our company, and our customers. I use leadership skills as a parent to encourage our children to achieve their potential. Six Sigma is a management philosophy dedicated to identifying and managing improvements by building strategic teams within an organization — I completed my certificate as a Six Sigma Black Belt to obtain more experience, expertise, and awareness in assisting organizations through vital and necessary change. As I work on my MBA, my focus will continue to be on organizational strategy and leadership.
With your vote on May 17th, I can bring my passion for leadership and teamwork to Groton’s Board of Selectmen.