Building things involves materials, skills and tools.
Leadership and collaboration are big parts of building communities, especially in these current times where our differences seem to be increasingly highlighted and sometimes even exploited.
It’s more important more now than ever to reflect on how leadership and collaboration can unify a community. Local governments have a unique ability to do this but it does require dollops of both glue and WD40 too.
While the responsibilities of local governments are complex, it’s how we address issues that may be as important as the actual decisions themselves. I want to give a shout-out to Salmon Arm Mayor Alan Harrison here. He has invested trust in council by distributing leadership across the council table according to interests and expertise. That makes a huge difference in the overall capacity of council to advance files.
The glue of distributed leadership increases the ability to connect our community, while the WD40 reduces friction to more fully engage in collaborative efforts. Measured and timely applications of both are important for sure!
This sharing of leadership leads to better outcomes and it requires elected politicos to be genuinely collaborative. It means having the skills to listen closely. It means careful consideration of the competing ideas on the matters at hand and explaining the rationale behind the positions taken. While there’ll always be differing views on decisions, folks need to feel that the process is fair, that all options are fully considered and that they are indeed heard.
Salmon Arm is in a good spot right now and it’s not just local politicians who are actively collaborating in the community. It’s so impressive to see individuals and organizations grabbing the opportunities to more fully involve others, communicating widely and actively mentoring our upcoming generations. There is great collaborative leadership happening in many Salmon Arm venues as this decade winds down.
Leadership and collaboration – the glue that binds a community together, as well as the secret sauce that minimizes our differences. Those’ll be on my holiday wish list again this year!
On behalf of all of Salmon Arm council, Merry Christmas and best wishes for peace and joy to each of you this holiday season.