Is your very existence a threat to your employees? | What a college basketball coach learned from management books | Ala. city council donates $133,000 to 5 schools
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March 27, 2013
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Leadership and Management
Is your very existence a threat to your employees?
By simply existing, bosses psychologically threaten their workers in fundamental ways, says David Rock, director of the NeuroLeadership Institute. Leaders have higher social status and greater autonomy than their employees, and that imbalance, left unchecked, can demoralize and demotivate workers. "A smart boss will notice this and do all sorts of things to try to fix it," Rock says. The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (3/23)
What a college basketball coach learned from management books
University of Miami men's basketball coach Jim Larranaga loves to read management books such as Stephen Covey's "Seven Habits of Highly Effective People," from which he regularly quotes to his players. That's led Larranaga to adopt a meticulous, data-driven training style underpinned by a carefully groomed and unusually structured coaching team. His structure "provides for a highly integrated coaching style that gives the team's leaders a greater view into the skills and weaknesses of more players," writes Jena McGregor. The Washington Post (3/18)
Budgeting and Finance
Ala. city council donates $133,000 to 5 schools
The Pelham, Ala., City Council has approved a $133,000 donation to five schools for computers, iPads, leadership-training material, professional development and student recognition. Councilman Ron Scott says he hopes the money will increase accountability among city and school administrators. "We don't have to do this," he said. "We do this because we want to be good citizens." (Alabama)/Real-Time News from Birmingham blog (3/26)
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Mich. city council will skip annual budget recess
The Detroit City Council will meet during the third week of April instead of taking an annual one-week budget recess because of the presence of Emergency Financial Manager Kevyn Orr. The mayor's budget proposal, set to be presented April 12, will still be studied by councilors, but Orr will have authority over the process under a state law that takes effect Thursday. "This may look different than any other budget we've ever done," council President Charles Pugh said. Detroit Free Press (3/26)
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Emergency Management and Public Safety
Scottish city prepares for reform of emergency services
Scotland's Tayside Joint Police Board and Tayside Fire and Rescue Joint Board have met for the last time, as service reform is set to take effect Monday. The boards, comprising council representatives from Angus, Dundee and Perth and Kinross, will be replaced by Scottish Police and Fire and Rescue. (U.K.) (3/26)
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Economic Development, Restoration and Sustainability
Fla. city council OKs spending on theme park's pedestrian bridge
The Orlando, Fla., City Council has approved a $9 million spending plan that includes a $4.5 million pedestrian bridge to connect a new Universal Orlando Resort hotel with the theme park. The plan is part of a major expansion by Universal, one of the city's biggest employers, that is expected to cost hundreds of millions of dollars. "This is going to create jobs and increase public safety," Commissioner Patty Sheehan said. "This definitely provides a public benefit." Orlando Sentinel (Fla.) (tiered subscription model) (3/25)
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Wash. city council says higher fees won't stifle development
The Seattle City Council is pushing ahead with a plan to increase affordable-housing fees and building height in South Lake Union. The plan has met strong opposition from business leaders and property owners, who say increased fees will discourage development. However, councilors think the area's popularity and the presence of Amazon will continue to lure developers. The Seattle Times (3/25)
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Legislation, Policy and Grants
Va. city council votes to "ban the box" on job application
The Richmond, Va., City Council has unanimously approved the elimination of a requirement that job applicants check a box on their application if they have been convicted of a felony. Although the "ban the box" measure won't keep the city from performing a background check on applicants and might not end job and housing discrimination against felons, the council says it has set an example. "If the city does it, it will have an effect on those vendors and contractors that do business with the city," said Richard Walker, a felon who started a nonprofit. Richmond Times-Dispatch (Va.) (3/27)
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Public Works and Infrastructure
Ore. city council must move out of shopping center's way
The Tualatin, Ore., City Council will either have to remodel its chambers or relocate this fall, as a plan gets under way for a multimillion-dollar shopping center that includes extending a street through the council office. The plan also includes parklike public spaces and trails along the Tualatin River. The Oregonian (Portland) (3/26)
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Minn. city council opts against street project
The St. Cloud, Minn., City Council has rejected a plan to replace the curb and gutter and add a sidewalk on a street. The plan, part of a neighborhood-revitalization project, would have cost about $2.3 million. St. Cloud Times (Minn.) (tiered subscription model) (3/26)
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March is Ethics Awareness Month
Protecting integrity and the public trust are fundamental to the local government profession's role and reputation. Raise the visibility of ethics in your workplace - contact the ICMA Ethics Center at 202-962-3521 for information about ethics training for staff, leadership, elected officials, boards, and commissions. Learn more.
Wanted: Outstanding chief operating officer
ICMA is seeking a passionate, mission-focused, seasoned, strategic leader to fill the position of chief operating officer. If you have the interest in, passion for and commitment to making a difference in the lives of those who make a difference in communities worldwide, consider applying for this unique position. Learn more.
Last chance to reserve your Scottish adventure!
The inaugural ICMA Travel Connections trip to Scotland is filling up fast! Arranged through the ICMA Travel Connections program, which provides social travel events for members and their families to premium locales worldwide, the trip will carry members to Scotland from July 21 to 29. Many Scottish highlights await our members. Reservations are due no later than Monday. View the trip itinerary and download your reservation form, or contact Sallie Ann Burnett at or 864-541-8678 with questions.
It is often laziness and timidity that keep us within our duty while virtue gets all the credit."
-- François de la Rochefoucauld,
French writer
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