Here’s Post #4 – Distributed Leadership – of a longer thread on the roles of a Mayor & Council in our current system of local governance. From an earlier post, I noted that the key tasks of a mayor and council, with a mayor being one-of-equals in the voting process, are to make policy, set budgets and oversee administration. This one-of-equals governance is really the basis for distributed leadership. In some jurisdictions it works very well and in others it can become dysfunctional to say the least. In most cases distributed leadership works just fine but it is highly dependent on the personal attributes that elected officials bring to the table.
I was going to drill down into how Distributed Leadership is best achieved in an effective manner but fortunately, there’s a BC govt website that has a good set of short videos that explore the characteristics, roles and responsibilities of local government elected officials and their relationships with professional staff and each other. A further key aspect is a commitment to responsible conduct.
Check it out at https://www2.gov.bc.ca/…/thinking-of-running-for-local-offi…. If some recent by-elections in other jurisdictions are indicative, there may very well be a record number of candidates seeking elected positions here in Salmon Arm this fall.
It’ll obviously be up to residents to determine the characteristics and qualifications of candidates that might best fit this distributed leadership model we have. For me, key attributes lie in the interplay between encouraging a diversity of ideas, clarity of communication styles and personal abilities to effectively engage in distributed leadership – all amidst the pressures involved with the balancing of competing priorities.
That’s the crux of effective local government leadership and yes it’s imo!