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The 10 “P’s” of Local Government at the District Councils Network Staff Development Programme

Sharing the experiences from your career development and the work you love is indeed the best part of my job. Being asked to share insights from my career journey and the top tips I have been given or learned along the way at the District Council Network (DCN) Staff Development Programme was therefore a real privilege.

The programme is well established and if you haven’t taken a look at it already for your own development, then I urge you to do so. Over the last five years, I have been lucky enough to see enthusiastic, eager district council leaders emerge stronger, wiser, and more confident from the programme. To top it off, attendees have also had the added benefit of gaining a fantastic, more varied network – what’s not to love?

I took the opportunity to share with the 2023 cohort, my ever-growing list of “P’s” that I think Local Government Leaders need to be focused on:

  1. Policy and Purpose – Local Government has bags of it so make sure you’re on top of it.
  2. Politics – Working with members is unique to Local Government, so make sure it’s for you and develop your political nous.
  3. Place – It is all about the “Local” in Local Government– ensure that you know your place and love it, so you can lead it and enthuse others about it.
  4. People – If you are running significant parts or all parts of an organisation, how well-developed are your people leadership/organisation development skills and insights? How are you going to improve inequality?
  5. People Services – They are the big budgets, the high-profile services, so make sure that they are a big part of your thinking.
  6. Partnerships – Be a whole system leader, not just the Council.
  7. Pound and Performance – Managing money is crucial, and knowing the return on investment is even more so.
  8. Personality – You need one, ensure it’s authentic.
  9. Presence – You are never off duty, and are always being watched. Know it, and manage it.
  10. Passion – You need bags of it, and if you can’t get passionate about changing people’s lives for the better – then the job is not for you.

Thank you to the DCN conference for inviting me along. All the best to the cohort of 2023.

 – Julie Towers, Managing Director at Penna

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