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Leaders Make Cities Tick

March 5, 2015  |  Lamar Norton, GMA Executive Director
Lamar Norton
There are all kinds of leaders. A leader is not necessarily the guy doing all the talking; the best leaders do just as much, if not more, listening than talking. Some of our leaders are easy to recognize. As elected officials, they are visible in the community and often featured in the media. They do great work on behalf of their city but it goes beyond that as they are constantly working on improvement of their community.
Much of their work actually takes place behind the scenes working with young people who need mentors and good role models, the seniors who have led the way for all of us and seeking to create jobs for a better quality of life. All these efforts come at great expense of personal time and sometimes personal expense.
But I have found that those who serve are most likely to serve in a greater capacity. Someone once told me, “If you need something done, ask the busiest man you know. He’s the guy who is going to make things happen.” There are many men and women in our cities who fit this description.
We also have great leadership among city employees. Their work ethic is superior and they are truly “close to the consumer” so they get the complaints, compliments and they know what is going on within their city. This is priceless. When you have employees who have the soft skills necessary to be professional, reliable and know how to get results with efficient efforts, then you know you have the right people.
Add to that mix the people who possess the more technical skills and the mechanical skills necessary to keep the vehicles, the pumps, the lift stations, the fire hydrants working as they should, and you see city workforces that are meeting the needs of everyone within the community. Everyday should be a celebration for the leadership of the elected officials and the staffs of all cities for the commitment they make to build a better life for all citizens who want to live in our cities.
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