Thursday, June 23, 2011

Thanks for the opportunity…….

To begin with I am very pleased with the recent announcement of Al Horsman to the position of CAO for the City of Kawartha Lakes. Our goal at the outset was to identify and select an individual with strong leadership skills and enthusiasm for the future of the City of Kawartha Lakes. I am very confident we have achieved this goal.

You should know we received over 40 expressions of interest for the CAO position and, after a thorough review and consideration of all applicants, our recruitment process selected Al to lead the City of Kawartha Lakes organization forward. As you may have seen in yesterday’s press release, Al has a very impressive background. I am confident his experience and contacts will serve you all well in the days ahead. 

He will be in the office beginning June 27. I plan to work with him for as long as necessary to review the activities I have been involved with and also to ensure he is introduced to as many of you as possible. My objective is to assist him in getting up to speed quickly across many fronts. This will not take long.

It has indeed been my pleasure to be associated with you over the last five months. I say that with sincerity and honesty. I have met many new faces and I have gained an appreciation for activities and life within the Municipal sector. Frankly, I have enjoyed (almost everything) that I have experienced since February although going sideways on Hwy 7 on black ice one morning in April was certainly annoying!

For sure it has been a challenge for me given my three days a week in the office, on average, during this interim period. There are many areas I would have liked to have explored to a much greater extent however I simply did not have the time. I most certainly regret not having the chance to meet every employee of the City of Kawartha Lakes at one time or another.

I have many good thoughts and feelings for the people I have had the opportunity to work with since February. In this regard, I have no doubt the City of Kawartha Lakes is in the process of getting positioned for a very positive future in the days ahead.

Of course, there is still, much to be done, in all areas of the organization. At the end of the day, the success of any organization comes down to the people and processes in place. I have tried to focus on both during my time here. I most certainly will be encouraging Al to do the same. Where we have positive momentum going we need to stay focused to ensure this continues. Where it has yet to start, for whatever reason, we need to get this underway.

Here is my wish list and challenges for you all moving forward. These thoughts are not in any particular order of importance.

1.   If you have a roadblock impacting your job performance or job satisfaction, deal with it. If you can’t get it done through your line of command, then we have a bigger issue.

2.   Remember who pays your wages. Our customers are the taxpayers. This is the reason you are employed by the City of Kawartha Lakes. We all need to go out of our way to serve this group. If you do not currently feel privileged and honored to
do this, you need to either change your thinking or work elsewhere.

3) What training or support do you require in order to do your job 
to a higher level of effectiveness or satisfaction? Talk about this with your manager. More importantly, arrange to do something about it.

4)   You will get a lot more satisfaction if you focus on the positives    
     and not the negatives. The negatives can be changed. Take
     responsibility and do something about it. Nobody likes
     negative attitudes. People with positive attitudes are a lot more
     interesting and fun to be associated with. Avoid people with
     negative energy and those who want to live in the past.

5)   And finally, one of my favorite topics, change. I doubt there is any area of our City’s operations that would not benefit from some form of change. Don’t accept the status quo. If I was staying on there is more change I would like to see. I believe you probably feel the same. So, I encourage you to be proactive and do what you can to make positive and productive change happen. Take responsibility and develop a sense of urgency to step out of the box!

In closing, let me simply again say “Thank You” for the opportunity to work with you.  I wish you all great success in the days ahead.