When things you’ve counted on don’t work anymore, advice will fly in from all sides. How do you make good choices for a city or an organization when the alternatives are so different? Take a deep breath, and set about answering three simple but important questions.
The best leaders are those who see dimensions to issues that others don’t. The key to that kind of thoughtfulness is knowing how to question assumptions. Here’s how to build a checklist that will help with seeing problems as like or unlike those that have come before.
Cities are often bogged down in unproductive debates for a simple reason: They’re talking about issues in the wrong way. Smart leaders know the right sequence, which involves talking thoroughly about the problem and the benefits of solving it before talking about the solution. In other words, “what” before “how.”
I’m beginning a series of short postings about how cities decide things and how leaders can help their communities make smarter decisions. I’m calling these brief essays “Rules for Reformers.” They come from conversations over the years with civic leaders and may help if you’re stuck on a community problem or obstacle. And, yes, that name may sound familiar . . .
The best leaders see unnoticed assets, find ways of making these assets greater and far more apparent, and bring others along on the journey. Cities need an army of such people, but at some times and in some places, just one will do. Here’s how one leader did all of that and changed his city in four years’ time.