The need of a forward-thinking, smart and compassionate local leader or councilmember is needed by every community. Fred Glynn mentions that, especially in the times of change and uncertainties, people try to look up to relevant, authentic, and logical local leaders who understand the complexities of governing. Fred himself is a councilman at the Hamilton County Council, and hence is well acquainted with the duties, responsibilities and skills local leaders must have. He mentions that while community leadership does benefit from being embedded into social networks, shared vision and decision making, tactical knowledge and pre-existing skills are also extremely crucial.
The members of county or city council are tasked with the important responsibility of representing the interests of the people of their community. Fred Glynn mentions that apart from proposing, passing, and ratifying laws and ordinances, these individuals also may have to manage budgets and investigate local agencies when necessary. In his role as a councilman, Fred focuses on initiating and maintaining relationships with community leaders and residents. Being a fiscal conservative, he tries his level best to sure that the finances of the community are maximized. Fred mentions that while his experience in the domain of finance and business does come as an advantage when it comes to fulfilling his duties as a councilman, there are several social skills and traits that are also vital to this role.
According to Fred Glynn, there are multiple important traits that a councilmember must possess. Here are some of them:
- Relationship building: A councilmember must never underestimate the value of building relationships with their staff, their peers and with the community as a whole. They must invest time and energy in building positive relationships and understanding the perspective of all people. Sound policies and good relationships are vital for serving the community in the best possible manner.
- A team player: Being a team player implies to advocating for one’s position while remaining curious and open minded about the position of other peers. It also refers to working in a constructive fashion along with others without dominating the flow of ideas and information. While debating and voting as an individual is important, so is to respect and support the decision of the majority. A good councilmember must have the capacity to set aside personal interests and influences for the common good.
- Emotionally mature: A councilmember must be in tune with their own emotional state and know how it can impact them and their work. They must always prioritize taking decisions that serve the best interest of the community, despite criticism. Being emotionally mature implies to welcoming dissent, staying engaged and not over reacting to any situation.
- Approachable: Good leadership largely involves carefully listening to others, with the desire to understand their ideas and concerns. A councilmember should be approachable enough to see to it that the members of the community do not find it hard to communicate with them.
In addition to the traits mentioned above, a councilmember must also be extremely hard-working and responsible.