I tell you I'm a "proactive leader,"  I act with "strategic focus,"  and I take a "long-term view."  But, what does it really mean?  They're great buzz words for a campaign platform or a resume.  But, aren't they just words everyone uses to sound smart or important?

Not to me, they aren't.  These elements of leadership are crucial to our city's success, they're essential to the role of the City Council, and I need you to hear me out as to why they matter greatly in this election.

In any organization -- a small business, a large corporation, or a local government -- there are three modes of execution:
  • In Operational mode, our actions are reactions.  We deal with issues, opportunities, and threats as they arise, responding solely by what feels right at the time.
  • In Tactical mode, we still primarily react to events as they occur, but we pause to evaluate our options.  We think about  longer term objectives and try to act in a way that moves us closer to -- or at least not further away from -- those objectives.
  • In Strategic mode, we stop reacting.  We control our own destiny by choosing opportunities to pursue and confronting issues or threats that need to be dealt with to achieve our stated objectives.
None of these modes is wrong; there's a time and place for each.  Police, fire, and EMT services are all about responding quickly with operational responses to unplanned events.  But, the effectiveness of that response also depends on tactical thinking and strategic planning.  It's a problem when we only think operationally.

The City Council is to the City of Covington like the Board of Directors is to a business.  The Council needs to focus on strategy and leave tactics and operations to the City Manager and professional staff.  It is the role of  council members to represent the vision, interests, and priorities of the citizens in setting strategic direction and performance objectives for the City Manager and staff.

When it comes to things we care about as a community -- let's take a strong local retail economy, more diverse employment options, and quality of life amenities as examples -- operational leadership will never get us there.  Lacking strategies to guide us and tactics to stay on track, decisions are unfocused and actions are inconsistent.

Even at the tactical level, we're dependent on outside events.  We leave ourselves sitting and waiting for better days to come, rather than making good things happen.

As your City Council representative, I want to do my part to elevate our leadership to the strategic level.  I want us to make good things happen.

The City of Covington has a thoughtful strategic plan developed by both elected officials and professional staff.  I want to ensure we are proactively executing the plan, measuring ourselves honestly, and enabling the professional staff to get the job done.

That's proactive leadership.  That's strategic focus.  It makes a difference.


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