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Advice for New Assistant City Manager


Leslie Beauregard recently received a promotion from budget manager for the city of Charlottesville, Virginia, where she has served the city since 2003, to assistant city manager.  Beauregard took to the Knowledge Network to reach out to her colleagues for advice about handling her new position.  The responses were generous and encouraging. For example, John Elsesser stated, “Always think of your boss’s style while making decisions. If uncertain, have a chat with him/her first. You are the key team member.” Karen Thoreson recommended, “Engage your direct reports and visit with them—their people and sites. Help the people you supervise to also see their respective colleagues as team members. Have some fun with them as a team!”

Check out this feed and offer Beauregard your own unique advice.  The Knowledge Network also offers some great career resources on transitioning into a new position in local government, and here are 4 examples:

  1. Women Leading Government in March posted 5 tips for making the move from peer to supervisor easier.  In it they recommend attending one of ICMA University’s Emerging Professional Leadership Institute events to help ease the transition. 
  2. In June, PM magazine asked three local government managers, what’s the best management advice you have ever received?  
  3. This article from the August issue of PM magazine, titled Everyday Ethics: Getting Solid Advice to Resolve Everyday Ethical Challenges Is Critical to Your Success, is based on questions posed to ICMA’s ethics director and packed with solid guidance for newbie and seasoned professionals alike.
  4. To be an effective leader in local government one needs to create and maintain productive relationships (aka networking). This article from the August 7 edition of Leadership Matters outlines 4 tips for networking in local government.
  5. Check out ICMA’s first-time administrator’s handbook to help guide and assist new managers.  

What memorable professional advice have you received? Post your stories below.

Douglas Shontz

Knowledge Network Intern