Council Message by Mayor Ron Messer
Leadership. What is it? Why is it important? There are many definitions, books, college courses, and seminars on this multifaceted concept. Having studied it in graduate school, the military, and my business career, I now have the privilege to be part of it first hand here in Montgomery.
So what is it? The definition I often use is contained in the 6 E’s leadership model.
Envision Scanning the environment and looking 5 or more years into the future and where you want your purpose (i.e. city) to be. For example, our successful Montgomery Quarter is part of a vision conceived over 5 years ago.
Enroll Getting the organization and community to participate, input and help develop the vision and the goals and strategies to achieve that vision. Our community survey, numerous open houses, open council meetings, and citizen staffed commissions are essential to this process.
Energize Providing positive support and feedback. Developing a winning and constantly improving team culture. Having open and honest communication. Building trust. Our city volunteers and employees are an excellent example of this culture having won a fifth consecutive best workplace award in 2023. Our 5 written values guide how we act and treat each other.
Engage Working with the entire organization and network to achieve goals, remove barriers, and adjust work to meet the changing environment and needs. It’s getting your hands dirty and doing the detailed work. Our 6 goals, strategies, and action plans that support them, show the level of detail needed for success.
Educate Providing clear, concise communication along with training and the skill development needed to achieve goals. One of our strategies provides our employees with the training and knowledge they need for now and the future. Our monthly Montgomery Bulletin, website, and social media are excellent resources for keeping our citizens and community informed.
Execute Doing the work. Revising, adjusting, learning, staying in touch at all levels. Continuous improvement. Our 11 commissions with over 70 citizens, our 6 committees, and our 2 council meetings each month are open meetings that help us stay in touch and actively look for ways to support and improve.
In addition to those 6 E’s, there’s another integral part of leadership. It’s doing the right thing. On December 8 last year, we had our city’s first menorah lighting that was held in city hall. Some speculated that we would only have a dozen or so of attendees. Some thought maybe 30-40. Well, we had standing room only with over 50 people celebrating Hanukkah with songs and prayers. A new tradition was started. Now that’s leadership.
Our city’s mission statement is: “Working together to strengthen our premier community.” Key words are “together” and “strengthen”. With leadership at all levels we will continue to make Montgomery great for now and future generations.