ICMA Career Compass #47: “Leadership Myths Debunked”

The ICMA Career Compass column #47 entitled “Leadership Myths Debunked” is now available. The Career Compass advice columns are brought to you by the ICMA Coaching Program.  Here’s the question posed in this edition:

I’m a fairly new program manager for a key Family Services Program in the county’s Human Services Agency. I’m trying to get employees to buy into a new approach for serving disadvantaged households and to better adapt to the demands on our agency. I have completed some of the initial research. With this new approach, I know that we can achieve better outcomes for children and their families. 

Even though the team members have given lip-service to the innovations that I’ve proposed, I’m getting subtle and not-so-subtle resistance to the agenda and metrics that I’ve proposed. 

If we don’t meet the metrics assigned to our program unit, we face serious funding cutbacks from the state.  Because of these consequences, I’ve been trying to drive results with a sense of urgency but team members are not responding to my leadership. To make matters worse, there are no monetary incentives that I can offer my team members if we achieve the program goals and measures. 

I’m committed to this new approach so I’ve decided to do some of the more detailed planning myself so we can get started. However, I’m quite frustrated. 

How do I better motivate my team?

All the previous columns are posted on the ICMA website at www.icma.org/careercompass.