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Just Because the Captain’s Hands Are on the Steering Wheel

Posted on September 2, 2019


Captain Photo CW

Today’s Buzz is by Christian M. Williams @MyPublicTweeter


This past week I was reminded how much I appreciate the power of collaboration. That combined with empathy can make a world of difference.

At the city of Goodyear, we have dry-runs for Council presentations that might be out of the ordinary or potentially controversial. I have a presentation coming up on a controversial topic (which some in ELGL might call raccoons). In preparing for the presentation, I connected with a few ELGL members and colleagues (shout out to Brent, Alyssa and Tim, our Intergovernmental Relations Manager, Finance Director and City Attorney for feedback and perspective). It is refreshing to see how people in your organization, or even outside your organization, will pause their work to help.

Back to dry-runs…as a presenter, I can invite directors and other subject matter experts (SchMeEez) to a preview of the Council presentation. These previews provide presenters with feedback (potentially having your content ripped to shreds lovingly) and questions which might be asked during the actual presentation. When the dry-run is complete, the hope is to receive the green light to proceed. I find dry-runs to extremely valuable. I think about how remarkable it is that 14 directors drop what they are doing to critique a colleague’s work for the sake of the final product. It isn’t about ego, it isn’t about being mean, it is about teamwork and adding value to the customers experience. During my dry-run I received valuable feedback. The feedback strengthened my flow and uncomplicated my complicated charts. If it weren’t for the dry-run, I would not be looking forward to September 16.

Collaboration is also helpful when there is a need for improvement. This week, some of my team members and I recognized a shortcoming in one of our processes. Instead of playing the blame game, we owned it as a team, came together for 30 minutes and discussed how we can correct it. Collaboration is valuable in the good times and not-so-good times. We get beyond our egos, come up with viable solutions and move forward.

Just because the captain’s hands are on the steering wheel doesn’t mean the captain steers the ship. At least not alone.

Boat Salton Sea

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