The Lightning Round with Pat Mobley

Posted on June 18, 2012

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Pat Mobley

Adjunct Assistant Professor at Portland State University

What book is on your nightstand?

Calagione, Sam. (2011). Brewing up a Business: Adventures in Beer from the Founder of Dogfish Head Craft Brewery. ISBN 978-0-470-94231-4

If you were to run for elected office, which position would seek?

State House of Representatives

Your best piece of career advice.

My best piece of career advice is to be persistent and open to employment opportunities that may not be an exact match but keeps your skills sharp and in-use.  For example, I recently took a short term position managing the field operations for a signature gathering company.  I managed their Salem field office.  I managed a staff of 65, trained new hires, provided in the field coaching, used performance data to inform and elicit staff input on how to improve overall operations, tracked and reported payroll data, and researched new areas our signature gatherers could be productive.  I knew it was a short term position, but I deployed the management ksa’s I would use in a municipal government environment.

Biggest issue facing local government?

The biggest issue facing local government in my opinion is twofold.  First, there is not a deep “bench” of professionals to fill the management positions opening up with the boomer retirement.  This is not to say the individuals do not exists.  I am one of those individuals due to the declining resources of local governments coupled with the general government is bad zeitgeist that cannot find those mid-level positions that would put me in a better position to land that City Manager position.  Second, I agree with Peter Block that local government especially should stop focusing on problem solving and instead engage citizens on what is possible, where are the opportunities, and how would citizens, with or without government help, move toward realizing those possibilities.  We as public service professionals need to focus more on the structure of belonging as we nurture our communities.

If you were a baseball player, what would be your theme music while you were on-deck?

“Standing on the verge of getting it on” – Funkadelic

What are three things people will say about you at your retirement party?

Wow, this is a good question.  My guess is that in 26 years the folks at my retirement party will say he was firm but fair, a guy you could talk to about anything and be truly listened to, and an example of an ethical leader in the public service profession.

If I turned on your iPod right now, what would be playing?
Rodrigo y Gabriela

Name two of your mentors.

Masami Nishishiba, Ph.D. at PSU and Steve Burdick, former Economic Development Director for the City of Vancouver, WA.

(Fill in the blank) Government is …….. a central force in supporting a civil society.

(Fill in the blank) ELGL is …….a great place to begin and maintain your development in the profession of public service.

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