Jeff L. Thigpen Register of Deeds

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Guilford County Department Heads and Leadership!

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Guilford County Department Heads met for a three day training session on Leadership through Franklin Covey. While I believe in training, I'm always skeptical about these kinds of trainings. They tend to be conceptual and not practical or there is little follow through. But Guilford County has needed to bring this level of leadership together and I went into the session hopeful.

I came away encouraged about the direction Guilford County is moving at the Manager and Department Head levels.

There was unity and agreement that we are committed to move beyond the following in Guilford County government: 1) No clear purpose or vision; 2) Underutilized talent and potential; 3) Bureauratic and misaligned systems and 4) LOW TRUST. As we discussed, these barriers are not just particular to Guilford County, they are are challenge for every organization.

On no clear vision and purpose, I remember attending the supervisory orientation with Human Resources a couple of years ago when elected Register of Deeds. I was ashamed when they passed out a County vision statement that was created over 10 years ago. I had never seen it in my six years on the Board as a commissioner. I took part in creating PART, helped in passing over $600 million in school construction, and achieved many other worthwhile goals, but to be a World Class County government we need a compelling vision and a plan to actualize that vision which is performance-based.

Guilford County government has a tremendous amount of talent and it is largely untapped. We have over 2500 employee bodies that come to work each day, but do we have their their hearts, minds, and spirit? Do we have their trust? Do we, as leaders, have character and competence and are we credible?

Guilford County government also needs to align our government systems so that we become a World Class County government. We need to perform well for our citizens; work toward maximizing efficiencies, and I WANT US TO KICK SOME OTHER COUNTY'S $##%^! in service delivery. And, in some areas, we are already doing it!

There was general agreement and a commitment that we will move forward to transform County government. Within the context of the Strategic Alliance efforts and this commitment, I am excited about emerging opportunties to make Guilford County government a World Class County government.


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