8 Traits of Successful & Happy Leaders

8 Traits of Successful & Happy Leaders

Over the course of the last 15 years, I’ve worked with hundreds of successful leaders and interviewed thousands of executives for leadership positions in government. The people who resonate with me and my clients most are those who are both successful and happy. These people figured out how to be the most effective at the helm of their careers and in managing their personal lives. What do they all have in common?

Here are the eight common traits I have consistently observed in this group of people:

  1. Always stepping out of their comfort zone. As a means to constantly develop more confidence, they are constantly learning new things and taking on new challenges. Their desire to push their own boundaries inspires others around them to do the same.

2. Work super smart (and hard). Emphasis on “smart” meaning their time is thoughtfully invested in the things that they absolutely have to be doing and no one else can do. These are often considered the highest level income generating activities in the business world and high level policy and strategic work in the public sector. Working smart often entails structure which keeps them focused and disciplined about the highest and best use of their time.

3. Learning never stops. An intense hunger for knowledge and information excites them, fuels their passion and humbles them because they can never know enough. They are fascinated by what they don’t know.

4. Constant quest for improvement.  The ongoing pursuit of making something or someone better, stronger or more efficient energizes the mind and satisfies the heart. This applies to their personal life as much as it does their business.

5. They are present and get the most out of each moment. I’ve noticed that those who are more present also tend to be mindful and grateful. This mindset actually also helps them to be great visionaries. They respect and learn from the past rather than get hung up on it.

6. Recognize the importance of compound decision making. Success in anything is manifested from a series of smaller decisions. In order to avoid becoming overwhelmed or actions that don’t advance personal and/or organizational goals, they remember that it’s the little decisions that cumulatively lead to major achievements and help to keep the spark in their momentum.

7. Practice good self-care. What we entrepreneurs are often bad at and it’s the one area that could likely help us (and those around us!) the most. It turns out that this special population insists upon making room in their schedule to care for themselves and view this as a non-negotiable priority if they are to achieve and sustain peak performance. Beyond basic exercise, many of them also make room for meditation and/or designated time and space to think, create and innovate.

8. Integration of professional and personal life. In this 24/7 all-access tech oriented culture we have become accustomed to, they accept that that their professional life will sometimes bleed into their personal space and they are okay with it. Releasing the expectation of always having bright lines between personal and professional reduces the stress and helps manage the expectations of those around them. By structuring a healthy level of integration between the two in ways that work for them, having a bit of “grey area” in their boundaries actually reduces stress and allows them to participate deeper in all areas.

Permission to reprint granted so long as article is published in its entirety and author is credited with the following:

Teri Black, President/CEO of Teri Black & Company, LLC, aLos Angeles-based executive search firm dedicated to serving the public sector.

Teri Black is a lifelong student of high performance and success and is President/CEO of a Los Angeles-based executive search firm dedicated to serving the public sector.  Teri Black & Company, LLC has recruited hundreds of local government executives for communities across the western United States.

Copyright © 2015 Teri Black & Company, LLC. All rights reserved.  For more information, please Contact Us.  Don’t forget to sign-up for TBC updates; connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn!

Santa Clara’s new City Librarian to continue with innovative approach to community services

Hilary Keith, Santa Clara City Librarian

We are proud to announce the appointment of Hilary G. Keith as Santa Clara’s new City Librarian.  Hilary was selected by the City Manager with approval from the Board of Library Trustees and begins her new post in the heart of Silicon Valley this week.

With almost 20 years in the field of city and municipal library management, Hilary is a seasoned professional, adapt at developing and creating relationships with the community, as well as the city council and municipal departments, enabling her to accomplish community projects in a timely and cost-effective manner.

Hilary is an award-winning leader in her field and previously held roles as the Director of Library and Cultural Services (City of Santa Fe Springs, CA) and Senior Administrative Librarian (Orange County Public Library).  She was instrumental in the successful completion of a $6 million library renovation project; was able to navigate a 10% budget cut without affecting community services; and modernized satellite libraries to better serve the community.

Spending a significant amount of her personal time in community outreach activities, Hilary is dedicated to serving the needs of neighborhoods, including those of the individual, family and local business.  In Santa Clara, Hilary will oversee a full-time staff of 46 and an annual budget of $7.6 million.

Hilary obtained her Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science from San Jose State University.  She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from California Polytechnic San Luis Obispo and currently sits on the California Library Association Board of Directors.

City of Poway unanimously approves new City Manager

Dan Singer, Poway City Manager

The Poway City Council unanimously selected Dan Singer as its new City Manager from among 65 candidates presented by Teri Black & Company, LLC, an executive search firm based in Southern California.

Mayor Don Higginson commented, “Dan was the Council’s unanimous choice. He is a veteran City Manager who is highly qualified and will be a wonderful addition to City staff and the Poway community.” Mr. Singer is expected to begin work in Poway on June 1. Located in San Diego County, Poway serves just under 50,000 residents with a total operating budget of nearly $73 million.

Dan has more than 20 years of local government experience; he currently serves as City Manager of Goleta, a post he has held since September 2005.  Goleta Mayor Michael Bennett praised Singer’s performance as City Manager, saying he had left the city as one of the safest in California, with stable finances and an impeccable staff.

Along with his extensive municipal experience and expertise, Dan has also served on numerous non-profit and civic organization boards. Prior to joining Goleta, he served as City Manager of Ojai in Ventura County for 12 years, having worked his way up from Assistant to the City Manager.

Singer received two master’s degrees: one in Political Science and one in Public Administration, both from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University. He also holds a certificate in Conflict Resolution.

For related news: 
City of Poway: http://bit.ly/1tHT7Cn
Noozhawk: http://bit.ly/1kagwr0
Santa Barbara Independent: http://bit.ly/1mEXnyp 

City of Santa Cruz names Rosemary Menard as Water Director

Rosemary MenardWe are excited to announce our first placement of 2014: Ms. Rosemary Menard, City of Santa Cruz’ new Water Director.  Menard begins her new position in Santa Cruz with more than 30 years experience in water planning and management, as well as regulatory and environmental issues.

“We are very pleased to have Ms. Menard come aboard at a critical point in our water supply discussions,” said Santa Cruz City Manager Martín Bernal in statement. “She brings a wealth of leadership and experience in water operations, conservation, administration and policy to our organization.

In a recent interview, Menard said she pursued the Santa Cruz job because “I feel like the kind of strategic and analytical and public participation experience I have lend themselves to tackling big thorny issues.”

Menard’s previous leadership includes two roles within Washoe County, Nevada government and various management positions in the Portland (Ore.) Water Bureau and Seattle Water Department.  Menard has received the Distinguished Service Award by the Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies. The San Leandro native received bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Washington.

Menard takes the post as Santa Cruz undertakes a new public-led study of how to manage its drought-prone water supply for 90,000 customers with an eye toward long-term sustainability.

City of Aliso Viejo names new City Manager

David Doyle City Manager City of Aliso Viejo

This week, the City of Aliso Viejo named David Doyle as its new City Manager.  Doyle begins his new role on February 10, 2013.   “What we appreciated from David as a candidate is that he had creative ideas for supporting and implementing our top goals,” said the City’s Mayor, Carmen Cave.  With more than 20 years in municipal government, Doyle brings a wealth of experience and perspective to the young city.  We are very proud of this placement and wish both the City of Aliso Viejo and David Doyle all the best in the upcoming years.

Weimiller’s new role as City Administrator for the City of Lompoc, CA.

Patrick Wiemiller, Lompoc City Administrator
Patrick Wiemiller, Lompoc City Administrator

We are proud to announce Patrick Wiemiller as the new City Administrator for the City of Lompoc, California. Most recently, Patrick led both the Public Works and Utilities Departments for the City of Fresno overseeing 887 employees and an annual budget of $574 million. “I am thrilled to be the individual chosen and look forward to working with the City Council, staff and community to enhance Lompoc’s economic vitality and build upon the city’s numerous assets,” offered Wiemiller.

Please join us in welcoming Weimiller to the City of Lompoc as he begins his new role on January 6, 2014.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

December 3, 2013
Contact: Mayor John Linn
(805) 315-7058

Lompoc Names New City Administrator

The Lompoc City Council announced the selection of a new City Administrator this evening. Patrick Wiemiller, who currently serves as the City of Fresno’s Public Works and Public Utilities Director, has been named as the Council’s unanimous choice to lead the full-service city with nearly 400 employees.

Mayor John Linn made the announcement at the December 3rd regularly scheduled City Council meeting. “Patrick brings an impressive level of executive management and leadership experience to the City and is well-equipped to help lead our organization for many years to come,” commented the Mayor. “We had a number of highly qualified candidates who were attracted to Lompoc, however, Patrick’s history of public service excellence and efficiency in California stood out,” he added.

Wiemiller currently oversees both the Public Works and Utilities Departments for the City of Fresno, where he has served for nearly 13 years. He is responsible for overseeing a total of 887 employees and an annual budget of over $574 million. According to the candidate, he was attracted to the Lompoc opportunity because of the City’s strong sense of community and promising potential. “I am thrilled to be the individual chosen and look forward to working with the City Council, staff and community to enhance Lompoc’s economic vitality and build upon the city’s numerous assets,” offered Wiemiller.

To date in his career, Wiemiller has served local government in the Central Valley including the City of Tracy and the Fresno Irrigation District, in addition to the City of Fresno. He holds a Master of Business Administration degree from California State University at Fresno and a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration/ Finance from the same institution.

Lompoc’s new City Administrator will be paid a base salary of $175,000. Wiemiller is scheduled to begin serving in his new role beginning on January 6, 2014, pending the completion of pre-employment checks required for all new city employees.

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Gitelman’s new role as Director of Planning & Community Environment of Palo Alto, CA

Hillary E. Gitelman, Palo Alto Director of Planning and Community Environment.
Hillary E. Gitelman, Palo Alto Director of Planning and Community Environment.

We are proud to announce Hillary E. Gitelman’s return to the Bay Area as Palo Alto’s new Director of Planning and Community Environment. She brings with her a wide range of impressive experiences and accomplishments.  As Hillary’s first week comes to a close, we celebrate her success and our partnership with this incredible city.  Read Palo Alto’s official Press Release below:

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

9/10/2013
Subject : Hillary E. Gitelman Named Palo Alto Director of Planning & Community Environment
Contact : Claudia Keith, Chief Communications Officer 650-329-2607

Palo Alto, CA – City Manager James Keene announced today that he has selected Hillary E. Gitelman to serve as the City’s next Director of Planning and Community Environment, and will bring her appointment to the City Council on September 16 for confirmation. Gitelman currently serves as the Director of Planning, Building and Environmental Services for Napa County. She is expected to begin in her new position on October 28 at a salary of $197,500. The selection was made following a national search and recruitment process that included extensive input from community and business stakeholders as well as two interview panels with broad representation from the community.

“Hillary was our top candidate and we are fortunate to have someone with her breadth of experience join the City in this critical leadership position as we address the very complex planning and development issues facing us today and in the future,” said City Manager James Keene. “The role of Director of Planning is central to the future of our city. This is an especially important point in time for Palo Alto. The Director position requires a person with the drive to make necessary changes in our plans and policies and to meet the demands of our community, and do so with diplomacy, and a commitment to inclusiveness and open government. Hillary brings all of these qualities to her new role and will be a tremendous asset to Palo Alto.”

For the past eight years, Gitelman has directed Napa County’s Department of Planning, Building and Environmental Services where she leads a staff of 70 and is responsible for current and long-range planning, engineering and conservation, parks, environmental health, building permits and code enforcement. From 2001 to 2004, she directed the planning department of the Presidio Trust, a federal agency established to preserve the Presidio of San Francisco for public use while making the park financially self-sufficient. As part of this role, she was responsible for developing the award-winning Presidio Trust Management Plan, as well as the PresidiGo shuttle system, and parking management program, among others.

Gitelman also served as the Environmental Review Officer for the San Francisco Planning Department, where she was responsible for the City and County’s compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act and related laws. During her decade-long tenure with the City and County of San Francisco, she conducted major environmental reviews for PacBell (now AT&T) Park, the Mission Bay Redevelopment Project, the Mid-Embarcadero Roadway, the Third Street Light Rail Project, and many other private and public projects.

Previously, she held increasingly senior positions in planning and historic preservation, and is affiliated with the San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association; the Association of Environmental Professionals; the American Planning Association and the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Gitelman holds a bachelor’s degree in the history of art from Yale and a master’s degree in historic preservation from Columbia University, School of Architecture, Planning & Preservation.

“I am thrilled to have this opportunity, and look forward to working with the staff and citizens of Palo Alto on a wide variety of planning and transportation issues,” said Gitelman.

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