Ken Larsen's website - Leadership attributes - What I want to see in a town or county leader


In the fights over Chapel Hill's Ephesus-Fordham and again with the Durham-Orange Light rail project, I have observed some detestable attributes of our town and county leaders.


Positive attributes that I want to see


1 Balanced thinking [details]
2 Knowledge of decision analysis tools such as Kepner-Tregoe.
3 Knowledge of basic probability theory.  [Correlation does not equate to causation, and possibility does equate to probability.]
4 Knowledge of accounting.
5 Humility.  Willing to admit they made a mistake and change their position on an issue.
6 Strive for commonality with other communities.  There are over 19,000 towns in the United States.  To me, it's very wasteful for each town to derive its own policies regarding issues such as affordable housing, stormwater, etc.  They hold numerous lengthy public hearings on the same subjects that all the other 18,000 towns are having.  That's a lot of duplicated effort and expense.  It also must be a lot of expense and  effort on the part of developers ... who must keep up with varying rules and meetings that each town has.
7 Good communication skills.



Negative attributes that I have observed


1 Intransigence.  Some BOCC and Town Council leaders form an opinion on a matter and cling to it tenaciously ... no matter what the public outage.  They only listen to the side which aligns with their personal assessment.  If we had lined up all the Noble prize winners who had ever lived and got them to deliver speeches against DOLRT, some of the BOCC members would still cling tenaciously to their belief that DOLRT is a good idea.  This behavior is absolutely appalling.
2 Growth machine mentality.  Growth is good; the more we grow, the better we'll become.
3 Disregard for the financial side of the equation. 
4 Distain for impact fees; failure to lobby for them.
5 Believes that DOLRT is needed.
6 Believes that FBC is a good idea. 

Ken Larsen's home page