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Customized Leadership & Governance Trainings


Customized Leadership & Governance Trainings
Designed for Boards, Councils & Teams

California’s local governments face myriad of challenges from housing and homelessness, to climate, budget shortfalls and aging infrastructure. Elected leaders and staff cannot effectively address these challenges without a strong foundation of good government – trust, accountability, responsiveness and transparency. ILG’s Leadership & Governance pillar helps local government leaders build that foundation, develop leadership skills, operate with civility and decorum and increase public trust.

ILG’s Leadership & Governance team is customizing in-person Leadership & Governance workshops for local government jurisdictions statewide. These sessions are available upon request and include intensive training for government bodies looking to expand their leadership skills. The offerings are specifically tailored for local county boards of supervisors, city councils and agencies as well as their staff and cover a wide range of topics including the following.

For questions or to schedule a briefing please email Melissa Kuehne at

Effective Councils and Boards

Leading public organizations and governing with colleagues on a board is a challenging art of community service and many aspects of leadership and governance are not intuitive. This session provides elected officials and executive staff with insight into the attributes of effective boards and councils as well as provides practical tips to help them become exceptional. Topics include:

  • Developing a sense of team
  • Having clear roles and responsibilities
  • Honoring the relationship with staff and each other
  • Conducting effective meetings
  • Holding themselves and the agency accountable
  • Practicing continuous learning and development

Goal Setting/Strategic Planning

Local governments are continuously being asked to do more with less, while also managing over two years of crisis response. This has resulted in local leaders grappling with increased pressure, burnout and fatigue on top of the ongoing challenges of effectively and efficiently running our cities. Strategic planning and goals setting are tools that can help local governments navigate ongoing challenges and emerging needs. Goal setting is important because it provides a sense of direction and outlines measurable goals to guide decision making about which community priorities warrant an agency’s limited resources. These goals can also provide a framework for reporting/tracking progress for your executive team and staff and can inform an evaluation process as well as the annual budgeting cycle. This session will guide local government officials and staff through a goal setting/planning process that will set the agency up to track, measure and report progress on strategic goals and priorities. 

Civility in Public Meetings 

Local governments across the state are experiencing increased vitriol, polarization and disruptions at their public meetings. Local officials and staff alike are eager to find policies, practices and other tools to manage public meetings that balance local governments’ ability to conduct effective meetings while also ensuring the public’s right to participate and desire to be heard. This training covers communication strategies, governance policies and other resources to help promote civil discourse, encourage effective meetings and navigate disruptions. 

Governance Tools: Policy Handbooks and Codes of Conduct, Ethics and/or Civility Policies 

A governance handbook is a document that outlines the norms, protocols and operating principles of the council. It is not a rule book or a code of conduct book, although those items may be included. It is a comprehensive document that outlines the behavior and expectations of the council as a whole and provides guidance on how the council will hold itself accountable by individual members and to the public. This session will walk the leadership team through exercises to review, revise and/or adopt policies including: a Governance Handbook/Policy Manual, Code of Conduct, Ethics Code or Civility Policy.

Building Trust through Public Engagement

Authentic public engagement is a cornerstone of building trust in our communities. By proactively engaging their communities, local governments can build better relationships, educate community members, ease project implementation and ultimately build trust with the public. This session will provide tips and strategies to work with non-profits and community-based organizations, craft messages that focus on community values and meet language access and accessibility needs.

Roles and Responsibilities

Exceptional boards and councils understand their role is to serve as policy maker – to represent the values, beliefs and priorities of their community while serving in the community’s best interest. They carry out a variety of responsibilities including: developing and adopting a vision for the agency; focusing and aligning plans, policies, agreements and budgets in furtherance of this vision; and holding themselves and executive staff accountable for results. This session discusses the distinction between the roles and responsibilities of the governing body as a whole, the individual elected/appointed official and executive staff.

Team Building 

In successful agencies elected officials and executive staff work as a team as they undertake a series of tasks to further their common purpose. The individual team members work in a coordinated and collaborative manner with a high degree of respect, trust and openness. The team values diversity in style and perspective. The team thinks and acts strategically as it examines issues/situations and decides on a course of action serving their agency’s mission and goals. In this session, elected officials and staff will get to know each other; how each person approaches issues, decision making style; and how to best work together. 

Communicating for Success

Includes the participant assessing their own style and receiving feedback from others on how their communications are received using the Success Signals© instrument. By comparing the two results, learning more about the various styles of communication, and reflecting on the people with whom they work most closely, the results of the exercises create the opportunity for the individual and the team to enhance their skills and flexibility in how they communicate with others to gain greater results. We also explore the concept of framing an idea based on the audience for maximum results.

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