Resonant Leaders

James begins by visiting the facilities and getting to know the staff members. He remains patient in his attempts to bring about positive change.

Over time, as the personnel begin to open up to him, James gains a fairly good understanding of the problems. He changes some of the assignments within the department, and holds weekly meetings for staff members in each rec center and an additional weekly meeting for the recreational staff.

At these meetings, James emphasizes appropriate two-way communication. He asks the directors to identify the resources that are lacking, those that each center has on hand and how the resources can be shared among the centers.

James continues to visit the rec centers to spend time with the staff in order to monitor their morale, and to evaluate the staff’s reception of the changes.

James doesn’t expect everyone to agree with his methods and attempts to improve the department, nor does he ever think that a total unification of the department will result. However, listening to the staff, supporting them, and implementing positive changes will result in better communications, increased teamwork and the resolution of certain elements related to the lack of resources.

It is important for parks and recreation administrators and managers to establish and maintain a work environment that includes empathy and support. In these days of budget cuts and staff shortages, what administrator wouldn’t want to nurture productivity and efficiency?

Establish an effective resonant leadership for a more cohesive, productive and efficient staff.

Work cited:

Goleman, D., Boyatzis, R., and McKee, A. Primal Leadership: Learning to Lead with Emotional Intelligence. Harvard Business School Press: Watertown, Massachusetts, 2002.

N. Jonas Ohrberg is a facility coordinator for the city of Rio Rancho Parks and Recreation Department in New Mexico. Ohrberg completed a Ph.D. in Leadership from Capella University in October 2010. He can be reached via

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