Category Archives: Manager’s Toolbox

External Mentorship

Photo Courtesy Of Champaign Park District

It’s no secret that change is a staple in the parks and recreation profession. The current economic climate, the retirement of baby boomers, and the significant changes in local, state, and federal mandates governing parks and recreation agencies are continually impacting the profession in myriad ways. With jobs being downsized, vacant positions going unfilled, and government regulations changing, training and development programs are important components of a seamless delivery of service to the community. It is no longer sufficient to … Continue reading

Posted in Columns, Issues, Manager's Toolbox, October 2013, Parks and Rec Business | Leave a comment

Marketing Parks

Survey says! Find out whose using your parks and plan your marketing accordingly.  © Can Stock Photo Inc. / naumoid

A few years ago, we at the Genesee County Parks in Flint, Mich., realized that the citizens didn’t know nearly as much about the parks as we thought they did, and some of what they said they knew wasn’t accurate. Our general advertising simply wasn’t having an impact, so we took a leap and contracted with a marketing firm to help create a brand and campaign—print ads, radio ads, billboards, and a website. People remember the message now. The difference … Continue reading

Posted in April 2013, Columns, Issues, Manager's Toolbox, Parks and Rec Business | 1 Comment

Master Difficult Conversations

Do some planning before having that heart-to-heart conversation with an employee. © Can Stock Photo Inc. - AndreyPopov

One of the ironies of our technologically connected world is that people have great difficulty communicating with each other face-to-face. Managers who have to approach situations with political correctness or deal with thin-skinned coworkers or subordinates sometimes find it difficult to be candid without crossing the line. It takes effort to be direct while being tactful, to be crisp without being rude. However, it is a key management skill and a critical success factor that will serve you well throughout … Continue reading

Posted in Columns, Issues, Manager's Toolbox, March 2013, Parks and Rec Business | Leave a comment

Leaders In The Field

Every team needs the right equipment.

Leadership often means directing and offering support while staying out of the way. This has been the case for hundreds of years down on the farm. Look at the driver of a team of draft horses. The horses have to work together to accomplish a goal, such as plowing a field. To do that, they need a leader who: Knows what he or she is doing Encourages the horses Supplies necessary information Provides the correct equipment Instills trust. This is … Continue reading

Posted in Columns, February 2013, Issues, Manager's Toolbox, Parks and Rec Business | Leave a comment

Lead With Enthusiasm

Here are four things to think about now that you are serving on a park and recreation board or commission. © Can Stock Photo Inc. / wacker

Congratulations are in order. You’ve been elected to the Thompson Park and Recreation Board and/or Commission. You now have a tremendous responsibility to serve, and to serve well. You’ll be working regularly with a group of professionals at the peak of their careers, and making decisions that will have a direct impact on the department’s future, its staff, and the community. With so many advantages to board work, here are four reasons to approach these new duties with enthusiasm: 1. … Continue reading

Posted in Columns, December 2012, Issues, Manager's Toolbox, Parks and Rec Business | Leave a comment