Who is the Leader?

The leader of the recovery process must catalyze the organization into action. Therefore, the primary leader must be sufficiently highly placed in the organization to influence others to change. Ideally, the organization’s CEO will be the primary leader (i.e., a city or county manager, a school superintendent, or a mayor).

People will naturally look to the finance officer for leadership as well. Consequently, the finance officer should be prepared to exercise leadership to help build the case for action, to get other people behind the recovery effort, and ultimately to lead the organization to financial resiliency.

This site is primarily designed to help the finance officer with leadership, but should be equally useful for others.

Leadership is Everyone’s Job

In a political environment, no one person will be able to lead the process by themselves. Leadership will be needed from many people.

Ideally, leadership should come from people across the organization. “Champions” of the recovery process can be created by engaging those with a positive disposition towards the recovery process. For example, include those people on work teams that are charged with diagnosing the causes of financial distress or developing financial strategies.

Widespread leadership will result in a faster recovery and better institutionalization of the improvements made. It will also help take finance out of a “policing” role – good financial management practices will take root because many people want them to, not because of the threat of sanction from the finance department.

At a minimum, there should be a central recovery team that is comprised of senior management. This team can work together to complete the leadership tasks described on this site.


Leadership Behaviors for Recovery 

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