City Planner II, from Hanover, VA, Josh Crump (JC) was looking to develop new leadership skills and knowledge on the human resources aspects of local government when he applied to the Emerging Leaders Development Program. In this interview, he shares his biggest takeaway from the participating in the program and how the coaching experience was a tremendous resource for advice on workplace issues and career goals.

ICMA: Why did you choose to apply to this program?

JC: Throughout my life I have always had a passion oriented towards community service. This passion led me to my educational pursuits of studying urban planning and public administration where I have master degrees for each subject. This launched me towards my career in local government where I began as a City Planner. After almost 8 years in Planning and Zoning, I'm interested in gaining more experience and knowledge in the public policy/administration of local government. In 2014, I was an ICMA local government management fellowship finalist. While I did not end up with a position in that program and currently my profession is a city planner, I believe the ELDP program was an excellent program to help me transition more into local government management. Ultimately my career goal would be to serve as city manager of a community that is a well-run city government and meets the needs of citizens now and into the future. 

ICMA: How did this program influence your approach to staff effectiveness?

JC: ELDP helped me gain more knowledge and a better understanding of new practices in regards to the development and performance of staff and employees. Learning from my colleagues how they handle delegating tasks, facilitating team leadership, and fostering empowerment within the work environment has helped me understand what it is like to lead an effective staff.

ICMA: What aspect of the program have you been able to apply to your role as a planner?

JC: Using the skills I have learned throughout the program, I created a policy document on municipal wireless network deployment for my Management Application Project and I am now serving on a Broadband Advisory Committee within my locality.

ICMA: What was your biggest takeaway from participating in ELDP?

JC: My biggest takeaway from the program was learning different perspectives and approaches from colleagues and facilitators from all over the country in how their local governments operate and lead their organizations. 

ICMA: How did this program improve your knowledge on human resources management and workforce engagement?

JC: Having only experience in the planning and zoning aspects of local government, this program introduced me to more of the human resources aspects of local government. Human resources is an important part of local government and public service. By understanding the importance of human resources management and techniques of engaging employees it will help me one day in a supervisor role. 

ICMA: Did you enjoy the coaching experience? How did you benefit from it?

JC: My favorite part of ELDP was the coaching experience from my mentor. My mentor has been a tremendous resource to me in offering advice on workplace issues and career goals. Learning from a seasoned local government manager has been an invaluable benefit and I’m extremely grateful for the experience.  

ICMA: If you could give one piece of advice to women who are considering a program like ELDP, what would it be?

JC: If you have a passion for towards public service and want to learn more about the ins and outs of local government management, I highly recommend pursuing this program and all the resources ICMA offers. 

Get more information on the ICMA Emerging Leaders Development Program. Application deadline: August 31, 2020.