The leadership role of local government managers is to create and maintain resilient and livable communities through the power of engaging with and inspiring others to participate in developing, achieving, articulating, and embodying a shared set of values, shared sense of purpose, and shared vision of the desired community outcome.

Popular Resources

Research and Publications

Leadership Before, During, and After a Crisis

Leadership and Professional Local Government Managers

Storytellers in Chief: How Top Local Government Managers Use Storytelling to Lead

Research shows the importance of stories in leading staff members and residents.

The Effective Local Government Manager, 3rd edition (PDF)

Discusses the multi-faceted leadership role of local public executives. ...

Managing Local Government Services (PDF)

The comprehensive guide for meeting the new demands in today’s world and ensuring the best service possible with a valuable collection. ...

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Leadership Development Programs

ICMA University invites you to discover a range of leadership development programs for every level of your career.

ICMA University Skill-Building Workshops

Workshops that are affordable, accessible, and designed to meet the specific needs of local government professionals.


Assessments help members and others assess their knowledge for the purpose of professional development planning.

The Latest on Leadership from ICMA

Career Compass No. 79: Leading by Connecting

What can I do to become a better leader who people will follow?

WOMEN IN LEADERSHIP: Building a Supportive Community Around Women in Leadership

A new column from female ICMA local government leaders and the League of Women in Government [PM Magazine, February 2020]

Four Tips for Mission and Values Statements in Local Government

Local governments need a mission and values statement that guides employee behavior, from the front lines of the organization to the manager’s office.

Why Great Leaders Are Ditching Boundaries and Embracing Values

Leaders must have the courage of their convictions. What they really need are core values.

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