Comfort with complexity and ambiguity, including emerging membership models, partly defined leadership roles, uncertain funding, power shifts among network participants, individuals and organizations that come and go.
"The leadership of taking on the logistics," in the words of one leader.“Many of our partners are regular people with day jobs, not professional conservationists. Nobody has time to do this, but you do it anyway. These details hold the group together.”
Leading from beside: Embracing the idea that effective network leaders step back and create opportunities for others to step up and become more visible.
Investing time and energy in relationship-building, even when those conversations are not about shared program goals.
Interview with: David Jones
This month, we interview David Jones, Environmental Program Administrator in Orange County, Florida.
What are you working on right now that you are most excited about?
I am most excited about the community sustainability plan that we are in the process of developing. Orange County currently has 1.2 million residents and we are projected to grow by 55% by 2040, so this is an especially important and needed project.
We are also launching Pete Street
, a neighbor-to-neighbor energy efficiency training program developed by Clean Energy Durham
What do you want to know from others in SSDN? What provocative questions do you have for your colleagues around the Southeast?
What led you to this work?
What are the most effective ways we can support each other and build relationships that make a difference? Answer here.
How do you work with your office of economic development to support sustainability? Answer here.
What are your most effective ways to make time to keep up with new sustainability developments and learn from others when we are all so busy? Answer here.
I came to this work through my experiences as an Army officer working in the Pentagon. From 1999 through 2002, I worked as the compliance team leader for the Army's worldwide environmental compliance program. Over time, the Army recognized a need to shift to a more proactive stance and began to move from compliance to sustainability. I was able to help articulate the vision that was embraced by our senior leadership and is continuing to be implemented in a variety of ways at Army installations.
After retiring from the Army in 2004, I went to work for Orange County in their Environmental Protection Division. When the person working on climate change mitigation retired, I transitioned into their position and began to work on broader sustainability issues, including providing overall oversight of projects implemented with the $7.5 million in funding that the County received through the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant.