Ann Daniels
Director of Technical Services
APWA Kansas City Office

"Leaders are the ones who keep faith with the past, keep step with the present and bring promise to posterity." These words by Harold J. Seymour are an apt description of each of the members currently serving on the Leadership and Management Committee for APWA.

Throughout the past year, committee members have shared their personal insights by contributing monthly articles for this magazine detailing each of the "Core Competencies for Public Works Leaders." Each has addressed an important aspect of leadership and the role it plays in the development of public works leaders, both within their own organization, their chapter, and beyond. Frequent requests are received for copies of both the articles and the Core Competencies brochure. Both are available on our website at the articles at the online edition of the APWA Reporter and the brochure on the Leadership and Management Technical Committee page.

Plans for the coming year include expanding upon the original competencies to include attributes specific to public works managers. Realizing that leadership and management skills may not always be one in the same, special emphasis will be placed on the traits of a good manager. The committee's ultimate goal is to produce a publication which will combine the Leadership and Management Core Competencies, the individual APWA Reporter articles, and case studies on each of the topics, hopefully by the end of the coming year.

Why do public works volunteers accept the responsibility of serving on national Technical Committees? What leads them to accept the challenge of developing new programs and offering suggestions for improving others? How do they find the time to write articles, plan education sessions for our annual APWA Congress, monitor the needs of our members, and communicate effectively with the leadership of the association?

Donald H. McGannon once stated, "Leadership is action, not position." Members of this committee take this statement to heart. They are not looking for "positions" to post to their resume which will indicate how important they are. They are constantly looking for ways to "make things happen," whether it's by proposing an improved Mission and Vision Statement for the association as part of the Strategic Plan or suggesting ways to improve the provision of training for leaders.

Now's your chance to become a stronger leader. Look for ways you can improve your skills. Volunteer to take a leadership role in your own organization or, more especially, in your chapter. Take small steps until you feel comfortable. As is true in many walks of life, the benefit you receive from taking an active part is directly dependent upon the amount of effort you put into it. Step up and make things happen.

Ann Daniels can be reached at (800) 848-APWA or at