Subscribe via RSS Feed
Subscribe to receive regular blog updates

It’s Never Been Easier to Publish Your Own Book, So Go For It!

February 22, 2018 0 Comments

Doug Eadie

“Have you thought about publishing your own books?” No I hadn’t, and, to be honest, the question took me aback when I heard it a decade ago.  I was chatting with a long-time colleague, Tom Berger, about the new book I was about to start writing.  Tom and I had gotten to know each other years earlier at Cuyahoga Community College in Cleveland, Ohio, where we worked closely together – I as chief of staff to the president and Tom as director of public relations.  Tom asked his provocative question right after I’d given him my nutshell description … Read the rest

Continue Reading »

Blazing Trails on the Diversity and Inclusion Front at RTS

February 16, 2018 0 Comments

Bill Carpenter, RTS

In Changing By Design (Jossey-Bass, 1997), I recount a real-life example of the difference between what Chris Argyris calls “espoused theory” and “theory in practice.”  Early in my career I worked closely with a young, ambitious, fast-track college chief executive who was an avid consumer of the latest management thinking and could go on at length about one innovative technique or another.  A favorite hobbyhorse of his was participatory management and team building.  Waxing eloquent on the subject of teamwork as a key to organizational innovation, his eyes would tear up on occasion – he was that … Read the rest

Continue Reading »

Demonstrating Your Board Savvyness

February 9, 2018 0 Comments

         Doug Eadie

Experience has taught me – and I’m sure many if not most of this blog’s readers – that the more board-savvy its CEO, the more effective a transit board is likely to be as a governing body and the more favorable the odds of building a rock-solid board-CEO partnership that can withstand the inevitable stresses and strains that come with leading a modern transit system. So transit boards have a big stake in recruiting CEOs whose governing intelligence is well developed.  This is certainly a point I strongly made in the program I co-presented with Dave Stackrow, APTA … Read the rest

Continue Reading »

5 Facts of Life in the Rapidly Evolving “Field” of Public Transit Governance

January 26, 2018 0 Comments

Doug Eadie

Actually, governance – the leadership work of governing boards in close collaboration with their chief executive officers – isn’t yet a full-fledged field. It’s getting there, but still can’t claim the set of universally accepted core principles and thoroughly tested best practices that you expect a fully developed field to have.  Instead, principles and practices are heatedly debated, and oodles of really dangerous advice – what I think of as “insidious foes” – can damage board performance and erode the board-CEO working relationship.  I call these dangerous bits of advice “insidious” because they can sound quite plausible – … Read the rest

Continue Reading »

David Stackrow, Master of the Governing Game, on the Board Chair-CEO Partnership

January 10, 2018 0 Comments

David Stackrow

I’m delighted that David Stackrow was able to carve out an hour earlier this week for us to record a podcast focusing on the board chair-CEO working relationship.  Dave’s one of the busiest public/nonprofit leaders I’ve worked with over the past quarter-century.  Managing Partner of Scott Stackrow Co., P.C., a thriving financial services firm, Dave not only chairs the Board of Directors of the Capital District Transportation Authority (CDTA; Albany, NY), but also serves as Vice Chair of the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), a new role requiring  extensive travel.

No leader I can think of is more … Read the rest

Continue Reading »

Time to Update and Fine-Tune Your CEO Leadership Resolutions

December 21, 2017 0 Comments

         Doug Eadie

There’s wide agreement in the public transit sector that one of the preeminent vehicles for building and maintaining a close, productive, and enduring board-CEO working relationship is a well-designed and meticulously executed process for board evaluation of CEO performance. CEO evaluation is often carried out by the board’s “governance” (sometimes called “board operations”) committee – at least annually and often semi-annually early in the CEO’s tenure.  I’m pleased to report that in recent years, an increasing number of transit boards have moved away from those once-popular but highly subjective questionnaires that assess the CEO’s functional excellence (for example, … Read the rest

Continue Reading »

Making Sure Your Retreat Generates Powerful Outcomes

December 14, 2017 0 Comments

Over my thirty years of work with public transit CEOs and their boards, I’ve seen a number of transit authorities bring off board-CEO-executive team retreats that have made a real difference in their authorities’ affairs: developing board governing capacity; strengthening the board-CEO working relationship; updating values, vision, and strategic goals; energizing board and staff members; etc. By the way, a real retreat (as opposed to just a long meeting) lasts at least a full day and often 1 ½ days.

Experience has taught me that the key to a productive and energizing retreat is a systematic retreat design process that … Read the rest

Continue Reading »

Cleveland’s Joe Calabrese: Innovator Par Excellence

November 30, 2017 0 Comments

      Joe Calabrese

Over the past quarter-century I’ve learned that the public transportation authorities that are really good at getting significant, out of the box change accomplished are invariably led by a CEO/GM who is passionately committed to playing – and well prepared to play – what I call the Innovator-in-Chief role.  The CEO/GM is the only person in your authority who can wear the Innovator-in-Chief hat for the simple reason that no one else brings to the change game the formal authority, influence, access to resources, and time required to spearhead an out-of-the-box change effort and to overcome the inevitable … Read the rest

Continue Reading »

Beware of Passionate Ownership of Mismanaged Change

November 13, 2017 0 Comments

         Doug Eadie

“You’re pretty obviously over your head and can’t really understand what we’re doing.  Instead of getting people riled up, why don’t you get yourself up to speed and join the team?”  This is what I was told in so many words several years ago – early in my public management career – when I had questioned the progress that a consulting team reported it was making in upgrading the financial management system of a large public transportation agency.  Reflecting on that experience years later, I think what was at work was a modern version of     that classic cautionary … Read the rest

Continue Reading »

Nat Ford on Hitting the Ground Running As a New CEO

October 5, 2017 1 Comment

Nat Ford

You’ve got to bring incredible passion to survive and thrive at the 24/7 job of heading a public transportation authority. If you don’t, there’s a clear and present danger the inevitable pressures will wear you down and dangerously dull your effectiveness.  This is one of several gems of practical wisdom that Nat Ford, Chief Executive Officer of the Jacksonville Transportation Authority and former CEO of Atlanta’s MARTA and San Francisco’s SFMTA, shares in his thoughtful new podcast for boardsavvytransitceo.com.  One of Nat’s preeminent professional passions – sure to be one of his top leadership priorities as APTA’s new … Read the rest

Continue Reading »