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Personal Renewal: Credentialing
By: Robert Flatley, City Manager, Coolidge, ACMA Board Director

Over thirty years of service in local government, I have had the opportunity to observe various organizational renewal issues. But, as time goes by, I find myself more and more interested in personal renewal. I am bewildered why some professionals go to seed, while others remain full of life as they grow older. Too many professionals stop learning and growing. The ICMA Code of Ethics makes specific mention that it is a duty that each ICMA member commit to at least 40 hours per year of professional development.

There are probably many reasons why managers stop learning and growing. Life could have handed them tough problems, tougher than they could resolve. Perhaps some situation dealt a major blow to their confidence or self-esteem. I've known such people - feeling secretly defeated - or dispirited.

I'm referring to managers who have stopped learning, and simply going through the motions. I understand that life can be difficult. Just to keep on keeping on sometimes requires fearless behavior. What is sad is that there are managers who are functioning below the level of their potential. They get trapped in fixed behavior and habits. Their clocks appear to have stopped at a certain point in their lives.

However, the good news is that most managers I've encountered enjoy learning and growing. The number of Credentialed Managers continues to expand. There's a myth that learning is for young managers. However, there is a saying that "it's what you learn after you know it all that counts". I'm approaching my "golden years" and I'm still excited about learning.

We learn from our failures and successes. We learn from accepting the roles life hands us and they are not necessarily the roles we would have chosen. And no matter how hard you try to please people, some people in this world are not going to love you.

Life isn't a mountain that has a summit. It is an endless unfolding. It can be an endless process of learning, self-discovery, wondering, understanding, loving and aspiring. Challenges keep coming and life as we know it keeps changing. However, there are managers who have unconsciously placed a ceiling on their own growth, underestimating their potentialities, and hiding from the risk that growth involves.

The world is moved by highly motivated people. The future is not shaped by managers who don't really believe in the future. Becoming a Credentialed Manager is a growth decision and a belief in the future. You are recognized as a professional manager qualified by a combination of education and experience, adherence to high standards of integrity, and a commitment to lifelong learning and professional development.

Commit to your profession. When you have passion, you will want to continue to grow in your profession. The Credentialed Manager Program is viewed with growing distinction by local government communities. You will find the knowledge gained is deeper and more likely to become part of your wisdom into the future.
Arizona City/County Management Association
1820 W. Washington Street, Phoenix, AZ 85007   •   Phone: (602) 258-5786   •   Fax: (602) 253-3874   •