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We are a cross-party, member-led network, providing a single voice for our member councils

Tomorrow’s district council leaders

Category: DCN Updates | Events
Published: 25 January 2023

Tomorrow’s district council leaders

Last December, up-and-coming officers from district councils across England gathered for the final event of the District Councils’ Network 2022 Staff Development Programme (SDP).

The SDP sees rising stars from district councils come together to develop their leadership potential, share innovations and ideas, build their networks, and hear from thought leaders about the key issues facing councils.

Julie Towers, Managing Director at Penna, presented as part of an excellent day, with the SDP cohort hearing about leadership from a variety of engaging perspectives.

There were some fantastic insights into how to be an “authentic leader”, and how to empower teams by empowering yourself. The inspirational speakers who came together for the final session were open and honest about their career journeys and their own lived experience. They spoke of breaking down barriers, asking the challenging questions and being passionate about doing the right thing for the local people that you represent.

We heard that it can sometimes be lonely the more senior you become, but if you build trust in your teams, approach issues with integrity and are prepared to make the tough decisions, the results can be phenomenal. Barry Quirk, the former chief executive of Kensington & Chelsea Council, presented alongside Penna and gave great insight into how understanding oneself and building a strong support network around you is incredibly important when trying to become a successful leader with a focus on people.

It was rewarding to listen to the chief executives of the future talking about the inspirational work that they had undertaken over the year. We had some great discussion topics, looking at how to recruit the best talent, the best way to assess transferable skills, on how to remove geographical barriers and create a great employee value proposition, as well as some expert advice provided by Julie on succession planning for the future.

Penna is proud to sponsor the DCN’s SDP and looks forward to welcoming and supporting a new cohort in 2023. Find out more about Penna’s services via Penna | Home.

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