“How many people think an animal control officer would be capable of heading a no-kill initiative for a city?” That’s the question Vincent Medley, Executive Director of the Animal Care and Control Team of Philadelphia, posed to the audience during his session at the Best Friends 2016 Conference. While many found it hard to believe, it is possible – and he’s living proof.
So how did Medley go from an animal control officer in Dallas to an executive director in Philadelphia? Two words: “continuous improvement.”
As a leader, it’s important to recognize the progress you’ve made, but it’s just as important to figure out how to continue to improve. The first step? Self-improvement.
“I strongly recommend a self-assessment,” he told the audience. “So many professionals in our industry don’t look in the mirror enough.” Medley recommended investing in a strengths finder tool like Gallop or DISC to understand your talents so you can maximize them. Gallop has one for $20.
After a self-assessment, a staff assessment is critical. “Your team makes or breaks anything you do in the shelter,” said Medley. “We want to take note of people who are talented in certain areas and put them in a position to have the greatest impact in our shelter.”
When it comes to staff assessments, here are four things to remember:
- Knowing the talents of individual team members is key to setting them up for success.
- Coaching the team is the responsibility of the leader, as is understanding who is the best fit for different parts of the organization’s mission.
- Working as a team is reliant on each team member knowing others strengths.
- Hire people who improve your team.
To learn more about understanding your talents and those of your team, as well as how to create a culture of continuous improvement, watch Medley’s full presentation, “Moving Forward – Continuous Improvement”!