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Growth and Momentum Learning Series

with José Madrigal, City Manager of Durango, Colorado

On this episode José Madrigal, City Manager of Durango Colorado, explains how he developed his unique leadership training series. We cover core values, training methodology, and most importantly how he got directors, managers and supervisors to buy in with the program, stay engaged, and take ownership of the training.

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Transcript below:

Ryan (00:34):
Hey, well, good afternoon, Ron. How are you doing?

Ron (00:37):
Good. Nice to see you again, Ryan, and nice to have Jose Madrigal with us today.

Ryan (00:42):
Yeah, I’m excited about today’s podcast. Tell us a little bit about Jose.

Ron (00:45):
Well Jose, thank you for joining us. Jose is the city manager of Durango, Colorado, and before that he was a deputy city manager in McKinney, Texas. And before that he was the a strategy director in Irving. It is Irving, isn’t it? Irving? Irving, Texas. And he has an MPA from Texas Tech University. So he’s a very experienced city manager. We’re glad to have him with us. Jose, tell us a little bit about you and Durango, Colorado.

Jose (01:20):
Yeah, well, I appreciate it. Yeah. So I came to Durango in September of 2020. I came from the Texas area, more specifically the Dallas-Fort Worth area. And Durango was something completely different, but a beautiful community. when you look at my career trajectory, I, I’d had all my experience in Texas. I had been at the city of Lubbock, the city of Cedar Park Irving, and then McKinney. And having the opportunity to come out into beautiful southwest Colorado and run a full service city was just an, an amazing opportunity. I couldn’t pass up. And here I am in Durango and about to be three years in September.

Ron (01:56):
Wow. Do you know, it is beautiful. ’cause I’ve taken that drive from Dallas through that part of Texas on up, and as soon as you leave Texas and as soon as you hit Colorado, I mean, that part of the country is just amazing.

Jose (02:10):
It is. I’ve got a good mentor of mine who’s helping me a little bit with finance. His name’s Tommy Gonzalez, and I told him to come up to Durango, and he was coming from El Paso, so he was telling me a little bit about that drive. He’s like, so I’m in New Mexico, I’m coming out of Albuquerque, and I’m driving and I’m looking around and he’s like, you know, I know Jose says this is a really nice area. He is like, but I’m, he’s like, I’m starting to wonder of like, what’s going on. And he is like, then I hit that Colorado state line, and he’s like, got it. Now I see it. The mountains open up and everything else. So it, it does take a little bit to wait there, but once you cross the cross the state line in Colorado definitely changes the landscape.

Ron (02:49):
It’s almost immediate. It is almost like they drew the line, okay, here’s the dry part, here’s the lush green part. Oh, just like right there.

Jose (02:57):
Absolutely. Absolutely.

Ron (02:59):
Yeah. Well, anyway so a couple of, a few weeks ago Sure. I was on LinkedIn and I saw that Jose posted a LinkedIn post about a, an employee growth and development program that he had been doing. And it was, it was kind of an interesting post. He didn’t go into details, so I just asked if he would give me an overview. And Jose and I caught up a little while ago, and he gave me an overview of their Growth and Momentum learning series that they do in the city. And it was so fascinating that I asked him if he would come and do a podcast with us. And so thank you Jose, for coming and telling us a little bit about that. And I’d like to just begin by, would you tell us a little bit about how did your growth and Momentum Learning series get started? why are you doing it? And just kind of give our audience a little bit of understanding about what it is.

Jose (03:59):
Sure. to, to get there. really what we looked at was establishing when I got here in September of 2020 at our executive leadership team. And so when you look at our executive leadership team, it’s comprised of mainly our directors in the organization and really helps us set the, the tone for the organization, talk about higher organizational questions and priorities where we look at culture and have an ability to talk where we all are, leave our titles behind and all equal in our talking and, and going through to be able to tackle some of these tougher issues. So as we, as we developed this curriculum with the ELT for about a year when I got here, we came up with values and how we were gonna interact with each other, and it really did bring us together.

But there was a second phase that needed to happen after that. When I looked at it, it was great to be able to have this training and getting this bonding time with our executive leadership and our directors, but we also have other players in our organization and very critical players. When we look at it. We have our, our assistant directors and our managers, which I like to call the 30. ’cause we have about 30. Our organization is around 406 full-time employees with 600 seasonal, and then we have what I call the super, which is our team of supervisors. So we call ’em the super team. And then we have this other group of you know, individuals that have shown some really good capacity within the organization to promote up. So we’re looking at what can we create for them, how it’s great that this first year we’ve gotten together as an ELT, we’ve put in our core values together, how we’re gonna treat each other, but what is that next stage for the rest of the organization?

Those, those other layers within the organization. And so it started with an idea that I had come up with of, we really need to come up as an ELT, or what are the attributes that you need to have to be successful in the city of Durango? And the way we measure success is strategic plan achievement and enhanced customer service. So at the very end of December of 2020, I believe, yeah, 2021 our executive leadership team came up with attributes that you have to have if you’re going to be successful as an employee here at the city of Durango, empathy calculator risk. So what are some of, yeah. What are some of those attributes? Sure. calculated risk taking, empathy you know, where you look at and man, I’ve already started to blank out a little bit on that.

Lemme get back to That’s okay. you know you know, being a strategic thinking looking at you know, providing enhanced customer service feedback and being able to receive feedback being able to be diverse in your, in your thinking. So diversity is a big one. So we come up with these, you know, these different attributes that we’ve identified and we, I challenged our ELT of, you know, it’s not gonna be me who’s going to lead these sessions. And they’re all kind of like looking, well, okay, so are we gonna bring in a speaker? Are we gonna bring in you know, a moderator? How are we gonna do this? It’s like, I’m gonna challenge each one of you to partner up into two. And so two directors will teach one of the attributes. And they’re like, okay, okay.

Yeah, we, you had how many attributes? We had? 14, 16, something like that. 14, Yeah. So they’re like, okay, so this is, you know, we’re gonna, we’re gonna do this. And then it really evolved into what we have today. So that’s kind of what started it. the formal program that we have it’s called our Growth and Momentum Learning series. so it’s a, each attribute takes two months to go through. we have one training on the first part of the month where the two directors put together the program of what that means to them. So if it’s empathy, what does that mean? if it’s, you know, calculated risk-taking, what does that mean? Each of them has about a budget of, I think, $1,500 to use. it goes pretty quick when you look at it, but it’s up to them on why they wanna do it.

Do they wanna use it on food? Do they want to use it on bringing in a speaker? do they want to use it on the program and maybe a field trip, all the things of which we have done. And so it gives them an opportunity to put into their perspective what that attribute means to them. And now we’re having this engagement with our directors, our assistant directors, our managers, and our supervisors. And we’re all in the same room learning about this characteristic. And we’ve had parts where some of our directors have taken it on and have been the ones that have been the moderators and the teachers we’ve had being in southwest Colorado, people who are mountain climbers and have clown climbed Mount Everest coming in to talk about what they see as risk taking and how it’s calculated risk, and the things that you can get from it.

So that first portion of it really is teaching about that attribute in a different manner. bringing it home in, in a different way with the objection or the objective being we all learn differently. if it’s all the same part of a classroom setting some people are gonna get it, some people are not. Having the ability to do different modes of that education really works. resiliency was another one where two directors decided to go to a a, a horse a horse farm, I’m gonna call it that <laugh>, I, I know they have a different term to it, but where there was a bunch of horses and they were there to redo rehabilitation for individuals who are going through high stress times.

Ron (09:18):
Oh, really?

Jose (09:18):
And it was a part of taking a look at the resiliency that they teach us and what we can learn from horses.

And it was just a different way of bringing us together. So it’s this program that goes through that, that first part of the first month we, we go through, whether it’s that workshop, whether we do that field trip. and then the second part, we meet again for half a day, and we really talk about what did we learn? And we have homework of, we talk, we learned about resiliency, we learned about calculated risk taking. How did we take that back into our departments and teach that to our employees? And what does it mean? So it’s not just a one class, we leave it on the shelf, but that we continuously bring it back within the organization. So there’s,

Ron (09:56):
Each month you do two classes, is that what it is? One that introduces the topic and goes into detail, and then maybe a couple of weeks later, it’s an application, kind of a class? Is that how it works?

Jose (10:06):
Close? one month we’ll do the class. The next month we’ll do the application then.

Ron (10:10):
Oh. So it’s every other month.

Jose (10:12):
Every other month. And then, so if

Ron (10:13):
You have 14 characteristics, you’re not gonna get through them in a year. It’ll take, you’re not two and a half years almost to get through them all right.

Jose (10:20):
Absolutely. We’re in, in year two. I think we have about four more attributes that we need to get through. and so we’re continuously making it through. And once we figure out through these attributes, we’ll figure a different way out. And already talking about some cool ideas of what’s the next level to bring into to the supervisors, managers, and assistant directors. Because when you look at culture change, that’s really where it’s, it starts more your managers and your supervisors, you know, as directors and leadership, we can talk the talk, but when it gets down to the managers and supervisors, are they really bought into it? Do we know if they’re bought into it? Because they’re the ones that can go back and say, all right, well, you know, here comes another crazy idea from Jose. This is what it’s supposed to be about.

Lemme lemme walk through this and talk to you about what it’s supposed to be. Ah, you what, nevermind, we’re, we’re gonna move on. But when they’re bought in and when they’re learning about it, and when they’re finding it fun, and it’s not just a talk down, but more of a check out this idea, and this is what it means to the parks director and the police chief, and they’re able to ask questions and get involved, that message to their employees now isn’t like, Hey, this isn’t some crazy idea. that’s coming from the top. We learned about resiliency today, and we realized why it’s important to have this to be successful in the city of Durango. Let’s set up, you know, a a 30 minute team meeting in each one of these departments where the supervisors are doing it with their team and talking about resiliency and then bringing back some of the success they’ve had with it to the bigger group.

Ron (11:50):
Do you have, so far, I, I guess you hate to pick a favorite, but among those that you’ve seen, is there one or two you’d like to tell us about that, you know, that have been particularly impactful to you or to the team?

Jose (12:02):
You know, I think the big one was the there’s two. One was resiliency with the horses because it was working with, with nature and in an animal, and how do you interact with it? And how do you come up to a horse and how, what are the proper ways to communicate with the horse? And for me, I think it was really impactful because it really showed the diverse people that we, we, we work with in a community and where they’re at in different places, and how do you communicate, how do you communicate well and how were areas that you don’t communicate with. And I think that was a really impactful for all of us because it was outside the office. It wasn’t really a a a teacher classroom setting. we were out with horses and it was cool just getting to learn about horses.

And then also getting to learn about resiliency and how horses have come back from injury, and how horses have helped others get better in their treatment journey, depending on whichever ailment that that was for that individual. And I think it was really impactful for us because our our portion of that our homework, if you will, for that one, was that each one of us had to do community service and report back of what we learned in the community in the community service. So I helped out at the Elks Lodge with a taco dinner that helped fund scholarships for college, scholarships for Durango Youth. We had others that helped at Manna Soup Kitchen, which provides food for the homeless. and so there was just all other parts people went to go to the humane Society. And so I think what we saw was a part that really sparked us of how horses give back to us and how we can give back to the community and to help us be resilient if, you know, we’re all carrying and giving back about each other.

It really starts a, a spark in the community. And I think that one by far was my favorite. my second one that I would say is my most interesting is we had a mountain climber on calculated risk taking and showing the video of them climbing a a mountain in, I believe it was Peru over 14, 15,000 feet in the, in the air. Actually, it’s more than that. 14 is what we have here just to hike. Right? Right. And just seeing like the video and, you know, sometimes the cabling would work, sometimes it wouldn’t, and their request to continue to go through and how they took their time, and at the end, get to be on this beautiful mountain peak overlooking the clouds and, and down and see, you know, significant achievement and in its own way, showing you that everything that’s really worth having takes risk. And it’s not crazy risk, right? It’s not that they went and did it one day that they’ve never had mountain climbing in their entire life, but it’s how they’ve, how they’ve looked at their way and how they prepared for it, and how they know that there’s times that they’re gonna get into it, that they’re taking a calculated risk, but they’ve looked at the angles and it helped them achieve their, their their end goal.

Ron (14:49):
Hmm. Do you know who would’ve thought that this is what would’ve come out of your original idea of let’s make 14 attributes and then let’s figure out a way to push this down through the team? You know, it is really rather remarkable.

Jose (15:03):
Absolutely. one of the greatest things I have with this team, and I think when it starts with that first year of bonding with the directors and everybody feels comfortable with it being able to throw out an idea and really kind of high level of, here’s something I’m thinking about. And everyone then starting to put their little piece and then building into this program that turns into a growth and momentum learning series that continues to build on each other, and people are learning like, oh, that was a great one. a class that they did. I’ve got a different spin to it. also being able to bring in local business owners. one of them is adaptability. and we had our our now as a council member, but was our head of the restaurant association, Dave Woodruff.

We had our Fort Lewis College president Tom Streis, and we had our electric allian or electric utility, CEO Jessica Matlock come in to talk about being adaptable during covid and the things that they had to do and shift and be able to learn to continue their, you know, education from a college business from a restaurant. And then, you know, providing a critical utility within the community during a time that was really scary. And it was just awesome being able to see that, a, learning from them, but b, bringing them into our organization and getting to meet our right, our leaders in the future in that. And really showing the introductions of what we’re trying to do. just an awesome opportunity, things like that, that were not in the, the grand scheme of plans. I just had this idea. But the team and us getting together brought it together and really has really shown through.

Ron (16:38):
So this is like your chief of police was, was teaching one of these courses? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, your, your fire, fire chief was teaching a course, right? I mean, your budgeting, you

Jose (16:50):
Know, I don’t have a fire chief. we have a fire district, but yeah, we’ve had our police chief parks director aviation director, our finance director, our 9 1 1 director, just all different places, different gambits, different walks of life teaching these courses or leading these courses.

Ron (17:09):
I think it’s just, just the most awesome thing. Do you know, I, I think you this well, so this one, you have four more core topics to go through. so this is another eight, eight months, and then you’ll be done <laugh>. what do you see coming after this?

Jose (17:27):
That’s the $64,000 question, right? <laugh>? there’s, there’s always something more that can come through it. I think the, the Growth and Momentum learning series, we’ll, we’ll continue to move through. We’re always learning at things. I think kind of what I would look at as kind of a next section, we talked a little bit about it feedback, and that’s one that’s coming through. And we’ve, you know, two directors, 14, we don’t have 28 directors. So now we’re actually having managers getting the opportunity to lead and assistant directors. And we really got into feedback. And I think feedback’s important. And if I look at what’s that next phase, even just after feedback, is learning how to get feedback, how to take feedback and how to receive feedback in a manner to achieve customer service a higher level of customer service.

And also, you know, strategic plan achievement. Because I think when we look at governments continuously now one of the things that we seem to always be criticized for is either the lack of feedback or engagement we have with the community. And you look at that, you look at internally what feedback does for a culture and an organization. It’s just immense. And as we were talking with the crew, as I was talking with that group about feedback, we really were starting to take a different ways of where we could go about it. And I almost think that could be its own year long course of, of feedback. And one of the things that I’ve always kind of get to my pet peeve is, you know, when I have directors saying, oh, I’m too busy for that. Oh, we’re too busy. Oh, we’re too busy.

And I’m like, everyone likes to talk how they’re busy. And that’s true. Everyone really is busy. But when you as a director and a leader in an organization tell people subconsciously or consciously that you’re, that you’re so busy, what is the message of feedback? Is that receiving to your team that, oh, they must be so busy that whatever question I have probably isn’t important, and so I’m not going to to bring that up. Well, that’s a measure of feedback and, you know, how do we do it with with our citizens, you know, and the feedback that we get through there. So beginning to kind of put some notes down and try to see what feedback and all the different facets in which we can get that from and meaningful feedback. And that might be the next phase for this GMLS for sure.

Ryan (19:35):
Hmm. Well, you know, something about feedback is that it can help you get busy on the right things. Sometimes we’re busy on things that don’t necessarily mean the most to constituents or or to our team or whatever. So if we wanna be busy on the right things, we need feedback

Jose (19:52):
That’s right on point. There’s that other part of like legacy partes that we always do. And sometimes you’re like, why do we do this? And you trace it back, and it was like two finance directors ago, like 30 years ago. This was the way they wanted to do a time sheet. And guess what? We’ve just been doing it the entire way. Why? I don’t know. Just because that’s the way we’ve always done it. And it’s that kind of feedback of like, okay, getting back to the root of, this really may have worked 30 years ago. But is that really what we need to be focusing on and spending time and resources on now?

Ron (20:23):
Yeah. Jose, if if you were to give advice to another city manager who hears this and thought about maybe doing something similar, like what would you, what, what are a few tips or points you’d give that that person?

Jose (20:39):
It takes time. I think sometimes as city managers and even me you know, younger in my, it’s, let’s start a program and go tomorrow, let’s do it. We’re gonna put this together and, and we’re gonna go. And it really has to originate within the organization. the ELT, that team building was mine. that was something that I spurned and that I kept going. But without that, you know, month, those, those 12 months, that year of getting together, working on it, building that relationship, building that trust, the GMLS would not have happened. you know, it’s so many layers down in the organization that need to be brought in together. You really need buy off with your directors. And if I try to come off like day one of, Hey, I’m gonna do this GMLS, and we’re gonna talk about these attributes and we’re gonna do this,

Ron (21:28):
everybody has a responsibility, right?

Jose (21:30):
Yeah. Everyone’s like, whoa, wait a minute. Why are we doing this? What’s going on? But letting them go through the process and those attributes coming from them, not me, of here are the 14 they came up with them and we all agreed on ’em. It really brought in that buy-in. And when I look at GMLS I, it’s a learning program, which I think is, is amazing and awesome, but I also look at it as a cultural program. It really is beginning to lay that backbone of a culture of an organization. And you have to have time and patience with it to, to really get it to ferment and stick. Otherwise, you get that part of like, oh, this is just today’s thing. Next month it’ll go away. but by the time we rolled into it and we had everyone rolling together it took time, but it, it worked. And so my biggest piece of advice is really take your time, laying the framework and making sure that as a executive leadership team, those directors that are with you, they really are with you. They’ve had an opportunity to buy in. You’ve told them the why, you’ve given ’em the ability to provide feedback. And the solution in which you’ve come up with was one that you may have led, but you came up with together.

Ron (22:32):
Yeah, I mean, I, it is huge. So because you’re depending on them so much, they need to trust you, they need to be behind you. Right. And if they’re, if that is not in place yet, you’d watch it fail pretty quick, I think. Right?

Jose (22:46):
For sure. I mean, you get, there’s always opportunities. unfortunately, sometime, well, unfortunately, failure is really easy. you know, someone’s gonna be like, okay, you know I’m the first one up. I’m gonna do something. I’m gonna put together a PowerPoint, we’re gonna go through this. And I’m not excited about it, but I’m just doing what the boss tells me to do. Well, that enthusiasm passes down. but when you see two, you know, people come in and take it, and the first one’s like, I’m bringing in a local business owner of a brewery that’s gonna talk to us about customer service and, you know, you’re next, you’re the next two directors that are coming up. You know, it’s, it’s causing everyone to raise their game. But that only happens when people are interested in it. If it comes in at the very beginning of, oh, I’m just gonna do the boring PowerPoint. Well guess what the next two are gonna do? Oh, we’ll do the same thing. You know, that’s the boring PowerPoint, let’s go.

Ron (23:33):
I’m here because I have to be here too as well.

Jose (23:35):
Yeah, absolutely. And so it really has to get that energy, and you’ve gotta get them going at it, and they’ve gotta have something they feel is, is it’s them also in these attributes.

Ron (23:46):
Hmm. if you were to do anything over or differently the second time, what, what are a couple of things you might change about your program?

Jose (23:55):
You know, it’s a tough one. ’cause I was kind of preparing myself. I bet this would be a question that would come up. Yeah. you know, maybe lower the number of attributes if I would do it. 14. It, it’s a lot. And it, it does, it’s a lot. Take a substantial amount of time. And knowing that this is kind of how it would morph into, maybe it would’ve been better to have seven, maybe five, you know, something to get done in a, in a year. was it a, something I would take back? No, I, I like the way that it’s going, but looking at what I know now, I might would’ve, you know, trimmed it down a little bit.

Ron (24:27):
Yeah. And even if you go down to say eight or something mm-hmm. <affirmative>, I mean, it’s just that you’d be finished now after a couple years instead of continuing on. Right.

Jose (24:35):
Well, absolutely. And at the first part, when we talked about it, you know, these 14, we were like, oh, we could do like one a month. And the biggest, you know, part of that that we locked into it is like, you know, we don’t want to go so fast that it loses its momentum in regards to the impact that we need to give people time to let it sink in, think about it, and then have them come back, is I think really also the most important part. That it’s not, okay, we had this one presentation. A guy comes in, tells this great story about climbing mountains, or we got to go play with horses and we move on and we’re onto the next one. It’s like, no, there’s homework at the end that takes that learning lesson and kind of cultivates it back into you of like, okay, next month I’m answering these questions, or I’m working with this group or I’m providing community service here because of what I learned. And it really kind of helps it continue to move forward in a meaningful way.

Ron (25:24):
Look, I just think this is the coolest thing that you’ve done. And I’ve spoken with a lot of city managers and a lot of them are doing some beautiful work, right? Like, it’s not, but this is, this is unique. I’ve never seen anything quite like this. And would you mind what can you think of anything we might be able to do to share something with, with a viewer? Like if that they could download or see? Is there, do you have anything like that?

Jose (25:52):
sure. I mean, I, I think what I’d have would be kind of our agendas and our homework assignments that lay out the attributes. And I, and I’ve shared those before because I think it’s important to see kind of how the attributes are taught. And then you see a, questionnaire of the questions that we come back and, and show and, and a framework. And I’ve been able to, you know, share some of this in some think tank groups that I’m part of where people have heard about it and it’s like, man, that’s really interesting. I’d like to to to know a little bit more about it. And absolutely I’ll share it with it and everything else. But I always do, always put a caution to it that if you think you can just day one, roll this thing out and it’s gonna work be prepared.

Because it took me, you know, a year to get to a part to where I was even able to be comfortable of rolling this out. But yeah, I think there’s a, there’s a lot of cool things with it. you know, I’m really focused on the organizational culture here. it’s something that has really interested me and how to continue to build upon that and what’s the next one and what’s the next challenge and how do we continue to go through And it, it’s fun. So yeah, there’d be no problem in me kinda sharing those. I think it’d give a little bit of a, a gist of how it works and how the program flows. Yeah.

Ron (27:00):
Maybe one or two of them or something, and then Sure. I think that’s a great idea. Well, look, this has been a pure delight. I just really appreciate you taking the time. Ryan, do you have a final question for Jose?

Ryan (27:13):
I’ve got a handful, but maybe a, a burning question is how do you, you have a long training program like this, it’s taken a couple years. When you onboard new employees that maybe walk into the middle of this program, how have you gotten ’em up to speed, integrate them with that culture, and do you even see a benefit of having a long-term program that people walk into rather than here’s your two week onboarding and you’re done?

Jose (27:39):
yeah. With this program, it’s a commitment in regards to it. It’s not a indoor doesn’t have a beginning and an end. So it’s not like, oh, this is my one year and then I move on. It’s consistently going through, if you’re a supervisor, if you’re a manager or if you’ve been designated as somebody who’s got some potential and your supervisor’s placed you on here, you’re, you’re in. the part that we have is the responsibility of the manager, if it’s a supervisor or the assistant director, if it’s manager or the director, if it’s assistant director, to talk to ’em about it to let ’em know like, Hey, this is what this program is about. This is why I found it to be interesting. Here’s why it’s important that you’re going through. Because if you’re going to be successful and understand what’s important in this organization and the culture, you gotta go through it.

there’s no shortcuts around it. you know, your career, we’re investing in your career just as much as we’re you know, asking you to invest your trust in us that it, it gives back. And so, you know, you can come in at the middle of the of the, the course, or you may come in in a year, and we’ve already moved on past the attributes where we’ll share onto ’em and we’ll have a different training curriculum course with it. but the whole part of it is to make sure that everyone’s teaching and learning and, and being able to bring it in. And it’s not just like the one person you go to and say, Hey, here’s where it is. It’s your, your supervisor, your team member that is kind of talking to you about this this series and why it’s important.

Ryan (29:03):
That sounds, that sounds like a really great way to integrate someone into a team. Thanks.

Ron (29:08):
Absolutely. I think it is.

Jose (29:10):
We’ve had some really good compliments on it of like, this is really cool. one of the things on, on LinkedIn that I will say that has been unanticipated is I know people watch it. I know people like see it. and sometimes it gets a little you know, sometimes people just putting quotes of the day. for myself, I look at LinkedIn in my post to really be a, a view from a recruiting window of what it is that we’re working on and our culture. So if somebody’s looking at what is the city of Durango about, they can see me on LinkedIn, they can see our GMLS, they can see some of the employees shoutouts. Very rarely is it about a, if any, a a quote. And that’s okay for people to do that, but that’s just not the impact that I’ve seen.

And what I have seen from it just on my LinkedIn, is we’ve had other businesses in the community already reach out and say, Hey, I’d love my CEO to be a part of this. How do I get ’em apart? And so cool. Talk through him and bring it into it, or, you know, I, I knew there was this position open in Durango, I saw a little bit on this GMLS, I’m really interested in it. And people asking that in their interview, like, what is this about? How does this work? Or, you know, you really do a lot of employee shoutouts. And so I think that’s where we, you can really use LinkedIn to what I think it was about is really performing and showing your organization in a recruitment tool. some of the really cool things that you get to work in, in program, so it has a specific use for me is as people are doing their research, they’ll see what we’re about here.

Ron (30:34):
You know, I, I will notice that when I was looking at it, it wasn’t all about you and some people do, you know, look at me here and look at me there, whatever. And nothing wrong with that. But yours was not, yours was about the team, the group, the, you know, the, the, the direction everyone was headed. I thought it was great

Jose (30:51):
Trying to get people energized, right. And making them wanna be part of the city. Right. And going through, you’re always looking, I think for, you know, municipal organizations, recruitment’s a big thing. How are you getting employees through the door? job descriptions start all looking alike. Everyone tries to change it differently. But, you know, come work for a team oriented, challenging environment that’s on everybody’s come, you know, work and see where this is at. And me, I look at it, it’s like, well, if I can give them a sneak peek as they’re looking through more than just the job description of what are we getting to do, you’re, you’re gonna see what Durango’s about in my LinkedIn posts.

Ron (31:26):
Well, Jose, this has been the best. I sure appreciate you taking the time. Any final thoughts for anything? Or you have, have we covered it like you’d like, like

Jose (31:34):
Yeah, I mean, I think we’ve covered it. I, I would just say, you know, from my side, the challenge is, you know, check back in six months and see what we’re doing. <laugh> we’re gonna continue to find programs forward. I love to, yeah. new programs and new ways to reach out and really extend the culture in some different ways.

Ron (31:50):
You know, it’s interesting, we have another podcast coming up, it’ll be a couple of weeks from now. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, and it’s from, he’s, he’s not a senior level person. He’s, he’s in the mid-level mm-hmm. <affirmative> working for the organization and lamenting a little bit that they, that the goals, the vision where we’re going is a, as an organization was not in place. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So it’ll be interesting to juxtapose, you know, one that is, has really tried to get everybody swimming the same direction, rowing the same way, you know, versus another one who feels that they kind of alone’s tough and so well done’s.

Jose (32:25):
Yeah. I think I appreciate, it’s tough, and I think one of the, the challenges here is when you come in an organization is to continue the momentum, right? Like you, you come in and it all started when I got here with the culture and organization. And in my mind, I’m always taking notes of what’s next, what are things that we need to work on? What are some cool things that we can go through? I do feel sometimes for people that have reached out to me that are city managers that have been an organization for 10 years, and they’re like, I’d really like to start a program like this. I don’t know if that’s, I wouldn’t say it’s impossible, but, you know, changing a culture once you’ve said it and you’ve been there in a while, sometimes it’s hard to throw something new out there and get that energy, especially if it’s something completely different. Because you know, your employees see who you are. they, they get a part of it and they’re like, oh, okay, this doesn’t really fit into the category of this. And, you know, here I, you know, the employees know. It’s like, okay, Jose’s gonna come up with something next. And I don’t know what it’s gonna be next, but let’s see. And it does, you know, energize us, I believe.

Ron (33:24):
Fascinating point. Well said. Well, okay. Hey, I think we’ll call it quits. Well done.

Ryan (33:31):
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