Episode number three

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Welcome to More Than a Chain, the podcast for civic leaders that aren’t just in it for the buffet. It’s hosted by Duncan Bhaskaran Brown and includes all these great features:

  • Network News
  • Civic Role Model
  • The hot Interview
  • The BIG thing


Network News


We’re getting stuck into planning this year’s Unchained Civic Conference. And we need your help. Can you suggest a guest for us to interview?


Do you know an inspirational civic leader that people need to hear from? Maybe you know a councillor who has a great approach to community leadership that could be shared. Or perhaps you heard an expert in local government leadership at a conference recently.


Hey, maybe you’ve just read a good book and you’d like to hear more from the author. If we can find the person and there’s a webcam, we’ll do an interview.


Get in touch on info@theciviccoach.com or 07480 295 285.


Civic Role Model


It’s hard to talk about the achievements of this month’s civic role model. His accomplishments only make sense in the context of Isaac Asimov’s fictional universe.


This month our civic role model is Slavor Hardin, Mayor of Terminus. If you’ve ever read Isaac Asimov’s Foundation you’ll be grinning now, if not would you like to borrow my copy? It is that good. I read a lot of sci-fi and the foundation trilogy is best series I’ve ever read.


And what is so great about Salvor Hardin? His turn of phrase is second to none. I’m fond of “violence is the last refuge of the incompetent” but I like to think that none of my podcast listeners are going to start a war anytime soon.


Another one of his great epigrams is “never let your sense of morals prevent you from doing what is right.” I think it is one that is worth reflecting on.


Does he mean the ends justify the means? Maybe, but I think we should see it like this. Civic leaders try to bring consensus and cohesion, which is great and that could correctly be described as a moral statement.


Should you let that admirable and moral position get in the way of your desire to reform the position? I would say no. Sometimes causing an argument and even upsetting a few people is necessary.


We have a duty to our councils, our communities and future generations of civic leaders to forge a new path for the roles we occupy and create a tradition for today.


And you shouldn’t let your sense of morals get in the way of that.


Find out more about Slaovr Hardin by reading the foundation trilogy.


The hot interview


Burning up the airwaves in this month’s hot interview is Mimi Harker OBE. There is so much we can learn from her after her six years in chains, holding offices like Mayor of Amersham and Chairman of Chiltern District Council.


It’s a nerve racking experience interviewing Mimi, she’s a proper radio presenter who interviews people on Wycombe Sound Radio. The station recently scooped an award for being the best community radio station in the country.


You can listen to Mimi Meets on Wycombe Sound’s listen again facility.


We couldn’t help but mention Mimi’s achievements. She is particularly proud of the outdoor leisure facility created to mark the London Olympics. It boasts a selection of free gym equipment as well as street snooker. What’s street snooker you ask? Here is the answer.


While Mimi was a little surprised that some enlightened councils offer training for incoming civic leaders she was pleased to talk about the many skills she picked up while in office. She talked about how the experience of being a councillor and a civic leader had completely changed who she was.


Of course, she needs all those new skills now she’s chair of Community Impact Bucks and the southern region of the Children’s Air Ambulance, not forgetting Patron of South Bucks Hospice. And she evens finds time to do some excellent work on Facebook or Twitter.


The BIG thing


The BIG thing you can learn from Mimi Harker? Use your contacts.


Mimi uses her many contacts to bag some great interviews for her radio show. She uses her many contacts to help her in her new roles as community impact chair, hospice patron and armed forces champion. And yes, she even uses them for council business.


That’s one of the best things about being a civic leader. You make some great contacts.


But you already have some great contacts. Think about all the people you know. Think about all those skills.


Who could you get to act as your mentor? Who could you get to act as a social media consultant? Who could you get to help you craft your speeches or media messages? Fancy an official photographer? Who do you know who could accompany you to a few events and capture the moment?


Use you contacts. Be like Mimi.


Coming up next time


We’ve got a fascinating interview with a leading authority who has a novel take on what we should be doing to engage our communities. That, and all the network news, another civic role model and the BIG thing to help you become more successful.


We’ll be back on Tuesday 17th April. Don’t miss it.


Duncan Bhaskaran BrownEpisode number three

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