Friday, July 21, 2017

Management style – Kriseman’s strength or his Achilles heel

Kriseman’s management style can be summed up simply, view from afar, point to success with pride and view failure with alarm and blame someone else.


St. Petersburg, Fl
Opinion by: E. Eugene Webb PhD
Author: In Search of Robin, So You Want to Blog.

 Current St. Pete Mayor Rick Kriseman may have picked the wrong attribute when he started comparing his management style with his chief opponent in the St. Pete Mayoral race Rick Baker.

You can get some details in Charlie Fargos’, Tampa Bay Times article, Rick Kriseman says management style is his strength, rival Rick Baker's weakness.
Since I worked for the City on the management team during Baker’s two terms as Mayor I have a unique perspective from which to comment.

Kriseman began his term as Mayor by completely politicizing the top of the management team. With the exception of Dr. Gary Cornwall, who Kriseman named as City Administrator, his office of the Mayor was completely populated with political cronies or operatives.

In Bakers 8 plus years, I never had to deal with anyone who was a pure political appointee. Baker looked for people who could make a contribution not those needed a place to camp until the next election cycle.

Kriseman has surrounded himself with spokes people and wannabes.

From the Frago article: “Kriseman said his management style has been to hire bright people while taking the "30,000-foot" big-picture view, preferring to delegate to his chosen team.”

You have probably seen some of Kriseman’s bright people on TV and read their quotes on line and in the newspaper. I’ll leave the definition of “bright” to you.

As to the 30,000-foot view, Kriseman rarely gets any closer to a problem than 30,000 feet. That’s why the City is in the mess it is in. Baker is a hands-on guy who is willing to roll up his sleeves and help solve the problems.

Micromanager?

Maybe.

But it sure is nice to have the guy who runs the show there in the trenches with you when things are going bad.

Kriseman’s best hire was Kanika Tomalin.

I remember the first interview I did with her.

They were so worried about what she might say, I had to agree to have Ben Kirby, Kriseman’s campaign mouth piece and newly minted “Communications Director” in the room before they would agree to the interview.

Tomalin, who is bright, talented and articulate has been largely relegated to a show and tell role, when she should have been a primary policy contributor and decision maker.

Kriseman’s management style doesn’t recognize talent when it is standing right in front of him.

Finally, there was the whole Police Chief debacle. After a nationwide search, there was no one Kriseman wanted to hire. Instead of following the protocol, he just reaches out and grabs someone close by. Good decision?

Maybe, maybe not.

Is crime up or down? Hard to tell as the Kriseman spin machine manipulates the numbers.

One thing we know for sure when it comes to things like the Noise Ordinance, Why Does St. Petersburg, Florida Have The Worst Noise Ordinance In The Nation?  the Police Department is right there with Kriseman, 30,000 feet above the problem.

Kriseman’s management style can be summed up simply, view from afar, point to success with pride and view failure with alarm and blame someone else.

Do you really want this guy as your mayor for four more years?

E-mail Doc at mail to: dr.gwebb@yahoo.com or send me a Facebook (E. Eugene Webb) Friend request. Be sure to follow me on Pintrest (Doc Webb),  Like or share on Facebook and follow me on TWITTER  @DOC ON THE BAY .

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Disclosures: Contributor to Rick Baker for Mayor Campaign 

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