How to navigate change and build consensus

Jeff Fielding, the City of Toronto’s Chief of staff and a long time civic leader, shares what he’s learned about leadership and community building in times of change.

In this episode, Jeff Fielding discusses:

  • His job trajectory (01:04)
  • Four leadership principles and how they’ve guided him through challenging times (02:07)
  • How to handle a crisis (04:15)
  • How to develop “leadership courage” to have difficult conversations (06:13)
  • The value of humour in tense situations (07:20)
  • Lessons learned from navigating complex stakeholder relationships (08:16)
  • Managing the impact of social media on public discussion (10:13)
  • The importance of lifelong learning to remain current and connected (12:50)
  • How to prepare for the first month of a new leadership role (15:32)
  • How leaders can bring people together and build consensus (19:27)
  • How he feels about brussel sprouts (23:08)

Jeff’s advice for leaders:

  • Do the right thing and do it well (02:10)
  • Care about other people  (03:16)
  • Be true to yourself and lead by example (06:16)
  • Communicate clearly, and with the goal of being understood (09:26)
  • Listen and learn before taking action (15:50)

More about Jeff Fielding

Jeff Fielding has been in civil service since 1978. He’s a consensus builder and passionate civil leader known for speaking truth to power. Now the Chief of Staff to the city manager for Toronto, he’s also held the job of city manager for Calgary, Burlington, Ont., and the City of London. Fielding is also an educator who has lectured at Western University’s Ivey School of Business in the MBA and Executive MBA programs, as well as in the University of Winnipeg’s Geography Department. Fielding was the first recipient of the Award of Excellence in Local Government from Western University. He also received a John Robinson Award for Reducing Violence Against Women and a Calgary Construction Association Partnership Award for Industry Partnership. He’s a board member of the Canadian Council for Private Public Partnership and an Executives-in-Residence at the Ian O. Ihnatowycz Institute for Leadership at the Ivey School of Business.