Name: Chris McNeese
Title: Director of Public Works
Family: Wife Jennifer, twins Ethan and Linley Kate
Education: Lee High School, University of Alabama in Huntsville
Background: Began work with City of Huntsville in 1999 as a civil engineer and project manager. Named Director of Public Works in August 2015, succeeding Terry Hatfield
What You Didn’t Know: McNeese enjoys working outdoors, old cars, spending quality time with family.
McNeese On Leadership: My leadership style is very simple; set a standard to do our jobs. I have always found it important to surround myself with people who are smarter than I am and to give them the tools they need in order to do their jobs exercising accountability and responsibility. Setting a standard for not only the department, but for myself as well. Then stand back and let them do their jobs without micromanaging their work. There was a quote I read from Ray Kroc, who built McDonalds, stating “The quality of a leader is reflected in the standard they set for themselves.” I wouldn’t ask an employee to do something I wouldn’t do myself.
I also view it as being important to give them opportunities to shine and hold their accomplishments up into the light so that others can see their good works. When employees within the department shine, the entire department shines. It’s not about me, but the performance of the entire department. When employees are recognized for their hard work, they feel valued and are motivated to perform.
‘My views on leadership’ is a regular CityBlog series. Get to know a new City of Huntsville Department Head and their leadership style in this weekly series.