Name: Danny Shea
Title: Director of Natural Resources and Environmental Management
Family: wife Cathy, daughters Jennifer and Jessica
Education: UAH, with bachelor’s in biology and chemical engineering and masters in biology and environmental engineering, and a law degree from the Birmingham School of Law
Background: Started with City of Huntsville with Water Pollution Control in the lab, then became the City’s industrial waste engineer in the same department. Became deputy director of Natural Resources and Environmental Management, then named director in 1994
What You Didn’t Know: He has worked in prison ministry for 20 years. He is also a former musician, playing guitar and singing. “I can’t do either one worth a flip any more.”
Shea On Leadership: I have a series of random observations. In my role, I serve as a technical resource and a professional mentor to the younger people in the office. I’ve reached the point where everyone is one of the younger people in the office. And that leads to my first random observation: It takes remarkably little time to go from being one of the youngest people in the office to the oldest.
Another observation is learning from mistakes. We learn in a variety of ways, from a variety of experiences. I like to think we learn from everything we do, and everything we learn is able to benefit us in some points.
Another observation: People need to be engaged. They need to feel productive. As supervisors, we need to be mindful of that when we make work assignments, to make sure people are challenged.
Another observation: Those who have been richly blessed have a duty to pay some of it back. We can do that in a variety of ways. We can do volunteer work. We can serve the public, and we really are blessed because that’s part of our daily life is to serve the public. Another way is to mentor people in the work place. We can transfer knowledge to our younger coworker.
This collection of random thoughts does have a common theme. That’s my belief that leadership really involves fostering the potential of others and a good leader brings out the best in people he’s associated with.
‘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.