Published November 18, 2019

Episode 062: Aja Brown and Jason Jaggard on Cities, Collaboration and Criticism

TOPICS IN THIS PODCAST

CollaborationLeading Others

Mayor Aja Brown made history at 31, becoming the youngest mayor ever elected in the City of Compton, California. Under her leadership and focusing on community partnerships, the city is thriving with a 50% decrease in homicides and a 50% reduction in unemployment. In this episode of the GLS Podcast, Mayor Brown sits down with Jason Jaggard to discuss the way she approaches collaborative problem-solving and the importance of faith-based communities in city transformation. In addition, she describes the self-leadership practices that propelled her into leadership at such a young age.

Show Notes

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SUMMARY:

Mayor Aja Brown made history at 31, becoming the youngest mayor ever elected in the City of Compton, California. Under her leadership and focusing on community partnerships, the city is thriving with a 50% decrease in homicides and a 50% reduction in unemployment. In this episode of the GLS Podcast, Mayor Brown sits down with Jason Jaggard to discuss the way she approaches collaborative problem-solving and the importance of faith-based communities in city transformation. In addition, she describes the self-leadership practices that propelled her into leadership at such a young age.

 

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • I never thought I would become mayor. I was doing ministry in the city and the problems started to pull on my heart.
  • I went to other people and offered to be their strategist if they would run. But they said, “You should do it.”
  • When I accepted the assignment, I started with a visioning session. I was intentional about bringing different stakeholders together to discuss problems and opportunities. That’s what I ran on: A Vision for Compton.
  • When I encountered a spike in crime, I didn’t have the money to hire additional police officers. We had to work with what we had. I looked at our community as a system and started a task force, bringing key stakeholders together to talk about how we could have a safer city. We gathered 80 people in the Community Center.
    • We talked about our vision for Compton as a safe community.
    • We talked about the obstacles and barriers.
    • I committed to them, “If I work on those barriers, would you work on what is in your power?”
  • As a result, gang violence is down and we have attracted companies and job opportunities to the city.
  • City officials would be wise to work with faith-based communities to solve the problems together.
  • To church leaders: If every church loves on two square blocks around their church, our neighborhoods will be transformed. We are all inter-connected.
  • To government officials: Churches are more than a podium for your message. Churches can be a conduit for you to connect with different constituencies and identify different needs.
  • John Maxwell’s leadership laws have been extremely impactful on my leadership.
  • As a new mom, I am listening to books rather than reading them.
  • I’ve always been reflective, which has allowed me to push myself to get better.
  • I can take criticism because the mission is bigger than myself. But sometimes I drive home with tears in my eyes.
  • There’s usually a molecule of truth in every criticism. It’s my practice to create an action plan to solve those issues.
  • My advice to leaders out there: “Know that you are enough.” Move forward. As you walk down the road to purpose, you will be equipped to do what God has in store for you.

 

 

REFLECTION QUESTIONS:

1. One of Mayor Brown’s accomplishments is bringing together diverse stakeholders to achieve a common mission. Think about your leadership. Identify a stubborn problem that will require collaboration between diverse stakeholders. Write it down.

2. Take action by scheduling a stakeholder meeting, applying Mayor Brown’s methodology to your problem.

  • Identify all the stakeholders who will need to be on board to solve that problem.
  • Invite them to meet together.
  • Identify a common vision upon which you can all agree.
  • Identify the barriers and obstacles that are keeping all of you from that vision.
  • Make commitments. The leadership commits to _____. The stakeholders commit to _______.

3. How might a stakeholder meeting help move you toward solving your problem?

 

RESOURCES MENTIONED:

John Maxwell

21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership

Mosaic Church

Erwin McManus

 

RELATED LINKS:

Mayor Aja Brown

City of Compton, California

Jason Jaggard

Novus Global

The Global Leadership Summit

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