Brian Sandoval had it made with a life time appointment as a federal judge. However, Sandoval walked away from his safe life time appointment to run for Governor of Nevada. After he won the Governor’s race in 2010, Sondoval walked into a tough situation:

– Nevada had the nation’s highest unemployment rate
– a crushed housing market and
– a looming $3 billion budget deficit.

As a Republican governor Sandoval worked with Democratic legislators to close the state’s budget deficit. Sandoval raised taxes and obtained support from Democrats for spending cuts, as well as education reforms that were on the governor’s to-do list: reforming teacher tenure and instituting performance pay for teachers.

How was Sandoval able to achieve success? According to a Governing article:

“I think it’s really important to listen to everyone and to see what their goals are. I think it paid dividends in the end.” “We may not have agreed all the time, but we had a very good relationship. So when it came down to crunch time, we were able to get things done,” Sandoval says.

Upon taking office Sandoval personally meet with all 63 legislators so he could learn about their priorities for the state. The previous administration had developed a reputation for being uninterested, even lazy. “He’s been much more engaged in the process, and that makes a difference if you’re going to work together,” says state Sen. Mo Denis, the Democratic caucus leader. “We’re able to sit down and talk, even though we don’t always agree. That’s an important part of trying to figure out solutions.”

Sandoval personally met with 63 legislators, yet in many local governments the County Executive or Mayor will rarely if ever meet with their fellow elected officials, which consist of 9 to 20 something members. Too many local government leaders take the my way or the highway approach in that they expect their submitted budgets and legislative items to pass without any changes being made.

We need more leaders like Sandoval who take the time to listen to the goals and priorities of the elected officials they must work with to get things done.

About The Author

The definition of reinvent is:to replace with an entirely new version, to make over completely, to recast something familiar or old into a different form.In my opinion we need to reinvent government, business and ourselves. Today’s world is about constant change driven by the power of new ideas.For the past 17 years as an attorney, I have worked in government at the county, city, authority and school district level in the Buffalo, NY area. I have seen first hand the need for reinventing how government operates. For a period of four years, I served as Chief of Staff to the 9 member City of Buffalo Common Council. Government must engage the talents and skills of its citizens by becoming more collaborative and transparent in its decision-making and operations. Utilizing technology as a tool to engage citizens is something all governments need to explore.I have great respect for entrepreneurs as they put their passion into a vision, which results in new products, new services and new jobs. Entrepreneurs are on the front lines of change. As an adjunct college instructor, I see how students and everyone for that matter must continually change and reinvent themselves to survive and be successful in today’s crazy world economy.Some of my favorite change agent writers are Tom Peters, Seth Godin, Gary Hamel and Guy Kawasaki. I welcome the opportunity to meet new people, to further my own learning and to share ideas.On a personal note I am 47 years old, my other half Cheryl is an attorney in private practice and together we have three children, Michael age 20 and Joseph age 14 and our newest shock of an addition Julia, born 11/2/11.