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Stewarding A Community Is Like Being A Gardner

You Must Pull The Weeds, Prepare The Soil, And Ensure Equal Parts Water, Sun, And Care So New Seeds Flourish.

Hello and Welcome

I’m Rob Joseph, and I’m glad you’re here.

Merriam-Webster Dictionary says a gardener is “one employed to care for the gardens or grounds of a home, business concern, or other property.”

I like to think of public administrators as professional gardeners who cultivate conditions that bring out the best in people with understanding, care, and love for the people, the community, and the work.

After resigning as assistant city manager and director of the office of business and tourism for the City of Montrose, Colorado, it was during a period of solitude and reflection while re-reading from my Great Books library that I reacquainted with the Athenian Oath. Reading it was a stark reminder of why I had chosen to serve as a public administrator.

The Athenian Oath

I will not disgrace my city by an act of dishonesty or cowardice

I will not abandon my colleagues in the ranks

I will protect my city’s ideals, values, and special things

I will obey and honor its laws and uplift the nobility of civic duty

I will pass on my city better and more beautiful than it was handed to me

At The Heart Of Public Service

In ancient Athens, early military successes were more for cultural identity than political power, an identity verbalized and emotionalized through the Athenian Oath. Democracy was at the center of cultural identity, so civic engagement and defense of the polis were foremost responsibilities.

Adolescent sons of citizens underwent a two-year mandatory program before re-entering the community as adults with the rights and privileges of citizenship. To finalize their training, they would take the Athenian Oath and promise to be dependable, lawful, and loyal – to protect their community at all costs and to leave it better than they found it. It was a powerful vow taken as part of a rite of passage to citizenship.

The Athenian Oath embodies many characteristics of a good citizen and the values important to the ancient Greeks, which is – I believe – at the heart of great leadership and public service. Essential principles like ethics, character, and competence are prominent: “I will not disgrace my city by an act of dishonesty or cowardice.” I think of trust and courage when I read, “I will not abandon my colleagues in the ranks.” I wonder about the well-being and productivity levels of an organization whose supervisors, colleagues, and co-workers have each other’s back.

Other desirable characteristics of the Oath are lawfulness, respect, leadership, competence, stewardship, and sustainability.

My Values

Our values are the cornerstone of who we are and the foundation from which we make decisions. They form our character like the mortar that binds bricks.

Here are mine in alphabetical order.


To move with speed. To be lively, alert, and brisk. Cheerfully ready, prompt, and willing to observe and participate in what life has to offer.


The ancient Greeks called it Arete.
Having a healthy and well-developed mind, body, and soul. Doing what you enjoy and doing it well.


An abundant life is not reserved for the few. There is a process, and activating your appreciation skills is an excellent first step.


The Japanese business philosophy of constant and never-ending improvement through small and incremental changes over time.


To live life in proper proportion. To strive for self-mastery by tempering thought, emotion, and behavior. 

Practical Wisdom

Wisdom that is coupled with action. Knowing what to do, what not to do, when to do it, and in the right measure.


Strength in the face of fear. Doing the right thing despite personal cost. Confidence to wait when patience is needed and act at the right time.


Weaving fun, humor, and pleasantry into the day. Exploring and creating. Being with people I enjoy. Doing things I enjoy.


Guided by morality and universal law. Fair application, merit, and knowing how to assign proper value.

Love & Harmony

We want to achieve, expand, and be happy. These two principles of universal existence make life easier and more enjoyable.

Passion For Results

We all have the same amount of time. We can work on low-priority tasks and wonder where the day went or take action that makes a difference.

The Good Life

A state of joy by living a values-driven purposeful life guided by reason and action leading to the highest good and the best possible life.

About Me

I like working with board members, stakeholders, and staff to solve problems for residents and showing business owners how to quickly and effectively grow business with loyal and satisfied customers and earn a fair profit.

Here are five advantages I provide listed in no particular order.

First, I have served as a town trustee, so I have a clear perspective of the challenges that face elected officials and the politics of it all. I know the courage required to do the right thing and to set policies that help people, and I understand the difficulties a poorly managed community invites. 

Second, I have a visceral understanding of what it takes to run a business. I previously owned a computer consulting business that I started with my brother on half a shoestring. We knew who we were serving, developed a product our audience needed and wanted, employed people, grew the business, and sold it to a national company wanting to enter our niche.

Third, I help people establish what they want from their business and life and why they want it in the Golden Egg Bootcamps and Workshops. And then, I help them rank their priorities, design their balanced life blueprint, and execute! I have traveled the roads and done the things I write about and teach in my goal-setting, productivity, and well-being blogs and courses.

Fourth, I have a practical, proven success system. I don’t wing my council’s priorities. I get buy-in, plan the project, get to work, and deliver results. The Golden Egg theme represents goal-setting, well-being, and productivity. ICMA liked the concept enough to write an article about it.

And fifth, I invest in my community. I manage by walking around and talking with the people I serve to understand firsthand what keeps them up at night. I am available, and I listen to learn. I do this because

I love seeing the twinkle in the eyes and smile on the lips of happy community members.

I love to help small business owners achieve time and money freedom.

I love developing high-performance teams.

And I love helping people achieve their dreams.


How I Lead

My leadership goal is to foster an environment and culture where people flourish.

I do this by (listed in alphabetical order):

    • Advocating moderation between work, play, and recovery
    • Applying new knowledge
    • Asking for help and owning up to mistakes
    • Believing in good manners, kindness, and empathy
    • Caring about my people, my work, and my community
    • Committing to the organizational values, vision, and mission
    • Developing leaders and teaching leadership
    • Encouraging curiosity and imagination
    • Helping them to set personal and professional goals
    • Helping them to achieve their goals
    • Inviting feedback, listening, and using it to be better
    • Keeping things simple and practical
    • Setting clear boundaries and expectations
    • Talking straight and taking action

How Others See Me

“Rob has been an invaluable member of the Board of Trustees. He is intelligent, thoughtful, and dedicated. His contributions to board decision-making and group process have helped create a positive and effective board culture.”

Sumaya Abu-Haidar

Former Mayor, Town of Nederland, CO

“I have found Rob to be of high moral character, a champion for positive thinking, and dedicated to helping achieve success with our team. We have worked on goal setting for better productivity in the Town of Bennett and really have used his support for bringing out the best in my staff.”

Trish Stiles, ICMA-CM

Town Administrator, Town of Bennett, CO

“Rob is hardworking, but he’s also very innovative. He has this knack for quality. He has taken our marketing business further than any of us could have imagined.”

Judy Ann Files

Former Mayor and Council Member, City of Montrose, CO

“I am very proud to have Rob Joseph on our city’s management team. Rob has accomplished great things for both the city organization and for the Montrose community over the past several years “

Bill Bell, ICMA-CM

City Manager, City of Montrose, CO

“It just isn’t necessary to be involved when the process is under good control. The program that you established and ran with has exceeded expectations and those in the know in the public realize that your efforts are paying a big dividend.”

Bob Nicholson

Former Mayor and Council Member, City of Montrose, CO



This short phone message is from Cassie, a Montrose resident, calling to thank me for helping her when nobody else would.

“Rob, so glad we are acquainted. Montrose is now my model city for demonstrating how a community can build its tourism story from the ground up.”

Cathy Ritter

Former Director, Colorado Tourism Office, CO

“Rob served the Town faithfully and with much diligence. He always prepares for topics and is caring, concerned and courteous when dealing with citizens and other board members, especially with difficult persons and issues.”

Ken Robinson

Former Chief of Police, Town of Nederland, CO

“Rob managed a very diverse staff in Montrose. He has a way of bringing groups with unique agendas together in support of “middle ground” solutions that benefit many. He will improve any organization he is a part of.”

John Harris, PE

Director Municipal Utilities & Engineering Department, City of Redlands, CA