My Life in Presidential Terms with Michael Davis, Durham County, NC

In this series, ELGL members reflect on how their life has changed from 2008 to 2016, and look forward to where they’ll be in 2024. ELGL members can sign up to share their experiences at My Life in Presidential Terms

By Michael Davis (LinkedIn), Durham County, NC, Strategic Initiative Manager

Change is the only constant. Mom said that. Well, she got it by way of Greek philosopher Heraclitus.

For someone obsessed with the passage of time, eight years is an exhilarating theme. Change can course through a life in eight years, eight days, heck, even eight minutes.

wilco-sky-blue-skyScene: It’s 2008. Wilco’s Sky Blue Sky, The National’s Boxer and Drive-By Truckers’ Brighter Than Creation’s Dark flow out of the fifth generation iPod cradled by a cub City Hall reporter in Chattanooga, Tenn. He’s looking for another career, another challenge. And it’s time to come home. To the Old North State. Best in the nation. Time to come home.

Time jump. 2016. A picture of a loaded U-Haul trailer bound for North Carolina sits in a frame in a Durham County office. Reflection: be open to the strange twists and turns of life. The UNC MPA grad who would been voted “Least Likely to End Up in Local Government” landed there. And loves it. Strategic planning and change management is hard work, but boy is it fulfilling. Similar pride comes from the collaborative work partnering with others. Joy in work is a privilege. If you find it, hold onto it with every ounce of your being.

That’s why I’m still at Durham County. And may be here in 2024, too.  We’re constantly changing, seeking continuous improvement. Change is the only constant. In the last eight years, I learned to embrace change, put down roots back home and have fun at work. I hope that last part stays constant, too.

Michael Davis is Strategic Initiative Manager for Durham County, NC. He works on strategic planning, change management, collaboration and innovation. In his free time, he likes to eat whole hog barbecue, drink North Carolina beer and play music at WXDU, Duke University’s college radio station. He’s currently reading Chronicles: Volume One. Earlier this year he really enjoyed Peak Performance. He hopes you’ll watch Hell or High Water, preferably in a dark movie theater. And he wants you to reconsider the merits of late-era Little Feat

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