06/24/2013 03:06 EDT | Updated 08/23/2013 05:12 EDT

10 Reasons Why Calgarians Love Nenshi (or, How to Be a Leader)

I've heard it said that a person's true personality comes out in a crisis. If that's true, then thousands of people may well have fallen (further) in love with Calgary's own Mayor Nenshi these past few days.

When Nenshi ran for mayor three years ago, he wasn't a serious contender according to the pollsters. Still, my husband and I put a sign on our lawn, believing that this Harvard-educated, articulate, and worldly young Calgarian was the future we wanted for our city.

He won the election.


But in the crushing crisis of this Flood of the Century, I realize that it's Calgarians who've won.

Here are 10 Reasons Why Calgarians Love Mayor Nenshi (or, How To Be a Leader in Whatever You Do):

1. He works harder than anyone. (He works so hard, in fact, that #Nap4Nenshi trended on Twitter.)

Works hard

Calgary Tries To Make Nenshi Nap

2. He responds to people personally. (And yes, he handles his own Twitter account.).


3. He is gracious. Not only did he did he encourage all Canadians to "Hug a Civil Servant," but he offered his thanks in every interview. And on Twitter.


4. He is intelligent, clear, and practical.


5. He is funny, even with idiots. 

6. He inspires his constituents to love this city more.

Inspires People

7. He values the arts and sees the value of artists in everything.


Check out his support of reading last month: 

8. He listens--actually listens--to others, then makes or supports decisions he believes in.


9. He harnesses the power of family and community.

Take in friends

10. He demonstrates that government (or humanity), when done well, is a powerful force for good.


In June, this season of graduation, the characteristics of Mayor Nenshi's approach to the flood crisis almost read like a how-to list for graduates. Here's to creating future leaders like Calgary's own Naheed Nenshi.

Flooding in Alberta