When I retired from a very demanding, yet very gratifying career as a business owner after nearly 40 years, I was determined to take on an even more demanding, even more gratifying position serving the great City of Derby as an elected official.
Upon getting elected as an alderman in 2011, I dove right in, studying, learning and absorbing the intricacies and complexities of governing a municipality. I quickly realized the key component of governing the City of Derby is remarkably similar to owning and operating my own business.
That key is communication.
It is simply impossible to become great leader without first being a great communicator.
Effective communication is fundamentally important in dealing with others. And by communication, I don’t mean delivering messages, demands or mandates.
Effective communication starts with listening to others and recognizing their needs and ideas.
Combining my nearly 40 years of successful business experiences with more than 30 years of coaching and nearly six years serving as an alderman has prepared and equipped me to meet the challenges our city faces on any given day by listening to the concerns and opinions of others.
In my profession and in my volunteer work, I have always prided myself as working collaboratively with the wide ranging ideas and concepts of those around me.
President Theodore Roosevelt once said, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”
It is extremely important to keep an open mind and communicate with dissenting opinions and opposing views. My job is not to convince them to change their minds, but rather to engage them in open dialog that will challenge, stretch and develop ideas for the greater good.
Gathering information, transferring ideas and aligning expectations will inspire the actions of members of both parties to spread the vision of everyone involved. Engaging in meaningful dialog, rather than broadcasting a message, will result in meaningful conversation among both parties.
In the age of instant communication, too many people are in a rush to say what is on their mind without realizing what can be gained by listening and learning from others.
I pledge to keep my eyes and ears open in an effort to raise the bipartisan perception in Derby.
Presenting simply and concisely, specifically and confidently based on the ideas from others, I possess the perseverance and passion for the very long-term goals of our city.
It is vitally important to Derby to work consistency in a certain direction, rather than with intensity to simply show movement. Intensity will turn people away, while consistency demonstrates focus.
As we are one week away from the Democratic primary on Tuesday, September 12, I humbly ask for your support to represent the City of Derby as your next mayor.
The writer, a Democrat, is running for mayor.
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