Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake urged GWSB students with leadership aspirations to seek out excellent role models, as her parents taught her to do, and follow their examples instead of wasting time being jealous of their success.
“Whatever it is you want – pick an example of excellence and strive for that,” she said. And along the way, don’t forget to examine the factors that contributed to your successes and failures, so you learn from them.
“Draw on all your experiences,” Rawlings-Blake told the GWSB audience gathered for the second installment of the School’s “Conversations on Creative Leadership” series on Dec. 10. “You have to take whatever it is. When you have a success, it’s not helpful unless you know how you got there. Examine what makes you fail, and others fail, too.”
Rawlings-Blake said her own parents set great examples. Her mother, Dr. Nina Rawlings, a pediatrician, practiced medicine while raising three children and worked to bring health care to underserved populations in Baltimore. Her father was the late Maryland Del. Howard P. Rawlings, a former Appropriations Committee chairman.
“I always knew I could do great things in the world,” she said.
Rawlings-Blake touted some of the improvements that have come to Baltimore during her administration, including a decline in violent crime and an increase in the number of children enrolled in public schools. She stressed that reducing crime was a big part of her plan for the city – because less crime means more secure neighborhoods that draw people to cities and keep them there.
“Crime is down, schools are better and taxes are lower,” she said. “Because of these issues, people determine if they want to live in a city. It’s these crimes that drive good people out.”
Dean Doug Guthrie, who introduced Rawlings-Blake and moderated a question-and-answer session after her talk, described her as someone who is compassionate but good at the job’s financial and property management aspects. While her father was a well-known state lawmaker, “She has become a leader in her own right,” he said.
Rawlings-Blake said that the ability to compromise is also a key factor in effective leadership. She said she developed that skill while growing up as her family’s middle child, and also in her 15 years on the Baltimore City Council, where she became the youngest person ever elected to the body in 1995 and served as Council president from Jan. 17, 2007 to Feb. 4, 2010, when she became mayor.
“If you can’t see the benefit to you of working cooperatively, building consensus, it will be difficult for you to be a good leader or to be a good leader for long,” she said.
Posted by gwsb on December 18, 2012 | Filed under: GWSB News.