- Listen on:
School Boards And Legislatures: One Public Servant's Lessons In Leadership And Listening
Florida State Rep. Susan Valdes knows a few things about getting people on the same page. She's served the greater Tampa area in elected positions for almost 20 years. First as a school board member for the country's 8th largest school district, and today as a Democrat in a substantially Republican House of Representatives. And yet after so many years on the front lines of politics, public policy, budgets and strong public opinion, Rep. Valdes looks to me like the calm eye of a storm. She's warm and welcoming. She focuses on the person to whom she's speaking, even in a room full of people there to speak to her. She never forgets she's in office to serve because she asked to be there to serve. And she knows how to listen - especially to people who disagree with her. Here are a few of my favorite moments: 5:03 - Sometimes listening says more. 15:53 - Listening and learning go together, especially with legislation because bills come from experience. No one is an expert on every piece of legislation so we learn from each other's experience. 33:00 - Government exists to help us govern ourselves - with all our differences. So it takes a level of humility to do that fairly for all. 38:58 - Leading from the middle - but not the political center. 45:08 - How courageous conversations are needed to avoid the unintended consequences of legislation. 53:54 - How to balance the representation of well-organized and well-funded interests, with those less organized and funded. ...