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Good leaders lead by example PDF Print E-mail
Written by RACHEL GAST Sentinel Staff Writer   
Saturday, 20 April 2013 08:06
Patrick Pauken and Judy Jackson May take the stage for the Ned E. Baker Lecture in Public Health at the Bowen-Thompson Student Union in Bowling Green, Ohio on April 4, 2013. (Photo: Enoch Wu/Sentinel-Tribune)
How strong leadership can affect public health was the focus of this year's Ned Baker Lecture at Bowling Green State University.
Dr. Judy Jackson May and Dr. Patrick Pauken, associate professors in BGSU's School of Educational Foundations, Leadership and Policy, presented this year's lecture earlier this month at the Bowen-Thompson Student Union.
"Leaders are perceived by their followers," May told the audience. So those in charge need to "lead with passion. Always be learning. Knowledge changes faster than skill."
Listening is part of communication, she said, adding that "sometimes we spend so much time talking that we can't possibly be listening to others."
Both professors encouraged accountability, engagement and continuous improvement. May offered that the best way to communicate, a key aspect of being a leader, is to use "shared emotions and stories."
May drew heavily from her favorite authors, including Kouzes and Posner. She said, "Kouzes and Posner go on to describe the top four characteristics people want to see in their leaders: Honest, forward thinking, inspiring and competent."
Pauken hoped "these concepts are universal and transcend the values of any board," in any field.
May stressed the importance of ongoing professional development in all disciplines.
"If you're done learning, you're done leading," May added.
Pauken encouraged everyone in the room to "be an ambassador for your cause." He quoted Aristotle: "We become ethical by doing ethical things. We aren't honest by accident."
He added, "Do not be afraid of what you know. Unity in governing boards or in the workplace, "is forged but not forced. Not every board member is going to be all things to all people at all times. Strength and engagement comes from what the board means as a whole, not from individuals."
Essential responsibilities of health board members: Be faithful to the mission, communicate with the community you're serving, assess the performance, map the future, stay focused on finances and legal compliance, and build a strong board through strategic planning.
May insisted that good leaders never forget "that the people we are working with need to be encouraged, not always through money. It's about saying they did a good job." She explained receiving a "thank you card makes you feel pretty good, and that goes a long, long way."
Most importantly, good leaders lead by example. During her days as a principal, she remembered telling her teachers, "You cannot expect a child to pick up a piece of paper off the floor if they don't see you do it."
May is the coordinator for the leadership studies program of BGSU and was awarded the 2008 Phenomenal Woman Award of BGSU.
Pauken serves as the lead negotiator for the university's collective bargaining team and specializes in school, special education and higher education law.
Dr. Fleming Fallon, president of the Wood County Board of Health, introduced the two speakers.
Dr. Christopher Dunn introduced Ned E. Baker, founder and first president of the National Association of Local Boards of Health.
The lecture series, Dunn explained, was established to "recognize Baker's significant contributions to health" by founding NALBOH, "whose headquarters are located here in Bowling Green."
The full lecture, including a question and answer session, can be found at wbgustream.bgsu.edu/baker2013.

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