LAPORTE | LaPorte Mayor Blair Milo continues to draw from her military background and ROTC roots as she leads the city since taking office in January 2012.
She said the principles of honor, courage and commitment continue to be at the base of her leadership foundation.
“Honor is doing the right thing when no one is watching,” she said. “There is any number of stories of courage. You think about the fear they have in these situations. It’s not about having fear, it is about fighting through that fear. It’s almost good to have that healthy respect and fear for the situation so you understand the ramifications that can come from a decision.
“Commitment is doing the right thing and having the courage to do the right thing even though it may seem scary. You have to have that commitment to follow that through. Oftentimes, it’s easy to make that quick decision, but you have to be able to stick with it throughout.”
Milo shared her insight on leadership during a lunch-and-learn session, Powerful Women in Leadership, put together by organizational leadership students at Purdue University North Central.
Milo highlighted lessons she has learned since her early days at Purdue Lafayette’s ROTC program and while serving on the USS Mason.
“ROTC is all a leadership laboratory. You understand the challenges the come along with leadership,” she said. “Command can be lonely. You can’t always share the challenges that come with the position. It’s important to have someone to talk to outside the capacity of your leadership. It can be helpful to talk it out.”
“There are going to be tough decisions to make. If I can go to bed every night and feel good about my decision, I did the right thing.”
As leader of the city, she has found strength in her team members’ differences.
“You need to get to know the individuals and know what motivates them. My department heads have very different personalities and have different ways of going about things. I play to their strengths,” she said. “The goal is to bring the community together and move forward. I set the vision, but they go out and conquer. I couldn’t do everything myself.
“Government is a passion of mine. I am a government nerd. I will keep serving as much as I can.”
Cynthia Roberts, PhD, interim dean of PNC’s College of Business, said the event was a way to inspire her students to lead as well as spotlight a PNC alumna. The lunch-and-learn was carried out by students as part of a class assignment.
“Students are told what to do and we’re training them as leaders. They don’t always have an opportunity to lead,” she said. “With this, they were able to take responsibility of their own learning as part of their grades.”
An additional lunch-and-learn event is in the planning stages.
For more information, visit www.pnc.edu.