Former Boston Mayor Tom Menino's passing last Thursday provides some important insights in the midst of mourning. These are life lessons here that can be applied in the businesses and communities we serve.
The first important lesson is treating a job as a calling. That was Mayor Tom Menino. I had the privilege on a number of instances to be in his company and he absolutely loved being the mayor of Boston. He adored the city and he said it with such clarity: "I know this city. I love this city. I'm prepared to move our city forward."
Menino felt honored to be a servant for the citizens. He would have done the job for free and never had aspirations for other jobs in government.
He also never took the job for granted and never forgot his roots ? he was born and raised in Beantown. The Mayor was as authentic as they come.
He held his post for 20 years, in part because he campaigned tirelessly and shook more hands than anyone else. (Upon Menino?s retirement announcement in April 2013, The Economist said, ?If the polls are to be believed, he met half the city?s population in person. His approval ratings stand at 74%.?)
The Mayor was not a polished speaker but when he spoke he never compromised on his core beliefs and values.
When there were difficult times, either in terms of is own health or during a civil crisis like the marathon bombings, he showed resilience, strength, and leadership to show us the way. (When the marathon bombings occurred he was in hospital but insisted the doctors release him so he could be with his people, his city.)
If you take all these qualities and apply them to your own career in radio, you will only stand to benefit enormously. Radio people who are authentic are a tremendously valuable aspect of our business. Treating a job as a calling rather than a paycheck produces higher quality work ? and that applies whether you're in radio, an auto mechanic, or a mayor.
Constantly campaigning for votes or listeners makes the job of winning people over much easier. Leading a community, a station, or listening audience takes courage and consistency.
Mayor Tom we will miss you and we won't forget the many lessons you taught us.
Buzz Knight is the Vice President of Program Development for Greater Media and he can be reached at email@example.com. Knight was named among ?Best Programmers? by Radio Ink magazine in 2007 and 2010. He has served on the programming subcommittee of the National Association of Broadcasters(NAB) and is currently a member of the Nielsen Radio Advisory Council and the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) COLRAM Committee.
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