When Parents Lead, Children Succeed

Engaged Citizenship - Leading at the Local Level

Engaged Citizenship - Leading at the Local Level

Elane V. Scott
Rick Stephens
Featured Guest:
Hal Malkin

Dear Stakeholder Leaders,

Thank you for joining Rick and me as we talk with our guest, Hal Malkin, Mayor of La Mirada, California, Hal Malkin, has been a close friend for nearly 25 years. As a local businessman, running a popular drug store in La Mirada for many years, he didn’t just sell prescriptions and personal care items. Hal took care of people like me, by sharing old stories and listening closely to new ones from those who came in to his store every day. Many folks would linger and pick up on a local story as they shopped for school supplies or a new health care item. When he was ready to retire, Hal wasn’t ready to stop. He just kept going in a new direction. Instead of putting aside the best he had learned in his years as a successful businessman, he began to share what he had learned about how to serve people in the health care field through teaching and taking on more civic responsibility through his work in city leadership.

Today, Hal has helped create one of the most successful pharmacy tech programs in the country at Cerritos Community College in Cerritos , California , where he began working part-time. In his civic role as an active leader in La Mirada , he works with a conscious goal of bridging the communication gaps that can come up between city services, citizens, and neighboring city governments. He especially loves to talk about the city's visionary leadership program aimed at identifying and involving younger leaders in the City Council to ensure that La Mirada has several generations of leaders in the pipeline. But what makes him the ultimate community stakeholder leader is not the title of City Councilman or Mayor. It is the unabashed enthusiasm he has as a connector of people. He gets things done between and across sectors because he listens well, and he shares success stories as he moves in and among leaders of government, business, health, education, media, and community organizations -- just as he once did as a successful local businessman.

Like Hal, each of us has the opportunity to bridge the gaps we see and/or experience in our communities through more powerful communication and a well-aligned vision. Good leadership is about taking people where they want to go. Hal is a great leader because he knows how to take people where they need to go. La Mirada , California is the second safest city in California and in line to be designated as one of the most business friendly in Los Angeles County. Somehow, it’s leadership seems to keep a lot of folks happy. Perhaps, after listening to Hal’s story, you’ll be inspired to try your own hand at public office. I’ll bet you already know how to listen. Now, stay engaged!

Elane V. Scott

January 2007
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