Issue 200, October 8, 2023

Rick Mullaney, Director of Public Policy at Jacksonville University, last week delved into the nuances of leadership in the realm of public policy in a captivating talk. Drawing from a rich tapestry of personal experience and using the backdrop of Jacksonville’s own evolution, he spotlighted pivotal leadership principles that have been instrumental in shaping successful public policies.

Central to Mullaney’s discourse was the principle of visionary leadership. He passionately argued that true leaders must be able to visualize a brighter and more prosperous future, even when navigating through turbulent times or amidst public skepticism. To him, one of the hallmarks of genuine leadership is the ability to prioritize long-term growth and benefits over immediate but fleeting gains. He warned of the dangers of a “benefits now, pay later” mentality, which can have long-lasting detrimental effects on communities.

Mullaney also delved into the significance of talent attraction and retention in public policy. Pointing to past influential figures like Ed Austin and John Delaney, he illustrated how these leaders excelled in creating environments that fostered talent, innovation, and growth. Their legacies were not just projects or laws but a culture of forward-thinking that benefited the city.

Furthermore, Mullaney stressed the importance of learning and adapting. He advocated for studying successful public policy models from around the world. By integrating proven strategies with localized innovations, cities can craft policies that are both effective and uniquely tailored to their communities.

In conclusion, Mullaney’s insights shed light on the profound impact that visionary leadership can have. He emphasized that it’s not just about immediate projects or decisions, but about crafting a lasting legacy that shapes the trajectory of entire communities.

Mike Best
2023 1st Vice President

President Message Archive