These past few weeks you have been presented with many ideas on how to restore NAHJ by some of the candidates running for a board position. While the road map to getting there is up for debate; what's certain is our best interests for the association we all care for and believe in.
In my final message to you, I want to discuss the privilege of leading.
All candidates have good intentions, but not every person has the experience and qualities necessary to organize, hold accountable and inspire a group to succeed.
My opponent has some leadership skills. He has proven to be decisive, able to execute plans and is engaged. He has also shown to be divisive with the board and members; disrespectful in communicating and of others; not open to ideas and feedback. I think, possibly with the right training and mentoring he can (one day) be the right person to be president of NAHJ, but not now. We cannot afford training on the job.
I am an experienced and proven leader.
I have led many newsrooms in both markets (English, Spanish languages), distinct business cycles (budgets), several platforms and different communities (U.S. and Latin America). I have and continue to coach many professionals, entrepreneurs and students about careers in communication (journalism, production, marketing, sales, specialty content). I started a media company and co-founded a social networking group. I am a lifetime member of NAHJ (organized and led several projects as a member, founder of a local chapter, regional director and VP of broadcast).
Through it all, I can confidently tell you - without apologies or excuses: any success I've had has been more to do with the talent and skills of the people I led than my own.
Leadership is not about me, it's about we.
It's having the confidence of knowing your strengths and ability to understand (and accept) your weaknesses. I take pride in surrounding myself with people who compliment what I bring to the table and who certainly excel at what I need to improve on.
Leadership is about being inclusive with your vision. The best ideas are not the ones that come from one person. The best ideas are the ones that are shared with a group and then evolve into something better, even more special than the original (but still faithful to it).
Leadership is about having the right temperament. You need to have the skill to properly present projects to sponsors and members which sometimes result in receiving constructive/negative feedback....it's not personal.
Leadership is about image. It's about understanding you represent more than just yourself, but also NAHJ. And that means always being aware that what you say and do is a reflection (of what that person, sponsor, organization) will think of NAHJ and its members. Be protective of that image; nurture it.
Leadership is not about wanting to be served, but a willingness to serve others. It's about extending your hand and asking, "how can I help you?"
These are many of the lessons I have leaned in my career and personal life.....and I am happy to say - I'm still learning.
I'm Hugo Balta and I want to be your next NAHJ president.
Please take the time to vote today: