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From the Chair's Desk: Your Start-Up Life With Governor O'Malley

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I recently sat down with the Huffington Post’s Rana Florida to talk about topics ranging from leadership to my advice for college graduates. You can read the full interview here.
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Martin O’Malley

Your Start-Up Life With Governor O’Malley: Never Give Up and Keep Moving Forward

Martin O’Malley (born January 18, 1963) is the 61st Governor of Maryland. A two-term mayor of Baltimore, Esquire magazine named him “The Best Young Mayor in the Country” and TIME magazine listed him among America’s “Top 5 Big City Mayors.” Now in his second term as Governor of Maryland, he has been named Public Official of the Year by Governing Magazine. His public service both in Baltimore and now Maryland have been dedicated to improving schools, reducing crime, expanding health care and maintaining fiscally responsible budgets in the most challenging times.
Married to Katie O’Malley, a district court judge, the two have four children. O’Malley is a talented musician, and is still able to find time to occasionally perform with his Celtic rock band, O’Malley’s March, often for charity events (and recently at the White House) in the D.C. and Baltimore area. Governor O’Malley is often mentioned as a likely presidential nominee in 2016.
Q: What was your first job and what were some important lessons you learned?
I worked for a dental supply company, called Lockwood. I would work summers in a warehouse, loading in dental supplies off of trucks, and then putting together thousands of items into individual boxes that would then go to incoming classes of dental students. Hot, sweaty, monotonous work that confirmed my desire to go to law school.
Q: A lot of inspiring leaders have asked for tips on juggling priorities. How do you prioritize when there are so many important initiatives, such as schools and education, crime and safety, the environment and the economy?
By setting a few key strategic goals with deadlines, and measuring performance openly for all to see. We sit down every other week with the individuals who oversee these goals and find out what’s working, and what isn’t — and then we have to have the flexibility to adjust our approach according to what we learn. That process keeps everyone in this $35 billion a year enterprise focused on our most important priorities.
Q: How do you motivate your team?
We motivate people by helping them to see they are a critical part of a much larger mission. For example, the Department of Public Safety and Corrections must find ways in conjunction with their core mission to simultaneously improve the skills of our people, to improve the health of our Bay, to improve the health of our people. Similarly, Department of Natural Resources must also find ways to improve public safety, to improve the health of our people, and the skills of our workforce. Creating new jobs in this new economy is all about innovations and collaborations to improve Skills, Security, Health, and Sustainability. Progress on one front requires progress on all. It’s not about the department, it’s about connecting the department to the larger mission.
Q: What motivates you?
Knowing there is suffering in this world, in my state, in my city, in my community and knowing I can do something to alleviate that suffering is what motivates me. Making progress is what makes me happy.
Read the full interview here.