Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski talked about her experiences in government and civil service during a Profiles in Leadership event last Wednesday at Taylorsville Redwood Campus.
Biskupski is the first openly gay mayor and the second female mayor of Salt Lake City. She represented District 30 in the Utah House of Representatives from 1999 to 2011 and has also worked for Salt Lake County Sheriff Jim Winder on his leadership team.
While speaking to the students, Biskupski talked about the importance of working with everyone, even if you don’t agree with them. She also gave insight on her leadership style, telling students she likes to consult experts about anything being worked on.
Biskupski says she likes getting input from everyone she can, noting that she still works with former candidates who ran against her.
“Collaboration is one of your greatest tools and you never know who you are going to collaborate with,” she says. “Holding grudges, being angry and putting a circle around somebody as though you could never work with them is a huge mistake.”
Throughout her speech, Biskupski stressed the importance of collaborating and communicating to be a good leader. She says good leaders need to go out listen to who they serve in order to know what their opinions are and how to best represent their needs.
Biskupski also says she doesn’t mind when people want to talk to her when she is out and about, even at the grocery store — as long as she can keep shopping while talking. She reinforced this idea by making herself available to anyone who had questions, even inviting students in attendance to talk to her as she walked to her car.
Biskupski encourages any of her constituents to contact her office with any questions, and for others to reach out to their elected officials to have their voices heard.
Contact Student Life and Leadership for more information about upcoming events and leadership opportunities on campus.