This week’s Leadership Tidbits with Coach Tee Wilson features special guest, Senator Eddie Melton. Eddie Melton was elected as State Senator for Indiana’s 3rd District on November 8, 2016. In addition to serving in the Indiana General Assembly, Melton serves as the manager of Corporate Citizen and Community Relations for Northern Indiana Public Service Company (NIPSCO). Prior to joining NIPSCO, Melton worked as a grant officer for the Legacy Foundation, Lake County’s community foundation in Northwest Indiana. Melton has served as chairman of the Indiana Commission on the Social Status of Black Males, served on the State Board of Education,national board member for the American Association of Blacks in Energy (AABE), and represented the First Congressional District of Indiana.
In addition, Melton has been recognized as a national leader in the area of youth mentoring. Since 2005, he has been instrumental in establishing and training mentoring organizations around the country. In 2015, Melton worked with President Barack Obama’s Administration in implementing “My Brother’s Keeper,” the initiative designed to address persistent opportunity gaps facing boys and young men of color. Besides working with a former president, Melton has been recognized with multiple awards and accolades, such as; Top “20 Under 40” young professionals in Northwest Indiana by The NWI Times Media Company (2010), South Shore Leadership Award winner (2012), and Freshman Legislator of the Year by the Indiana Association of Rehabilitation Facilities. Melton was recently elected by lawmakers from around the country to serve on the Executive Committee of the National Conference of State Legislators. He is a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. and received a B.S. of Organizational Management from Calumet College of St. Joseph.
In many recent episodes the guests have all mentioned the importance of a mentor. Senator Melton did as well, but he also offered a new piece of advice to the listening audience. He stated, “I always tell folks, pay attention to what you do, what you say, because you never know who was watching. You don’t know who you’re mentoring from a distance.” For those of you who are interested in getting into politics but are struggling to figure out how to get involved, Senator Melton had some advice for you as well. “I would encourage them just to be in tune with what the people in their community, city, and state really want and need and listen. Being a good public servant is someone that’s able to listen to the issues from a broad diverse viewpoint and represent an wide array of individuals. You have to be able to bring those issues to the table and work with other stakeholders whether it is grass root organizers, educators, state leaders, local leaders, etc to formulate solutions.”
Overall, here are some leadership tidbits to remember from the game changer that is Senator Melton: Always be willing to ask questions of yourself and of others, be open to growth especially if you’re going to run or be in the political landscape, as a leader you have to be able to accept criticism and have tough skin, have the heart to serve, make sure you study and research the issues and concerns that are happening in your community so that you are better informed and can be better engaged, and make sure you vote!
Listen to the full episode to hear more of Senator Eddie Melton’s thoughts!!