As an executive coach specializing in the development of leaders, I am always on the lookout for examples of good leaders in action. That is what drew me to support Ravi Parakkat, candidate for Oak Park Village Trustee.

In my role, I see all sorts of unhealthy behaviors and attitudes in leadership. It’s my job to help these folks find new, positive approaches to get the best out of their teams. Ravi’s leadership style, on the other hand, is already strong, innovative, practiced and inclusive.

He comes from a highly diverse, matriarchal society in India, which has instilled in him a respect for women and differing viewpoints. Because of this, he naturally includes many voices in his decision-making. He’s genuinely respectful and open to what others have to say. Again, many leaders fear differences. Ravi embraces them.

He also has a driving curiosity. He’s willing to admit he doesn’t know everything, so he’s very willing to listen and to learn. Many leaders act as if they have the answer already.

I also appreciate Ravi’s natural innovative tendencies. He focuses in on the actual problem and gets creative in solving it. Takeout 25 was his brainchild. He has other ideas that will make Oak Park safer and more affordable.

And he is balanced. He doesn’t lose his temper or waste time complaining about others. He remains focused on the goal of making Oak Park a community in which we can all feel comfortable, safe and welcome.

I trust Ravi and his leadership. I plan on voting for him April 6.

Nora Bouchard, Oak Park

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