The American Association of Railroad Superintendents recognized Mike Paras, general manager transportation, with the prestigious Leadership Award at the 117th annual meeting in Newark, N.J.
The award, honoring leadership excellence in the rail industry, is one of four Lantern Awards for Excellence distributed each year. The awards were created to recognize outstanding individuals and organizations and share best practices in the rail industry.
By having the opportunity to work for good leaders, Paras’ leadership style evolved into what it is today: leading by example, earning respect every day and taking an active role in recruiting future leaders.
“The title ‘leader’ is a descriptor based on daily actions and must be earned,” he said. “The primary role of a manager is to develop those who work for him or her.”
For Paras, there is no bigger satisfaction than mentoring those around him and giving back. With every conversation, he strives to have a positive influence and provide employees with the tools needed to move forward and make a difference.
“We can teach employees to switch and hump cars, but getting that person to be a leader and a positive force of influence to make things happen is a completely different matter,” he said. “Excellence is not an act; it’s a habit. We must perform and set examples and never settle for mediocrity.”