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President Wyatt’s take on leadership

September 22, 2017

Photo Courtesy of Monmouth College

The Wackerle Career and Leadership Center kicked off their fall “Pearls of Wisdom” series with a “Lesson in Leadership” from Monmouth’s own President Wyatt. The president gave his thoughts on what it means to be a leader and what being a good leader entails.

The session was open to all students interested in attending and learning from The Wackerle and President Wyatt on Tuesday, September 19. Assistant Director of Leadership Development Jake McLean introduced the President and explained more about the “Pearls of Wisdom” series. All students were encouraged to attend the event, and the turnout included a group that ranged in age, involvement, and major.

President Wyatt began the session by explaining that while some may believe that leadership comes naturally to only certain people, he believes that it is, “like any other human trait…you can always better yourself.” He also spoke about the fact that people take different leadership roles in different situations, and that leadership itself can be situational for even the most skilled leaders.

When speaking about a formal definition of leadership, President Wyatt elected to give more of a description. He explained that “leading implies motion, progress, change, and helping others to create and sustain positive change.”

Throughout his talk, President Wyatt described what a leader looked like to him and ways to identify the good leaders and leadership qualities. Along with his own personal leadership values, those in attendance also had the opportunity to hear about some of the president’s leadership role models. These included recognizable names, such as John and Robert Kennedy, Arthur Ashe, and Billie Jean King.

After President Wyatt’s presentation, participants were given a chance to discuss their own personal views on leadership. In an interactive activity facilitated by Jake McLean, students and faculty in attendance were told to “draw leadership” using only images, not words. By doing this, the group was able to see how an individual’s perception of leadership can vary and also how, in some ways, it is often very similar.

This hour-long session provided students with the chance to not only interact with the president of the college but to learn and grow from what he shared. As Mackenzie Fletcher, a sophomore involved in the James and Sybil Stockdale Fellows Program, put it, “As a James and Sybil Stockdale Fellow I have heard a lot of individual’s leadership styles but each new one I hear reminds me that everyone can be a leader in different ways.”

Kaelin Sommer
News Editor

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