The Leadership Institute of Central Michigan University brought an interesting speaker to the students, including myself, of the LDR 200 class this past week. Mr. John Bacon traveled to my class to speak to us about his life, leadership and many tips in between.
Mr. Bacon was an engaging speaker who used many personal stories to get his points across. For one of his most important points, the Four C’s of leadership, he used various real life examples and short stories to portray the theories’ relevance to our lives and although I felt some of this concluding statements were unoriginal and corny, I enjoyed hearing his personal encounters with different leadership styles as well as seeing the things that shaped the views he speaks about today. A few of his lines however were just corny enough to really stick in my brain and I think they have revolutionized the way I view certain actions, in turn changing some of mine.
One of my favorite take-aways from his speech is this simple statement: As youth our lives are still akin to wet cement; we can mold them into anything we want. Model ourselves to be any way we feel is best by focusing on our values and practices over the power and money we could make. To further drill in this concept that we’re the molders of our own wet cement, Bacon asked us to think of our funerals. We imagined all the wonderful characteristics and accomplishments we hope to be remembered for and John informed us that of all the funerals he has spoken at money has never been brought up in any eulogies, so there’s no point in letting it define us.
His speech in total was a great reminder to me of just how individualized leadership really is. Some of the best ways to improve your leadership skills are to work on your own personal character traits first. I genuinely appreciate Mr. Bacon’s reminder of this and all of his witty life stories as well, they, as well as their impact, are sure to stick with me for quite some time now!