My last couple days afforded me the opportunity to view and participate on several different levels in local leadership events; Kings College Impact Forum held at the prestigious Westmoreland Club in Wilkes-Barre Pa and the 23rd Annual Pennsylvania Leadership Conference held in Camp Hill Pa.
In had the privilege of attending the Kings College Diversity Impact Forum where students who study at Kings from around the world support each other and expand their cultural experiences and interact with local business leaders. I was able to meet several dynamic young students several of which I had the opportunity to mentor and closely interact with; Exaud Hugho, Jorge Brito and Tyler Tynes and I was impressed with how well spoken and eager they were to learn. They were obviously benefiting from their educational experience and took the additional steps of leadership to involve themselves in this unique forum. The forum was coordinated by Nathan Ward, Director of the Office of College Diversity and LIFE member.
I had an interesting discussion with Freddy Pettit Esq. an attorney for approximately 15 years who has returned to Kings as Vice President for Institutional Advancement. His enthusiasm was evident as he described how the college was founded to help families of coal miner get a college education. He explained he was the first in his family to receive a college degree and that the college helped his parents meet the financial gap need to attend. He spoke of how Kings College changed his life. He graduated, met his wife there and went on to law school and a successful career. He is back to help others change their lives.
The speaker Roger Jackson of R. Jackson & Associates an educational consultant delivered an inspired message “Bringing the Manly Back” challenging these young men to become manly men and not just be XY chromosomal males. He spoke of their responsibility to model appropriate responsible behavior, and to learn what it is to be a gentleman. His final challenge was for them to rise up and be the man our families, communities, and country needs.
As a guest of the Commonwealth Foundation I attended the Pennsylvania Leadership Conference where author and national pollster Dr.Frank Luntz provided several powerfully visual examples demonstrating “It’s not what you say it’s what people hear” from his book Words That Work. The conference featured Presidential Candidates Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich, as well as Pennsylvania Senate hopefuls each offering their vision. The conference provided a host of vendors focused on education of Americans on topics such as The Constitution, academic education, taxation, Freedom, Liberty, Patriotism, and personal responsibility. I was proud to see several TEAM LIFE exhibits also represented. The TEAM LIFE exhibits lead by Paul & Christhene Rabanal and Dave & Beth Ober / John & Deb Webster were professional and well spoken in their discussions with people interested in improving their lives in one or more of the 8F’s.
Both events emphasized the need for leadership and personal accountability and demonstrated leadership examples and needs abound. After listening to many people’s individual and group views and discussing the need for leadership today in America it is apparent there is a huge need and interest in leadership education among Americans. We need to return to trust in the backbone of Americans to follow the principle that if you give a man a fish he eats for one day (which lends itself to relying on the government) but rather to teach him to fish for a lifetime. There certainly is the need and with organizations such as these and the many LIFE growth groups that are developing there is ample opportunity for any individual willing to change their lives for the better.
I hope when the election comes and it is time to choose a leader that we can come together, not as Democrats, Republicans, or Independents, but as American’s. Not all of America will get everything they want in a candidate but we need to start moving towards a single nation not one divided by race, gender, religion, income, political party or any other divisive category. I believe if one were to follow the principles discussed in the CD by Orrin Woodward the Lens Effect which discusses the need to put those individual differences aside and to turn America back to start the journey toward less government intervention and more personal responsibility and ultimately more personal freedoms.