Student Perspective: Leadership Lessons from Distinguished Bucknellians

On February 17th some fast-acting, motivated students got to attend a great panel in NYC entitled “Leadership Lessons from Distinguished Bucknellians.”  As I was checking out one of my favorite Bucknell blogs (Year in the Life…why didn’t they have this when I was in college?!) I was pleasantly surprised to read Tom  Zhu‘s  post about attending the event! We always love to hear feedback from students …especially when we don’t have to beg for it 😉 so I immediately had to share with all of you here (with Tom’s permission of course!). But before we get to his post I’d just like to point out how awesome it is to see how well Tom is making the most of his time here, jumping right in and participating in a myriad of activities on campus.

And without further ado, here is Tom’s post:

The Howard I. Scott Clinical Professor of Global Commerce, Strategy and Leadership at Bucknell, Bill Gruver, moderated a great leadership panel at PricewaterhouseCoopers in New York City on Feb.17, 2011. Fortunately, I had a chance to attend this panel and met lots of alumni. On the stage, we also had Bucknell University President John Bravman, Vice Chairman of Emigrant Bank, Mrs. Harriet Edelman ’77, U.S. Soccer President and Faculty at Columbia University, Professor Sunil Gulati ’81, and Headquarters US Marine Corps, Mr. Ian Ferguson ’85. After Professor Gruver’s introduction, everyone was excited to hear all five of them discussing leadership and their own experience as leaders.

I asked the first question from the audience. My question was about what qualities a 21st century leader should have in this changing global environment. President Bravman answered my question; he said that a global leader should have skills and qualities more than normal leaders, which were humanity and approachability. Just like my dad always tells me that becoming a good and kind person is much more important than being a successful one. President Bravman also inspired me by illustrating these following elements of a leader: integrity, judgment, and fortitude. Mrs. Edelman shared us her experience on motivating her team. She told us that when we tried to motivate our team members, we should always be fun and take responsibilities. And Mr. Ferguson used his army experience to show us that team has to be built on trust and understanding. Professor Gulati explained how to make our team members trust us and follow us. He said the key was to understand how to treat people below us and to become the best person of our own position.

Time flew during our productive and inspired discussion. In the end, staff from Career Development Center thanked the support from alumni and hoped more people join the group to share their stories with more Bucknellians. It made me feel much more proud of being a Bucknellian. Thank you Bucknell and CDC! Hearing from the leadership experiences from our alumni is a lesson that cannot be learned from a textbook!

Make sure to follow more of Tom’s “Year in the Life” and follow his lead by taking advantage of what the campus has to offer! Thanks Tom and we can’t wait to see you at more events!

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