Week 1 Presentation 2015 – President Betz

President Betz discussed a number of topics related to your personal leadership and development. Which topic resonated with you the most and why?


  • Kaylee Snyder

    Dr. Betz said today that leaders exist primarily to serve. That is something that I wholeheartedly believe in. To adequately lead our communities and infiltrate our positive ideas into them, we must serve. Leading with a servants heart allows the ones whom we lead to see that we genuinely want to see a change in our society. Like Dr. Betz said, we must lead from the middle not from the front. By going out and getting involved in our community, we lead from the inside. Serving others is rewarding for yourself but most importantly for the individuals you are helping.

    • I also loved his points about servant leadership! Personally, I believe it’s so rewarding to be selfless in this way by changing others lives, and even getting impacted yourself in the process. You had some great thoughts!

  • Natasha Swain

    The one thing that stood out to me when President Betz spoke was the topic of “Why Am I at UCO?” The reason I am at UCO is to get my Bachelors Degree. My major is Family Life Education & Child Development. I just recently got my associates Degree from ROse State College but college was one of the biggest goals for me since graduating from high school. My story is interesting and it begins with my family. My entire family or siblings are adopted. We are from all over; very diverse family with siblings from Brazil, Guatamela, Mexicao, and there is me from Russia. With that being said, no one in my family had graduated from college yet. I have a younger brother whpo attends UCO as well and an older brother who attended for a few years but never completed a degree. So I will be the first to graduate in about a year.
    I consider myself to be a leader. I love helping others, making an impact in anyones life, I am that bundle of potential. At work I am known as the energizer bunny. I am every where and I am always putitng a smile on peoples faces. I am the one thats always coming up with new ideas, looking for new projects, etc. I have been said I am the leader at work because of all this I do at work. When the atmosphere is down and cloduy at work, I like to turn it around and make it a fun atmosphere and make everyone smile and laugh, thats what work is about its not all serious. My goal in life is to make a difference is children’s lives. I didnt have the best life growing up with my first adoptive family, it was pretty ugly, but somehow I turend myself around and became the person I am today; pretty amazing after all the abuse and such I went through, I am a great person woith a HUGE heart I have to say. I am proud of the person I am today and have become. I am still growing and improving and learning but thats part of that leadership. I want to be a leader, I want to be that person that impacts children in huge ways even small ways. I don’t want to see children being abused and mistreated. That hurts me very much because I can relate. I quote President Betz “This is the world where we step into and make change.” I want to be that person, I want change, I want nothing but the best. WHta motivates me to come to work everyday is the children at the Chesapeake Child Development Center. They are the heart and soul of me. There little cute innocent faces are the reasons I wake up everyday and look forward to work knowing I will somehow impact there day maybe in a huge way or maybe in the smallest way such as giving a huge. Chidlren are the heart and soul in my eyes.
    I am a leader!! I am growing and learning everyday and I hope this class will keep me going, keep me learning, and make me that much better.

  • Carley Michela

    Becoming a successful human being is important in life, however, teaching others how to become successful while you are thriving on your journey is just as important. President Betz talked about how we should lead with we instead of leading with me. I think this is a very strong and bold statement. Most, if not every leader, had or has been assisted by someone to get them to where they are. That’s why it’s so important to take a step back and help someone else’s dreams come true. The message that President Betz delivered empowered me to not only become a better leader in my community but to also to support others in their opportunities.

  • Brody Mayberry

    In the presentation from President Betz, he gave a quote by JFK that said he was “Idealistic with no illusions.” This quote resonated with me when he talked about how educators try to be idealistic so that the students they teach will one day become idealist themselves and strive for perfection. The idea of creating a platform for the next leaders in the years to come is an inspirational topic, as it leaves people wondering how they are affecting the people that look up to them in their own world. Leaders should strive to be idealist so they are always working towards perfection in everything they do. If this were the case, then future leaders would do the same and the idea would spread to others who wish to have an impact on someone other than themselves. As President Betz quoted, “people come with me in mind, and leave with WE in mind.” That is how leaders should think, with we in mind in an effort to help change others for the better.

  • David Terry

    All of President Betz’s topics pertained to my personal growth as a leader. He particularly spoke about how our growth as leaders was only made possible through the help of many other people in our lives . I was most fascinated by his description of the shoulders on which we, as leaders, stand. I found myself thinking back through my life and asking:
    Who pushed me to where I am now?
    Did I push anyone to do anything important?
    All my good decisions, and many of my bad ones, all the nice things I’ve told people, the times that I was rude for no reason in particular came to mind.
    I think I’m moving in the right direction. But, I’m glad I’ve got some pretty great people around me to help me on my journey.

  • He said a lot of things that hit me right in the soft spots, but one thing he said is something that him and I are equally passionate about. He was explaing how so many people who have “succeeded” in the world have not done it alone. It took a huge support system and meeting people along the road who have encouraged them. I remember him saying “We are not alone, and we didn’t come here alone.”. That is just an incredible thing that we pass over all of the time when we see athletes, actors, musicians, artists, and entrepreneurs.

  • Brianne camp

    I have never met President Betz and Tuesday was the first time I’ve heard him speak. He is such an intelligent, genuine, and down to earth man that I feel like you can talk about anything with. I really enjoyed his leadership presentation. My favorite thing he said was that we are all a “bundle of potential.” One thing he really focused on concerning leadership was team work. He said “the only way to get to where you want to go is not alone… We didn’t get here only on the energy we produced, but on other’s energy as well.” I can definitely relate to that, obviously my mom has been highly beneficial in aiding me in becoming who I am today. As well as several influential teachers, managers, colleagues, friends, and brief acquaintances. President Betz also stated “The qualities and characteristics of leadership are the same as successful people.. We are the change we have been waiting for.” Wow, how impactful and motivating. I have always been motivated to get my school work done, excel at my job, and accomplish as many things as I can because I want to be the best version of me possible. President Betz feels the same way, and has accomplished so much. I am so thankful I had the pleasure of hearing him speak to our class and I look forwrard to his next visit.

  • Michelle de Dios

    During President Betz’s lecture, a key point that stuck out to me was when he said “When you see someone struggling do you walk by or stop and say something? …Don’t just walk by, they may be waiting for a messenger.” This stuck out to me because, being a psychology major and a catholic it has always been important to me to help those around me. This question/statement made me reflect back on how often it is that I pass an opportunity to help someone because it may be “out of the ordinary” or “out of my or their comfort zone.” However, sometimes if we want to truly help make a difference in someones life, we have to go out of our comfort zone or do something that is out of the norm. Leading is not always about following the crowd, but learning to stand out and tread a good path for others to follow.

    • Michelle de Dios

      Thank you President Betz for coming out to speak with us. It was very nice meeting you and I hope you speak with you again some time.

  • Madison Rubino

    President Betz stated “We must make the ego a servant of best interest rather than a master of personal gain.” and this had the biggest impact on me. At the time in life that we are all experiencing, it is so easy to get so caught up in our own actions and achievements that we forget how important it is to share our gifts and talents with others. Everything we do can quickly become centered on what will personally benefit us and where we will find the most pleasure. In Eckhart Tolle’s book, The Power of Now, after explaining a depressing time in his life he states “‘Am I one or two? If I cannot live with myself, there must be two of me: the ‘I’ and the ‘self’ that ‘I’ cannot live with.’ ‘Maybe,’ I thought, ‘only one of them is real’”. I have always found this passage interesting and that is why President Betz’s remark stuck out to me. When Tolle refers to the ‘self’, he is speaking of the ego. We identify ourselves by our ego and that is why it can make us so confused and saddened with our lives when we become tangled up in it, even though on the outside our lives can seem grand. When our lives revolve around building up our ego, we miss out on the true joy of life that we find in being purely content with who we are and sharing ourselves with others. Dropping the self-serving ego, the ‘self’, and solely existing as ‘I’ which serves to better ourselves through the true love for the person we really are which we reflect onto those around us.

  • Madison Moore

    Just like President Betz’s example of being a “leader” while leading his peers to the bathroom in elementary school, the word and title “leader” was passed around quite a bit as I was in elementary also. Even at that age I knew getting to be a “leader” was a great thing – everyone thrived to be one and also knew it was something great; however, not until my junior year of high school did I fully understand why. As President Betz mentioned, a leader is an individual who holds the characteristics such as: honesty, authority, vision, opportunity, and character. To me a leader is just that, but even more than that a leader is someone who is passionately driven to create an outcome and serve people with the help of other leaders. Working as a team and communicating with leaders amongst myself was and is a key quality to the development and movement of the way I was molded into the leader I am today and for that I am forever thankful.

  • Hyun Meen Park

    Among a number of topics that President Betz talked about, what I liked the most was how a leader isn’t all about being in the front line. That leaders don’t always have to be the loudest person. It’s the small help (and it can be big, too) that we give out unconsciously that could really change some person’s life like the doctor he talked about. In that sense, I think true leadership first has to be based on willingness to serve others and comes in the form of changes we make. Up till now, whenever I heard the word ‘leader’, the first thing that would pop into my head was a person standing in front of huge crowd of people, giving a long speech. Just that one person. I didn’t realize that we can all be leaders and are already ones by making small changes in others’ lives by doing something as simple as saying a friendly hi to someone who may be having a bad day. And, as I get older and out in the society, in addition to making those small changes, I would also love to make bigger changes by working together and helping others.

  • Erin Goldman

    The topic that resonated with my personal leadership and development is change. We live in change and it is constant around us. It is important to learn from change and be able to apply it to what you are doing now and in the future. The things we learn from change will allow us to take opportunities and make new ones. I believe change will allow us to develop in the world and develop as leaders by learning about different opportunities and how to apply change to life today.

  • Cameron Pak

    [Note: Due to an orthodontist appointment, I was absent from class on the day he spoke, but I have heard him speak on leadership and will proceed on the blog post with that knowledge.]

    President Betz is a man of leadership, not only past leadership, but also ongoing leadership. He said that individuals are messengers in life who can influence and help others. I have been influenced all of my life, in good ways and sometimes bad ways. The best part is that even Betz himself is a product of influence and inspiration from other individuals. Look at where he ended up; he’s the president of a university! That gives me hope that I might be able to influence someone to become something greater than they ever thought they’d become. I believe it is necessary as a leader to be that good influence, because no matter who you are or where you’re from, someone looks up to you.

  • Rachel Watson

    President Betz spent a lot of time talking about how the best leaders become servants, allowing other people to succeed with their time and resources. No one does great things without all of the work done by those who came before them. This sort of framing is important to keep in mind when entering in to a service project or trying to teach. As a current and future educator, I have to focus on not my own success, but the success of the students and people I work with. In coaching my novice debaters I always end up spending less time than I feel like I need to preparing for my own debates and my own work, but it is always worth it when I can watch them learn something and grow as a result of my putting them first.

  • Bronson Mahrt

    In President Betz talk, the personal leadership development that resonated with me the most was when he spoke about the influence we have in each others lives. The little things that we do can have life changing influences in a person’s life. If we live by the philosophy of developing people in positive ways through our actions, we will build strong networks of powerful leaders willing to do the same for us. I think that we forget sometimes how much the little things impact people. If we take the time to encourage people, we will surround ourselves with a greater attitude towards personal development. If we start wholeheartedly encouraging and enabling people do pursue what they love, I believe we too will accept that we are just as capable to accomplish anything. We are constantly lied to. We are constantly given parameters to follow because not enough people believe anything is possible. Realistically, acquiring every single one of your goals might be unlikely, but why do we shoot down the idea behind having the confidence to go forth and try. Developing yourself as a leader really starts when you wholeheartedly believe in dreams.

  • President Betz’s words impacted and convicted me, as well as inspired me to take action in a few areas of my life. He touched on some subjects that I could relate to, but the one that challenged me the most was about collaborating. I am the kind of person that has a bad habit of assuming that I can do everything by myself. I tend to rely on my own strengths and skills, without consulting others or asking for help. However, President Betz enlightened and reminded me that leaning on others and working together can bring about life changing results, and not to mention – lifelong friends.
    President Betz also talked about servant leadership, and at this point – I was pretty fired up. He said that being a servant to others is one of the most important aspects of leadership because it can change others lives, our own lives, and in turn change the world we live in. We have the ability to bring about the change that we desire, if only we act.

    • Kayla Leinneweber

      I can relate to this on so many levels! I loved when he said “We are here because someone else intervened in our lives.” It’s also nice to be reminded that we can go so much further when we lean on mentors, connections, and friends.

  • Georgia Krywicki

    President Betz spoke about many wonderful, thought-provoking ideas regarding leadership, but the topic that resinated with me the most was that leaders can not work alone and are not always shaped only by themselves; development does not happen overnight with one person, as Rome was not built in a day. Humans are social, and so a reliance on others is necessary. A leader needs helping hands. As a reserved person, he reaffirmed the fact that I need others to help me succeed, and that I need to help others for them to succeed. I loved his discussion overall, but the way he spoke about this hit close to home for me..

  • Lauren Clay

    Yesterday President Betz spoke on some of the qualities a good leader should possess. One of my favorite things he said was, “You are a bundle of potential.” This statement speaks volumes to me, for I truly do believe that every person has characteristics that make them a leader, they just need to be taught how to put those talents and skills to use. One of the things I love most about UCO is the genuine love and concern the faculty and staff show for the students. President Betz reminded us that our professors and advisors are here for us; they are the greatest resources we have here on campus. They pour into our lives in ways that we as students don’t even see or understand, and all they ask in return is like they were there for us, we be there for someone else. As newly independent young adults, sometimes it can be hard to admit that we need help or advice from our elders; we don’t want them to think we are incapable of doing things on our own. Not being able to admit when you can’t do something on your own is a fault many leaders share. I love what Dr.Betz had to say about that, he offered the words, “As leaders, you must break down your ego, put aside your specific talents, and use them for the benefit for others.” I feel that this is saying that sometimes its better for us and for our peers if we hand the reins to someone else and let them drive awhile. There is always going to be someone who is stronger in a certain area than we are, it is absolutely essential to recognize that and allow that person to take the lead. This is a skill that will benefit to the success of not only our groups and teams, but to the success of individuals as well.

  • Guadalupe Gonzalez

    President Betz spoke of a topic that deeply resonated with me: intention. He spoke about identifying exactly why we are here and what our motivators are. Seeing as we are all beginning a lengthy and tedious journey into higher education, especially one that will in part determine our future careers or professions, this is a vital question to ask ourselves as students. On the other hand, I believe this also applies directly to our roles as developing leaders. As servant leaders, it’s our responsibility to serve others not only with intention, but with genuine intentions. Often times, leadership can be manipulated as a way to benefit one’s reputation or character. The intentions of a servant leader should be to assist others and make an impact without expecting any reciprocation of personal gain or recognition. A true leader doesn’t need to be in the spotlight, or like President Betz noted, at the front of the crowd. A true leader finds the greatest reward simply and foremost in helping others. I believe we should all ask ourselves what our true intentions are in both our academic endeavors and our leadership roles, and most importantly, if they’re the right ones.

  • Allyson Hardaway

    President Betz asked a lot of questions on Tuesday for each of us to think about. One that stood out to me was when he was talking about some changes that were going through the planning process at UCO several years ago, and he asked, “What are we doing here?” As leaders, and as people everyday, we all work and strive to find that answer. I believe President Betz answered the question just as easily as he asked us, just in different parts of his talk with us. He said that we make differences in our lives then make differences in other lives. He also said, “leadership is best shown as service”. So, combine the two. Make a difference in your life, find why you are here, and use that to make a difference in the life of one person or multitudes. Serve them and constantly strive to make those differences. Be a stepping stone for yourself to be a better leader and for the next leader who has the same passion to make a difference.

  • Abbey Wood

    The aspect of President Betz’s lecture that influenced me the most was the thought that any seemingly small action could change the course of lives that you could never imagine. President Betz described his encounter with a military physician during the Vietnam War draft period. The doctor decided that the world needed diplomats more than it needed soldiers at the time, and the lives of President Betz and countless others were changed forever. If that doctor had made a different decision in that moment, the world might have missed out on a man that was born to change lives. I have experienced firsthand how compassionate and generous President Betz is. When my family’s house burned down a few years ago, President Betz heard about it, and he actually gave my family a couch! It wasn’t necessarily the physical couch that made an impact on us (although it was and still is a very comfortable couch), but rather the feeling that somebody cared. When you have lost all of your physical possessions, it is easy to feel all alone in the world. It is encounters with people like Don Betz that make you realize you’re not. I am very thankful that that physician made the decision he did that day, and I will strive to one day be able to influence others in the way that President Betz has influenced me.

  • Laurabeth Tackett

    The most valuable topic (to me) President Betz spoke on would be that learning is a lifestyle. This spoke to me on a personal level. I intend to keep this way of mind for the future. It’s important to constantly be in a state of open-mindedness as you grow older so as to not acquire the snooty “I’m better than you” attitude. Constant learning as well as servitude are important in order to live life as a true leader. Leaders have the best followings when they are in the midst of their peers helping them side-by-side rather than someone who speaks down on others because they believe they know more. During his speech, President Betz left us with a quote “We are the change we’ve been waiting for” which is awesome, you know? It’s incredibly refreshing to know that we *are* what changes our future. Just because a generation before made mistakes, it doesn’t mean that we can’t fix them. It’s also important to remember that we will also make mistakes but that doesn’t mean that’s how we have to live. The future is always moving forward and in keep a “Learning is a Lifestyle” attitude will help us all towards a brighter future.

  • Noelle Juengel

    The topic from President Betz’s lecture that resonated the most with my personal leadership journey was that leaders empower other leaders and the effect that this can have on peoples’ lives. President Betz defined a good leader as someone who lives primarily to serve and empowers those around him or her. I have always been taught to serve others and strive to make it one of the central focuses of my life. What I tend to forget is that part of serving someone well is empowering them. I feel that empowering someone comes in many different forms. It can be as simple as setting aside time to talk with a friend and actively investing in their lives. Other times it is listening to their stories and encouraging them to keep going. Sometimes it is realizing that maybe there is someone who has more experience than you and stepping back in humility and saying “go ahead, you take the lead on this one.” This kind of service might not be the most glamorous act. It is not something you can visibly see or write on a résumé, but it leaves a lasting impact on someone else’s life and that is truly the best résumé you can have. I believe that President Betz is a great example of this tenant of leadership. He has intentionally chosen to take time out of his busy schedule to empower us students by investing in our lives at this particularly crucial time of growth, when we are making life decisions that will impact our future. I think the most powerful way he did this is by telling us “you are those individuals who have the capacity, and hopefully the orientation, to look into other peoples’ opportunities and assist them.”

  • Zachary Keeley

    Empathy, the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. This word is not often associated with leadership but, here at UCO it is. Empathy is a characteristic I strive to have because most people over looks its immense power. Being able to empathize with a struggle a peer is having makes us relatable. It is impossible to have a strong connection to anyone you can not relate too. Without strong connections things fall apart. I end on a quote from Neil deGrasse Tyson that emphasizes the lack of empathy even though it should be a fundamental quality.
    “Humans aren’t as good as we should be in our capacity to empathize with feelings and thoughts of others, be they humans or other animals on Earth. So maybe part of our formal education should be training in empathy. Imagine how different the world would be if, in fact, that were ‘reading, writing, arithmetic, empathy.”
    -Neil deGrasse Tyson

  • Chelsea Thompson

    “The great way to get places is not alone,” is the topic that President Betz brought up that resonated the most for me. People often say that one man can change the world, but multiple people can make a bigger impact than just one person. President Betz brought up how powerful collaboration can be; I strongly believe that the more thoughts are bounced from one mind to another the stronger they get. I know that when I have the support of others, I feel much more confident in my own abilities. President Betz was spot on when he said, “We together can do so much more than I can do myself.” Alone we can make a difference at UCO; together we can make a bigger and better impact at UCO.

  • Nicole Welch

    In President Betz’s lecture, he made the statement “it’s not all about you or us”. After hearing this I realized that we need to take a second look on how we serve. Sometimes when we serve, it feels like we are looking at how it’s benefiting us. It feels as though we are asking all the wrong questions, “How does this make me look?” “What job/internship can I receive from completing these service hours?”, but the real question being asked should be “Who can I help next?”. Service is about losing ourselves to help others and I often forget about who really should be benefiting from the volunteering I’m doing. We shouldn’t serve because we have to get 12 hours a semester in order to keep a scholarship, we should serve because we have a true heart of compassion for people. President Betz also stated that we are to “build a platform for the next generation of leaders”. If we humble ourselves and truly serve, the next generation may be able to turn things around for the better. Millions of people may be waiting on you to help that one person who in the future will change the world!

  • Payton Marr

    As a new student here at UCO, I have been exposed to all sorts of different people, personas, cultures, and activities. Each time that I interacted with someone new, I was greeted with kindness. Even as I passed a total stranger, they would smile and nod in the most genuine of ways. With that being said, the topic President Betz left me pondering about was “the We.” Then I realized that this campus is what “the We” is all about. In all the notes I took while sitting there, never once did I write down I or me. It was only “We.” President Betz said that everyone should “leave with the We in mind.” After I had time to think about “the We,” and what it meant to me, I realized that “We” means society, structure, and friendships. “We” means everything. Walking around campus “the We” is strung about everywhere. It is seen in peoples faces, in their attitudes, in simple smiles and nods. “We” is growing exponentially, cultivating leadership and changing others lives. Without a “We,” everyone would idle monotonously with no one to help stimulate the potential of others, no progress would ever be made. That is why “the We” is so powerful and important. “We” are the past, present, and future all in one. Together, “the We” within society will be what makes all the difference.

  • The one thing President Betz said that stood out to me was taking on “the challenge of change”. In this world we’re living in, there’s things that are benefitting humanity, but there’s also a lot of negative things affecting humanity as well. If you turn on your TV and watch certain shows, the amount of inappropriate content is continually being loosened and taken less seriously. This may not seem very catastrophic, but this gradual “change” can lead our country on a very dark path if we let it. Even if we wanted to deny it, the media has an influence on our overall society and can be extremely dangerous if we let it. Although I use the media as my main example, there’s multiple avenues that this concept applies. I believe that change is a great thing if the change is making the world better than it was before.

  • Holly Stoll

    President Betz touched on a wide array of topics to expose us to different perspectives about leadership, and one word kept bold-facing in my mind: collaboration. Whether that means working together on a team or sharing ideas, the principle of leadership would not be the same without this factor. Without other people, who would we get our inspiration from? Who would we direct our passions toward? It’s so easy to get caught up in the successes of our leadership and fail to thank the people and failures who got us there. President Betz humbled us by saying “the individual is just the building block” and the “power is in collaboration.” This united mentality resonated with me because it makes me ecstatic to think of how much change we could bring if we all were to lead in this fashion. By collaborating, so many more ideas, strengths, and resources become available. Additionally, the art of collaboration helps us to keep our true purpose in mind; that purpose is to serve. Dr. Betz discussed how our service is about “creating the platform for the next group of leaders,” and I wholeheartedly agree. If we forget about the “me” and “lead with the we” in mind, collaboration will be second nature, and great things will happen in this community.

  • Paige Trout

    President Betz gave us multiple aspects of leadership to consider. The one topic that resonated with me the most would have to be servant leadership. Since I became part of the Leaders of Tomorrow I have heard the term “servant leadership” more times than I count, and President Betz expanded on why that is so important in leadership today. Being a good leader does not mean simply telling others what needs to be done and silently standing to the side and observing; contrarily, being a good leader is based upon leading by example. As President Betz put it, a leader should not be “the man on the white horse” but rather “lead from the middle.” We, as student leaders, are in a unique position to impact this changing world, but we can only achieve our dreams by making ourselves available to serve others. Our goal should not be to only benefit ourselves but to give others a strong foundation to stand upon because nobody can conquer this life alone. Every success is built upon failure and the only to get there is as part of a team.

  • Jazzlyn Pennybaker

    President Betz, has always encouraged me to do what others declare to be difficult. Whether I become a successful college student, a nurse, or the president of my own university one day, I will do it and finish it well. How do I accomplish my goals that are set up as high as the stars? Others. “We are not here alone, and we cannot achieve alone.We did not get here off of our energy,but by others.”(President Betz)

  • All throughout my life I’ve been told that leaders always lead from the front and that to be a leader one must strive to be someone who can do that. But last Tuesday President Betz told us that a person can be a leader even by being in the center rather than being at the front. That sentence really stood out for me and I talked to him after class and he further explained that one can be a leader with his work, his ideals, by saying just one sentence or putting forward one idea as long as long as it leads the team to success and reach the goal. You’re a leader when people realize your leadership potential and follows you, you don’t necessarily need to lead from the front. This means that even an introvert or someone who isn’t really comfortable with speaking out all the time or isn’t spontaneous within the group can still lead. In other words, anyone can be a leader irrespective of their nature as long as they strive for success.

  • Britney Rush

    President Betz covered a variety of topics, but the one that resonated with me the most was, “Learning is a lifestyle.” He stated that the best leaders are ones who are always curious and never quit learning new things because, “curiosity changes the world.” Listening to these few short statements started to make me think about the lifestyle I live. No one on this Earth will ever know everything, so everyday it is our responsibility to continually learn new things. We, as leaders, have to have a passion for learning. We must constantly grow and expand through knowledge and understanding. I believe that if leaders stay humble and believe that there is always more to learn, they will become successful.

  • Ashley Rathbone

    The thing that President Betz said that resonated the most with me was “we are not here alone, but by the good grace and help of others.” He asked us a question: who made it possible for you to be sitting here? I’ve really taken the opportunity to ponder this question and I have come to the realization that I don’t even know the answer because there’s been so many. Everyone knows the obvious: parents, teachers, etc., but if we really think about it so many of the people that have crossed our paths at some point in our lives could have been one of the many people that got us to where we are today. I’m fairly certain I’ve thanked all of the obvious ones, but I really wish I could go back and thank all of those ones that I didn’t even think about.

  • Stockton Duvall

    One word that was repeated over and over by President Betz was cultivate. In order to engrain this ideal into us, he shared many of his stories that helped him become the leader he is today. Cultivate is defined as “to try to acquire or develop”. So how do we cultvate ourselves as leaders? Accordng to President Betz, we must learn to deal with change. Our generation is moving at a faster pace than any generation before us in terms of technological and societal advancements. We must learn to adapt in order to understand the world around us and spur on others to be the best leaders possible. Even though President Betz didn’t specifically say this, he showed this through actions. Our experiences define who we become. He talked on how each and every moment defined who he was and helped him get to where he was today. Last but not least, in order to cultivate our leadership we must invest in others. If teachers and staff at UCO pour into students like us, then it is our obligation to do so for the current and next generation as well in order to grow as a school, state, nation, and world! I just would like to say thank you to President Betz for coming to speak to us and invest in us as future leaders.

  • Jordan Pettay

    There was one significant comment that president Betz made that truly stood out to me and has stuck with me throughout this week. He made a comment about “what we whisper to ourselves”. He explained that what we whisper to ourselves in the back of our head, whether it be that someday we hope to be the next president or prima ballerina, we have the power to make that happen. He encouraged us to never let our dreams remain dreams, and to unite to make those dreams a reality. For me, that resonated personally, as this is what I have always strived to accomplish. After being chosen as a member of President’s Leadership Council, I know I am taking my first steps in becoming the leader I have always dreamed of being. I know that with the help and guidance of leaders around me, not only will I strive to reach my own personal goals, but as a whole, we will learn to serve others and become great servants.

  • Mallory Rankin

    President Betz gave all of us a very clear insight on what it takes to be a great leader. He talked about many different topics ranging from servant leadership to keeping others in mind. The topic that stood out to me most was change. Dr. Betz said, “You are going to have to deal with change, and the rate of change has become very fast.” Everything in this world is changing culture,technology, education, the list is endless. With change we as people also have to change to keep up with society. In order to be a great leader you have to take in all the characteristics of the people you are leading and change your thoughts and ways in order to lead them to their strengths. This can apply in every leadership position in someone’s life. President Betz is a great leader and an amazing president for the University of Central Oklahoma because he takes change and let’s it adapt him to be a leader instead of trying to stop it.

  • Marianna Avgousti

    One thing president Betz talked about that really stood out to me was how one person changed his life. A stranger pulled him aside and changed his life. It’s amazing to see how one person can impact our lives so much. Sometimes for better or worse. A leader inspires others to do things they normally wouldn’t. Something I’ve noticed in our society is that people try and bring each other down, often times people bring themselves down. I want to lead people and inspire people to think differently and to act differently in a positive manner. As a follower of God I have felt called to be a missionary and in many ways I know it’s not just when I get older that I get to be one. Though I’m a student, and still just a teenager, I firmly believe I can still strive be a missionary. For a while I was confused on what it meant to be a missionary. I know now that my calling is to love others as I have been shown love through Jesus. It is to accept others no matter who they are. My mission is not to get as many converts as I can but rather it is to stand in the middle of the crowd and look at people differently; to look at the with love and acceptance. Because I know I have the potential to care for others. I hope it’ll be a ripple effect. The ripple starts small but after a while it grows bigger and bigger and at the center/middle of the ripples is the tiniest bit of water that influenced such a dramatic wave. What would happen to this trend of pulling others down? What would happen to self-hating? What would happen to the negative attitudes? Where would they be if each action of love were to be paid forward? The doctor that stopped president Betz from fighting in a war his job was to save lives and defend his country. Though medically there was nothing wrong with President Betz, he saved his life for him to fill out his potential. The doctor was surrounded by a sea of people and he swam out to where President Betz was and had a short conversation with him before he was swept away by the current. As a leader I want to be able to strike a chord with people to help them reevaluate their attitude. Because, after all, our attitude says who we really are. I want to lead with love. With that as my attitude it doesn’t matter how long I talk to someone. I know I can nurture that belief here at UCO.

  • Xiyao Guan

    The first sentence that I wrote down during the presentation is “Learning is a lifestyle”. I think learning is not just learning form books or teachers and you always can learn something from different people. Learning makes people keep walking. And another topic that I can never forget is about doing something change one’s life. A leader maybe just services people and it can make people walk through the walls. I think a leader is that just makes people get together and work together but President Betz changes my opinion about “what is a leader”.

  • Savannah Blue Collins

    I believe in the magic of birthday wishes. I believe that a truly great meal can give you the strength to cure nearly any problem. I believe that if the night is dark, the sun will shine again. I believe a smile is the most important part of one’s wardrobe, and that the world is infinitely better when viewing it though rose colored glasses. However, if the story stopped at the catch phrase “a smile solves every problem,” it would be incomplete; it would be full of half-truths because it only tells half the story. The other side to the story is that of grief, greed, glut, gloom, and grit.

    The JFK quote that President Betz shared with us of being “idealist with no illusions,” struck me deeply because I consistently vacillate between highs of idealism and humbling views of reality. It was a powerful reminder that a key to personal success is finding a balance between the two. This concept is amplified for leaders. A clear understanding of reality is the starting point for a successful leader, but alone it is not enough. Good leaders also need a vision, and the courage to work towards their dreams. However, as President Betz also pointed out, leadership is not about self, it is about others. Great leaders are those that share the balance of these two characteristics to lift, guide, and inspire others along the way.

  • Kalina Popova

    The topic that intrigued me the most from President Betz’s lecture was to “help someone else reach their dream.” It reminded me that we are here to empower, encourage and influence one another. The magnitude of our leadership should be measured by the lives we touch and the people we move. Our only goal in life shouldn’t be to reach our full potential, but to propel our fellow leaders into the direction of their goals as well. Living with a selfless mindset and a compassionate heart towards others is something I believe every leader should strive for each and every day. Every one of us was blessed with a variety of gifts, talents and intellect that we should contribute to others’ success. President Betz is a very inspiring and selfless leader because he uses his strengths to lift up the people around him and encourage them to be the best that they can be.

  • Amery Dickerson

    The topic that President Betz discussed that resonated with me the most was surrounding yourself with positive people, and being a positive person. Having a positive mental attitude determines how you experience your life. In turn, it determines how you behave as a leader, and the influence you have on others. Your attitude has the power to not only lift you up or pull you down, but affect your team in the same way. Look for the positives in situations. As the saying goes, “you need to accept the things you cannot change, and have the courage to change the things you can”. As a leader you are in a higher position and others are watching even when you believe nobody is. I wholehearted believe, as President Betz said, you will start acting and become like the people you surround yourself with. The choice is yours, but always remember every day may not be good, but there is something good in every day. ” What good will you find today?” Thank you, President Betz for your time, and mostly for your encouraging words for us as young leaders.

  • Rosie Nguyen

    President Betz said many things that I personally felt inspired by, but the question that resonated with me the most was: “What are you doing here?” In the literal aspect, I am here to get a degree from UCO. However, I realized that that wasn’t all I wanted to do in college. I also want to make timeless memories and lifelong friends, and to leave my footprint here at Central. This question also makes me think of the future. What am I doing here? Do I want to help achieve world peace? Do I want to help find the cure for cancer? College isn’t the end of my journey. Life goes on and I hadn’t really thought about what I was doing with it after. I feel like President Betz answered this question with his own quote. “We are the change we have been waiting for.” I am here to change the world into a better place. It doesn’t matter if it’s only for one person or just UCO or the entire world. I am here to live my life to the fullest and do it happily.

  • Seena Mathew

    President Benz spoke about various topics in his motivational speech, but the one subject that resonated strongly with me is; servant leadership. He said, “The greatest satisfaction one can attain in life is to help others”. To me I believe we are sent into this world to help others rather than focusing on ourselves. Servant leadership is different in a sense that it doesn’t always have to be that one person pulling the levers but someone who is doing the grunt work, encouraging the team etc. Being a servant first and then a leader. Second, being a servant leader means being a selfless mentor. President Benz said, “Leadership is not all about you, but it is a platform for you to help future leaders”. I strongly believe as a leader it’s our responsibility to help mentor and teach a future leaders in hopes of bettering the future. Many mentors have helped me become the leader I am today, and I wish to make a difference to someone in the future.

  • What president Betz said that resonated with me the most was the meaning behind team work. That every successor has stood on the shoulders of others before them working in the same cause. This spoke to me because I was able to relate back to my time as a state officer for Skills USA. We focused so much on team work and seeing first hand what we were able to accomplish doing so was amazing. Him speaking about it made me remember how important it was, the power of collaboration, that “We together, can do so much more, than I can do by myself.” I plan to continue to share the importance of teamwork and enhance my own abilities throughout my time at UCO.

  • President Betz have taught me a lot of things. But the topic that hit me the most is when he told us about a hah moment. I did think that I know a lot of things until I came to America. There were so many a hah moments appeared in my life. It still now, especially in his speech. I always thought that a leaders was the people have to be in the center, have to be loud. Now I know that a leader can be a quiet person. To be honest, I used to feel that I am not as good as everybody else because I am introvert. He encouraged me a lot.
    Also, a hah moment feels so good that make me want to learn more. Like he said, “learning should be a lifestyle”. To be a successful leader, I think it’s important that always able to learn new things.

  • Kakiley Workman

    The one thing that caught my attention the most was when President Betz said “ Its about what we do to create the platform for everyone after us.” This stuck out to me because as a leader we need to always ask ourselves ‘What kind of platform am I creating today?’ I believe this was a really good topic because as a leader it can never be all about us. We have to set a solid foundation for everyone after us just like the leaders before us.

  • Chad "Halen" Grounds

    I really enjoyed his story about the doctor at the recruitment office. For him to remember such a specific event so long ago, and relate it to so many parts of his life was almost inspiring. I found it impossible to even take notes while he was speaking because he is such a moving public speaker, I felt like he deserved all of my attention, and he definitely had it.

  • Aspen Loard

    The thing that stuck out to me most when President Betz spoke was the idea of life long learning. Our learning process doesn’t stop when we graduate College. We will be learning for the rest of our lives. We will continue to learn about many things but mostly ourselves. We will learn what kind of leaders we are while we are in college but as we graduate we will learn what kind of employees, spouses, and parents we are. We will learn new things about the world and how to be sucessful. The reason I loved this thought so much is because yes, learning in the classroom is very important but the things you learn outside of the classroom may be even more crucial. If we stopped learning when we graduated we would be a very unintelligent society. We learn crucial lessons every single day from people and experiences in our lives. Like President Betz said, learning is life long, it is not limited to a certain amount of time. We are learning every minute of every day.

  • Loryn Coppedge

    President Betz made many interesting points, but what resonated with me the most was when he told us to make a difference in someone else’s life. I found this statement really inspiring because my goal through leadership and my life in general is to inspire others and make a difference in their lives. President Betz asked us why we are here. Well, why are we here if we only live for ourselves? Why are we here if all we ever do with our lives makes no difference on anyone else’s? The purpose of leaders is to make a positive impact in the lives of others, and that is what we should all strive to do.

  • Payden Donaldson

    President Betz covered a wide variety of topics but one in particular hit home for me,”Don’t be afraid to fail.” All to often we go through our lives passing up incredible opportunities because of the fear of failing. The reason for this is the negative taboo associated with failing or not attaining your goal. What we fail to realize is that in failure there is also success, because you learn the more from your failures than your successes. Thomas Edison toiled for years and went through over a 1,000 designs attempting to make a light bulb and instead of being discouraged he simply stated,”I have not failed 1,000 times. I have successfully discovered 1,000 ways to not make a light bulb.” Every failed experience in our life can be taken one of two ways; you can allow it to discourage you, or you can take it as a learning opportunity and grow from the experience. A failure can lead to great success if we choose to learn from that mistake. President Betz stated that,”leadership comes down to character” and your character is what allows you to push through failures to find success.

  • Kayla Leinneweber

    This was the third time I have had the privilege of listening to President Betz speak. Each time, I have stood from my chair still completely absorbed in what he was teaching. This particular time, one particular phrase he mentioned ingrained itself on my mind: “everything before now is prologue.” At first, I was crushed that all of the hours I spent in high school laboring over homework, volunteering, working, and being involved in extracurricular activities could be reduced to that one sentence, but then I realized how true that statement is. Getting into college is not the payoff of all of our work in high school. College is the chance to build on the foundation that we’ve spent our lives up until now laying. We are only just beginning to get to the real plot points of our lives and the epilogue will be the legacy we leave. Who will be impacted by the chapters we are writing now? I know President Betz didn’t spend that much time speaking to this topic, but for some reason it is still following me. I feel so blessed to be able to hear such an impactful speaker so regularly.

  • Keely Schmidt

    One of Dr. Betz’s statements was, “We create a platform for the next group of leaders, that’s our role.” It made me rethink my everyday actions and how others perceive me as an individual. As the leaders of today, it’s our duty to make sure we leave them with a world we can all be proud of. Another topic Dr. Betz spoke of that ties along with my statement is that “We are the change we’ve been waiting for.” If we just sit around and wait for someone to come take action, nothing will ever change. We’re responsible for ourselves, our planet, and the next generation. It’s up to us to take charge and make the changes we’ve been awaiting as well as making sure they have the necessary tools to help them make changes for their generation. You can’t wish for things and have them magically appear. They take effort and a drive to accomplish you desires.

  • Gary Thomas

    President Betz talked about quite of few helpful topics, which all related to leadership. The topic that most resonated with me would be the topic over the next generation. President Betz said something to the fact of “This life is not all about what you want to do, but about how to create a platform for the next generation.” (Betz). This part of his speech really stuck out to me, because no matter what we do now if we do not look to the future of our world there is little to no point in doing anything now. What I mean by this is that without preparing the leaders of tomorrow the things we do today will only go so far. We have to show examples to the younger generations to surpass our own potential in order for the world to move even farther than what we have set forth on our own.

  • Chase Wehrenberg

    One of Presidents Bets’ main points towards the end of his speech was the importance of truth. He addressed that as we grow in leadership we should also be growing in truth. One truth that I found interesting in his speech is “We could do more than I could possibly dream.” I found this statement very inspiring because it reminded me of the importance of servant leadership. We serve because we were first served by others. We never stop serving thinking to ourselves, “I have done enough” because as we serve we learn. This attitude of selflessness is a necessary truth of growing in leadership, and should be pursued and developed.

  • Madison DiBernardo

    President Betz touched on many topics that dealt with being a good leader and how that has impacted his life. One of the things that meant the most to me personally was his quote “we together can do so much more than I can do alone. ” (Betz) This quote touched me personally because as a leader my goal is to make others dreams come true. President Betz confidently delivered a message about being intentional and having a desire to learn. One of the greatest ways to get to where you want to go is not alone; President Betz used this topic to relate to his original quote about doing things together. As a part of the generation I am in, change is faster than ever and people are waiting for the leaders. We are not alone and we can be the difference we want to see in the world.

  • Alicia Merrill

    President Betz focusing on his personal life story forced me to realize how important our time at UCO is. Not everyone comes into college knowing exactly what they are here to do, and it is our experiences on this campus that will assist us in choosing our futures and our careers. He discussed doing what we are passionate about, how working with something you love will not seem like work at all. Everything before college was just our life’s prologue. Now it is time to strive for our dreams, seek for the truth, and serve others.

  • Haylie Hodges

    The point that President Betz stated that stood out to me the most was when he talked about how “any great name stood on the shoulders of some one else and they did not do it alone.” Just because we are leaders does not mean we have to come up with every idea from scratch we can build off of others. When we build on others ideas we can change it in a way that we think would make it better. Also, just because we are leaders does not mean that we have to lead alone, we can always use someone else to help us. A leader does not have to carry everything on their shoulders but can share responsibility with others.

  • Sarah Jekel

    The topic that resonated in me the most was when President Betz discussed being an unselfish leader. Every leader is not alone or are here for themselves; likewise, they do not get where they are by themselves. I was able to grow as a leader through sports and having to communicate with other people in order to succeed. There will always be a time when we need to be there for someone else, and when we need them to be there for us. It is so easy for us as young adults to live our lives for ourselves and not think about the people who are around us; However, when we choose to be someone who exists primarily to serve we are able to see a difference in our lives and the lives of others. That is why it is important to be selfless as a leader and become a person who can help make someones dreams come true.

  • Derra Walker

    President Betz gave an amazing speech about the different aspects of leadership! Many things stood out to me but I really appreciated him telling us that we will never become great leaders without the help of others. Every single thing that we’ve accomplished thus far has been with the help of others in some way, shape, or form. Now he didn’t say those words specifically but thats the positive message that I received. I learned from President Betz that we should be humble and appreciate every moment that we can in order to grow. I learned that we should be receptive to those life changing moments and become those moments for others, if given the opportunity. I learned that leaders are not made over night but by the every day process of learning and growing from those who have been where we are trying to be. Every day is an opportunity to grow but as long as we are appreciative, humble, and intentionally seeking growth, we will become something great. It was an awesome lesson that I retained and will put towards my every day life.

  • Robbie Coyner

    The topic that resonated with me the most, was that as servant leaders sometimes we have to step back and realize that our biggest achievement could be paving a path for others to step in and change the world in a better way than we might be able to. I have always had a strong desire to change the world and create a better place than when I entered it. I have always strived to live by the words of a very wise man, “be the change you wish to see in the world.” But as I am entering my second year as a Resident Assistant for this University I am realizing one crucial fact; I may not always be the best person to make a difference on this campus, but one of my residents might have the ability to. Therefore I need to equip my residents with the tools to be successful during their academic career at this University. I need to lead in a manner that will enable them to reach their fullest potential. I may not have the ability to change the world in this point in my life, but I do have the ability to help these young spirits strive for their dreams and ambitions, thus changing their world. Thank you President Betz for this very motivating speech.

  • Being the narcissistic person that I am, I always find myself trying to command every group setting I’m put into. Therefore, I immediately knew as soon as President Betz said we needed to learn how to “master our ego and harness the intention,” that this beautiful and self-relevant phrase was going to be my resonation. No matter how minuscule my knowledge of the subject is, I think that I am best fit to be in charge. However, narcissism does not a leader make; I’ve found that sometimes a leader is not needed and if one is, I might not be the best person for the job. I’ve made the realization that I need to work with my peers to find all of our strengths and weaknesses so that we can put them together to produce an amazing final product. A true leader knows when he or she is needed. I want to be a leader who knows how and when to best assist the group.

  • Kaylee Ellis

    Although President Betz spoke about many topics in his speech on Tuesday morning, the main point that resonated with me the most had to be that collaboration is key. He said that collaboration with others will allow for better things and that each person you work with is a building block to make something better. Looking back in my own life I’ve had too many situations that coincide with this statement, such as my experience in JROTC where we had to become a team to get stuff done. The group exercises we did always consisted of not relying on oneself, but to rely on others trust what they did to help you. For example, being blind folded and told to walk forward to my partner(s) talking to me without stepping on a “mine.” In this situation I had to let go of my fears and rely on my team to get me across safely to them. All in all, we must not forget as LOT and PLC to continue to use one another to obtain the highest success in whatever we are doing. That also goes in general if one is put in a team situation and needs to step up and work together to accomplish the task at hand. I hope at the end of the course President Betz will give another speech so each student can reflect about how they have done and are continuing to grow in this leadership direction.

  • The quote that President Betz said that stuck with me was the quote from Einstein saying,”I have no special talent, I’m just passionately curious.” I feel that in our world a majority of young students feel this way, that they have no special talent or that they can’t find their talent. I, myself, thought this way in the beginning of high school; I knew what I could do and what I was good at but I just didn’t know how to apply it. This is where this quote stuck with me, because I figured out that I was passionate about one major thing: leadership. I started attending conferences, taking part in leadership roles in school, athletics, and in every aspect of life I could. So when President Betz mentioned this quote I thought of my past leadership experiences and how if I hadn’t been passionately curious I may not be in the position that God wanted me to be in at this amazing University.

  • Zac Robbins

    One of the strongest things that resonated with me was that, “Learning is a Lifestyle.” At times, I have thought that I know tons about leadership and I just need to work on striving to display all of the well known characteristics. But, President Betz made me realize that if he keeps on learning new things every day, that I’m definitely learning new things twice as fast. I’m working towards being in the right lifestyle to help me learn a plethora of the biggest lessons I will learn in life. I know that college will help me grow as a person and build my character a ton, so I am excited to learn these next four years, and for the rest of my life.

  • Ryan Rollins

    President Betz emphasized the term “we” in Tuesdays’ lecture. What he said really resonates to me and I stand by that myself. No person is a self-made man or woman; everybody’s had someone in their life who’s given a helping hand. We should all be thankful for those who have given their time to help us be where we are today. As a person, I want to say thanks to all those people who helped me along the way because without them I could not have made it to where I am today.

  • David Lloyd

    President Betz brought up some intresting points last tuesday, and the one that resonated with me the most was helping the next wave come through. I really believe that for our country, our world, to be better we have to lead and teach those who will who be rising up and working with us to help better the world. Also to help teach people the rights and wrongs. If we all help better are selves then we can help the future.