Week 12 – Lessons in Leadership – Mike Turpen

Mike Turpen discussed the importance of one’s personal theme and challenged all to live ESEMED (every second, every minute, every day). As you advance your leadership roles and experiences, what is your theme?


  • Tianna Arreguin

    My theme has been and probably always will be kindness. Even in a conflicting situation, being kind can resolve multiple issues. I feel that kindness is underestimated. If it is incorporated more into our everyday lives, then most people’s well-being will be benefited. Many aspects of kindness have already been taught to us. Treat others how you want to be treated and If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all, going back to our childhood lessons could show how kind our world could be. Another misconception about kindness is that it is a sign of weakness, I believe that it is a sign of strength. If somebody knocks you down, and you have the power to stay positive and kind, that is the definition of strength to me. I have powerful feelings about kindness and its importance, so throughout my leadership opportunities, I would like to spread my value of kindness to others.

  • Lauren Hood

    Mike Turpen did such an incredible job of inspiring me in my leadership! I loved how he communicated with passion and humor. I believe everyone has their own unique and individual theme and that it is beautiful that way! My theme is to follow my passions that I believe God has given me and it is to create and build up the community around me and change the world where I am at. For me, I want to one day work for someone who’s mission I am crazy on fire about! I love to be a part of serving where I know lives are being impacted and changed and I cannot wait to see where I get to lead in the future as I live out my theme!

  • Karlee Ogden

    I would like my personal theme in leadership to reflect and be modeled after the Golden Rule. Treat others the way you want to be treated. As I have always tried to do in the past, treating people the way you want to be treated is especially important in leaders. Leaders are put in a position of authority and respect, but they must remember where they came from and not look down upon others, because you would not want that to happen to you. To lead is not necessarily to always be in charge of everything, but to serve others and use your talents and abilities to help those around you. I hope to always remember this rule as I continue growing as a leader, and I hope my actions will show that I value the Golden Rule.

  • Taylor Powell

    My theme is to stay positive and encourage others. So many people in the world today have lost their encouragement and positivity. The world is a dark place and so many people have let that effect their lives. As a leader, I believe it starts with me to make a difference in this world. Setting an example for others is the first step if you want others to follow in your footsteps. Not everyday is going to be a great day, but if you have the mindset to stay positive it can change the way your day is going. Everybody in the world needs encouragement. Like I said before, this world is a dark place and you never know what is going on in somebody’s life. Mike Turpen encouraged me to have a theme, and I hope to bring back the positivity and encouragement!

  • Dayton Skeels

    As I advance my leadership, my theme or motto will be to “Work hard, play harder.” While yes it is a good think to work your hardest and be the best you can possibly be, it is also important to have fun in the process. If all you do is work and never have any fun, then you will get drained and burnt out. So, I say to WHPH (work hard, play harder) and live life to the fullest!

  • Rachel Walker

    Before I state my theme I just want to say that listening to Mike Turpen impacted my day and life so greatly. He is an amazing speaker and everything he said deserved snaps.
    As I advance in my leadership roles and experiences I want to live by the theme is “You should never regret anything in life. If it’s good, it’s wonderful. If it’s bad, it’s experience.” I love this quote/theme because there is no right and wrong in life. Whatever you choose to do is your decision and no one else’s. But as a leader it is often discouraged if we make mistakes, it sucks but we are held to a higher standard than others. But messing up isn’t the end of the world, and that is the beauty of life. Every mistake or hiccup is a learning opportunity and it is your choice how you perceive them.

  • Tyren Chestnut

    My theme has always been positivity. I think my biggest pet peeve is when the person in charge is extremely negative. It really just makes you not want to work with or for them. I will strive to always be positive in everything me and my team do.

  • Pin-Yu Tsai

    My theme is IBICIC (I believe I create I change). I was elected as the vice-president of orchestra club in senior high school. It was an unforgettable experience because it was my first time to become a leader of a large group. At the beginning, I had no idea how to lead a group and was lack of confidence. I was glad there were some senior and junior in the club. Even though they were all older than I, they were not pride. They taught me their experience and told I have to believe myself because of my club members. The reason they chose me as the vice-president was they thought I have the ability. Therefore, I tried to encourage myself and create the ideas to make the club more wonderful. After a year of experience, I found I was different. I wasn’t that shy girl. I felt I was changed. It is the best experience that transforms me into a stress-resistant and stable person. Also, I will use my theme to encourage more people.

  • Emelia Denham

    As I advance my leadership roles and experiences, my theme is determination. To me, this means giving my all to any task I take on and never giving up while doing so. It is important to set goals and to have this determination to be a successful leader. Surrounding yourself with other leadership oriented people is helpful, as they help you encourage you to be the best leader possible. Mike Turpen stated that, “you’ve got to do something to be something” and that stuck out to me. Leaders can make a huge difference, whether it’s in the with a small group of people or with the wholecommunity. But to have this success, starting is the most important step.

  • Han Seth Lu

    My theme is to educate people. My theme kinda sounds broad but it can be narrowed down as a peer educator or just as an advocate. I believe people should be respected and recognized. So, I aways try to treat people nicely ESEMED. I’m doing it not only because I genuinely believe so but also educating people around me as well. So, we can pretty much do our theme by starting small to a bigger aim.

  • Katelynn Patton

    A quote I really like is “a leader takes a little more than his share of the blame, and a littles less than his share of the credit,” by Arnold H. Glasow. I strive to be this leader, and make this my theme. I believe great leaders are humble and are always putting others before themselves. It is easy to have an important title and call yourself a leader, but what is not so easy is being a leader in the background. Some people only want to be leaders for the recognition, but if you believe that your leadership consists of the title you are given, then you are probably not a true leader. A leader that “takes a little more than his share of the blame, and a little less than his share of the credit,” is a leader who does not care for recognition. He leads because it is his character to lead, and because it is right. There is no self-gain. I pray that God molds me into a leader that does not seek self-gain.

  • Lindsey Bruce

    What is my theme. I would say is “Treat others the way you want to be treated” there is a significant difference between being a leader and being a “boss” you have to lead your team, therefore treating other people with the same respect and attitude that you would want for yourself you should express that onto others and you will (most) of the time be rewarded with the same in return.

  • Hsiang-Chin Hsu

    To advance my leadership roles and experiences, my theme is “3 no”(no miss it, no regret it, no give up). I don’t miss any chance to make me learn more things. When I made a decision, I won’t regret it. Then, I can finish it and not give it up. I told myself that when I faced the challenge; therefore I can solve the problem easily. After that, I became stronger than before and advanced my abilities too.

  • Lance Cooter

    I want to thank Mike Turpen for coming to Uco and speaking to our leadership class. I believe as of right now my theme is to stay in the moment. To me this means to focus on the present and not worry about the past of the future. The more you live in the present the better your day will go and the more you will be involved. You are never promised another day, so that is why my theme is stay in the moment. As a leader you need to be fully engaged in activities from day to day. You need to get everything done that was due today and then you can focus on the events that will go on in the future.

  • Yu Chien Wang

    As the same point with the speaker, my theme which dedicate in the leadership roles and experiences is, “Never put off till tomorrow what you can do today”. Grasp every second, every minute and every day is very important to a leader, it not only means that you take responsible to the time, also is considered that you take responsible to your life.

  • Sini Noronen

    This year my theme is to listen and surround yourself with people who challenge me. Many times I get my way but sometimes I don’t see the other options. Many times I don’t listen enough and good leaders listen. We are often very individual because that is our culture but I can change my culture and be more open and accept the help I get and delegate if I need to. In the end of the day better leaders know when and what to delegate to their followers. This creates more efficient leadership outcomes. Not focusing only to the efficiency but also to the successful and using the reward power what usually comes with position power once the goals have been met.

  • I loved Mike Turpen’s idea of having a theme. He said, “Don’t ever break the silence of a room without a theme.” This stuck with me all day, and it kept running on repeat though my head. I think it had such a great impact on me because, as a leader, I often find myself trying to be the loudest in the room. I feel like in order to lead, I must be the one speaking, but I think leadership is actually the complete opposite. I need to learn to think before I speak. I have actually been thinking a lot about what I want the theme of my life to be. I think I have maybe figured it out. I want my theme to be “Serve, Don’t Be Served”. I want people to see in my life how I serve others. I want to be a self less person. I have found that serving always gives me more fulfillment than being served.

  • Linus Hodges

    Mr. Turpen used self-deprecating humor to induce positive thinking in his audience. I found his use of describing his flaws for entertainment value quite interesting, for most people would become self-conscious when opening up to a group of people. By keeping the audience laughing, he was able to keep his audience focused on the important parts of the discussion, which was his call to action. He desired for our class of young leaders to engage by living a personal theme.
    From my experience, I usually over analyze a situation or assume the worst possible outcome, which is horrible. I have been working on understanding all possibilities of a situation as well as reducing the amount of inference I do. So I guess my personal theme right now would be, “Regret Nothing”. Regrets hold one bad in their character development, so letting go of one’s past transgressions is vital to a leader. I perceive admitting one’s mistake, accepting the consequence, and moving on from their mistake as a notable trait of a good leader.

  • Graeme Morrison

    I wholeheartedly agree that it is important to have a theme to whatever you are doing, and I think my theme in leadership going forward will be simple – ACT. This has a double meaning for me, as I am a Musical Theatre major; acting is my whole life, but this theme means more action rather than acting. My leadership philosophy is to lead by example, so taking action is essential. I am also a firm believe that actions speak louder than words, so I think that ACT is just a good theme for me.

  • Wanda Clark

    “Others First.” This has always been and will always be my theme. There will always be others that have it worse than me and that deserve my attention. Also, as a leader, I strive to put those on my team ahead of me. This theme has pushed me not just in my leadership roles, but also in my personal life. I strive to make sure that others are taken care of before I look at myself. It is what makes me who I am.

  • Yu hsuan Lin

    “If you believe, you can achieve”-that is my motto! When we face new mission or difficult project, the evil voice “you can’t do that,” will appear in our mind to affect our brain thinking. We may shy or scared to do that because we are afraid of failure and we don’t like have a peculiar look from others. It that time, we need to cheer up ourselves and have positive attitude. If our mind always maintain hope, we can achieve easily.

  • Caleb Williams

    As I advance in my leadership experiences, I want my theme to be understanding and love for others. Mike Turpen spoke of keeping a personal theme throughout one’s life. I agree with him completely. I think that a theme not only affects how others perceive you, but also how you interact with others. Having a consistent personal theme keeps a central standard for how we present ourselves to others, allowing us to have more control over our public image. Mr. Turpen also spoke about living every second, every minute, and every day. This is key to success in one’s endeavors. We all have exactly the same amount of time in a day, what sets successful people apart is their ability to use their time more efficiently. In my personal leadership journey, I aspire to use my time efficiently so that none goes to, waste which will allow me to keep to my theme of loving others better by giving my time to them.

  • Morgan Tarpley

    As I progress into my leadership style, I see a various themes evolve. I see positivity, service, faith, and genuineness. I love to converse with others on inspiring speakers and nonprofits. However, I also have a spiritual theme as well. I love to have deep conversations with people over Christ. I also enjoy speaking over the latest topics going on in the world. I like to use each theme as a learning experience. A chance for me to see how others think and view the world we live in.

  • Joshua Layton

    I believe my personal theme as a leader is equality. I think everybody should have an equal say and have the opportunity for equal contribution. When one person has complete control, it is rare that everyone will receive at least partial satisfaction. If everyone at least has a small voice, they will feel as though their opinion was heard. Allowing everyone to feel equally important is also pertinent to group success. Competition creates conflict. If you take away the need to be better than your peers, you take away the conflict.

  • Evilin Juanes

    My theme is never giving up! always staying persistent and not letting those bad days get to me. As a leader, we need to be able to get over those obstacles in order to empower those that we lead. If we can not stay positive and believe in ourselves how do we expect others to do so? It starts with believing in our selves and staying strong that we really can become meaningful in the lives of others.

  • Rylie Smith

    I have always struggled with being assertive and speaking my mind in front of others. Mr. Turpin’s emphasis on living ESEMED encouraged me to push my self to be open and willing to share my thoughts and ideas with those around me. If I had to choose a theme to relay to a room of people, it would be to encourage them to constantly strive to do things that place you out of your comfort zone because growth comes from succeeding and failing at things you never thought you would try. I have always been one to work hard, but I tend to fall into a routine of what I am used to and comfortable with. By intentionally pushing myself to be open to new ideas and opportunities, I feel as though I will able to utilize my leadership potential and transform it into leadership growth and development. I’m not sure I would have the opportunities that I have today and will have in the future without allowing myself to have new experiences.

  • My theme is to serve others as often as I can. By my theme to serve others, I mean serving others through kindness and gratitude, patience and understanding, or even simply a smile. Honestly, serving others comes in such a variety of formats that my theme is used every second, of my every my minute, of my every day whether I want to that moment or not. Luckily, I want to most moments.

  • Kenzie Taylor

    Mike Turpin did an amazing job this week. Not only was he an entertaining speaker, he was passionate about everything he spoke on. You could tell he’s given a motivational speech or two! I loved his portion of themes and how our loves can have an overall theme. I’ve never really thought of it that way, that our lives could actually have an underlying lesson behind all of the things we do every day. It really makes a person think twice about how they are spending their time and what they are relaying to the audience that is watching them live their lives. I aspire to have a theme to go with my life, what that will be is the biggest question. Hopefully, through Turpin’s speech and a little bit of self-exploration, I’ll be able to find my own personal theme.

  • Reagan Whitlock

    As I advance my leadership roles my theme is going to be service above self. I want to be able to serve and put others needs above my own in everything that I do. This way of thinking would make me a better leader and a better individual overall. I want to use this theme in my personal life as well as my professional life. As I continue to get more involved in my community and with the members of this community I want to be better at putting others issues above my own. Not only that, but I also want to be more aware of the needs of others. So often people don’t want you to fix their problems they just want people to know that there are problems, and that they need to be fixed. Professionally going into the field of Criminal Justice this theme will keep me true to my values, which is serving others. I will be better at my job professionally as well. I will be able to serve others to my full capacity and if not better because of this theme. By putting those in the community above myself I will not only set an example and encourage others to lead in this way, but also challenge myself to see others in a new light.

  • Alexis Guzman

    Coming up with a theme seems to be as hard as choosing a major, having an enormous amount of opportunities to pick from. I have always been certain about what my major will be, and what my dream career will be like, but when I am asked to come up with my very own life theme I will have to say that I am not 100% clear of what that is. Sure it will have to go along with my career field and my desire to impact the lives of many, if not all, of my future students. If I had to come up with a final answer now I will say that my theme is to become one of the greatest teachers of all times, the ones that teach more than just a subject, but one that spends its time giving advice and guidance to their students, and the ones who put them in the right path. I do not have a clear definition, and I am open to the fact that maybe the experience that I will live in the future will help me be completely sure.

  • At a 4-H conference, I once listened to a speaker whose name I have forgotten, but I did remember one quote that has stuck with me: “Never Stop Serving”. I’ve had this quote in the notes on my phone for years now, and it has stuck with me…even if the speaker didn’t. I’ve lived my career in leadership in the belief that the true mark of a leader is someone who gives back to others, and who constantly betters the people around them. I recently was speaking to a national officer who told me that the most important thing that he has learned from being involved in leadership organizations is that you can never give too much. I’ve tried to live not only my career in leadership this way, but my day to day life as well. In my belief, the true mark of a leader is someone who is constantly listening to, serving, and bettering those around them, and I strive to show that in everything I do.

  • Nicole Bergstrasser

    Mike Turpent expressed how we should always have a theme before we speak in front of a crowd
    of people. My theme for my future leadership role would be to Invest time and energy into seeing myself Adapt, ignite, thrive, and better any place I become an active leader or member in. First I must adapt to my environment and communicate with the members about who I am, what I bring to the table. Then ignite my team, help them find their passions and strengths. Thrive means to grow, and I would want to see myself grow as a leader, and my team or organization grow fundamentally. The last point would be to better; I want to be confident that what I left behind created change that advanced my team and company. I want to be confident that I can leave knowing I grew individuals, bettered them, and bettered the area I was put in charge of, and can leave behind my mark, or legacy.

  • At a 4-H conference, I once listened to a speaker whose name I have forgotten, but who left me with a quote that has stuck with me since: “Never Stop Serving”. I’ve had this quote in the notes on my phone for years now. I’ve lived my career in leadership in the belief that the true mark of a leader is someone who gives back to others, and who constantly betters the people around them. I recently was speaking to a national officer who told me that the most important thing that he has learned from being involved in leadership organizations is that you can never give too much. I’ve tried to live not only my career in leadership this way, but my day to day life as well. You never know how important something can be to another, even if it is just a smile or words of encouragement. In fact, I think that is why it is so important to never stop being a leader: the fact that you don’t know what someone else could be going through, or what someone may need. As leaders, we should be looking to the people around us at all times, and striving to give what we can, in any way we can. Whether it be a small gesture or a big donation, you have the power to impact yourself, those around you, and those you may not even know.

  • Catie Wilson

    Mike Turpen was an unbelievably entertaining speaker! He carried so much raw emotion and honesty in what he had to say. Having a theme throughout your life that aligns with your values and your goals will keep you on track to reach success. I have always had a passion for investing in other people and helping them with anything I possible can. Throughout this year, in my Success Central class, we discussed how important career well-being is for people’s over all wellness. I have seen throughout my life and a lot in high school how friend’s parents, my own parents, and teacher’s were unhappy in their job place. My theme in order to counteract this overwhelming feeling is to be intentional with every action I partake in, every conversation I participate in and to be sure that the people around me know their value. People do not realize the impact that uplifting words can make and if I can be the uplifting person that just one human needs, I will find satisfaction.

  • Hilda Estrada

    Mike Turpen discussed the importance of one’s personal theme and challenged all to live ESEMED (every second, every minute, every day). As I advance my leadership roles and experiences, my theme for leadership would be “go through the tunnel even if it’s dark”. This theme is significant as sometimes we prefer to quit when obstacles come our way. As a person who lives by day with more than one obstacle, our community should be our reason for continuing. As a leader one should continue going through with our dreams and desire the best. Sometimes those obstacles may end up becoming beneficial for leaders and those who are being advocating. Themes are important and sticking to them are crucial as well.

  • Chloe McKinney

    Mike Turpen’s presentation was extremely impactful. He mentioned that in order to be something, you’ve got to do something. He also suggested that we have a theme for the things we do. Moving forward, I am challenging myself to make the most of every situation- good or bad. I realize that there are going to be obstacles in life, and perfect opportunities are not always going to present themselves. Still, I can change my perspective and make the most of each situation. As Mr. Turpen said, “When you’re dealt a bad hand, play a bad hand well.” I believe that by doing this, the roles I play as a leader will be significantly enhanced.

  • Maritza DeLoera

    My theme is being thankful even when there’s not a lot to be thankful for. As I grow in my leadership role, I’ve realized that mistakes and regrets will be inevitable. So, instead of dwelling on the mishaps, I’ve learned to reflect. By doing this I’ve learned to be thankful. Being thankful allows me only to grow in bettering my leadership role and experience. Life is a continuous learning journey and it only remains continuous if you allow it. A way to stop that learning is by dwelling in the mistakes that have been made. This is why it’s significant in being thankful of those mistakes because it helps you learn from them. Being thankful helps in being the leader that anybody is capable in being.

  • Ren Jian Lee

    As I advance my leadership roles and experiences, my theme is “problem solving”; that is to tackle a problem when it arises and develop a solution for it. In any problem, solving it requires evaluating the problem, brainstorming ideas, making the decision, getting the people needed for the solution, and seeing it completed – all in an efficient way that will not cause more trouble later on. After all, leaders exist to solve problems that the community faces, and they are the ones that rally us to action to ensure that we survive and thrive in the harsh world we live in.

  • Casey Base

    My leadership theme has always been to lead by example. Football has always taught me to be the hardest worker possible. I would do this because I wanted my teammates to see and mimic what I was doing. I truly do believe that actions speak louder than words and that what we do means more to a person than what we say.

  • Matthew Ecton

    My leadership theme is “Be better than you were yesterday”. I consider myself an ambitious individual because I constantly fight complacency. I am always striving to better myself and the people around me. Growing up, my father always told me that a day I didn’t learn anything is a day wasted. I’ve embraced that philosophy aiming to gain some kind of knowledge from every day God chooses to wake me up. Wisdom comes from knowledge, knowledge comes from learning, and learning comes from applying your attention to what you’re going through. Over the years, I’ve come to the realization that often our most important lessons come from the most unexpected people. Therefore, I make sure to devote my attention to those who may be overlooked by others. Frequently, they aren’t silent due to a lack of thought; they’re silent because they don’t believe they’ll be listened to.

  • Kyle Tangco

    Convictions are very important, because they are the standards and values that develop you to become an effective leader in every field of work that you do. Mike Turpen’s idea of having a theme is similar, since you must know what you will stand for and what will drive you to complete a mission. Without themes, your abilities to impact your community will weaken, more importantly, your individual strengths will not be tapped and honed.

    As for me, one of my convictions/themes is to always fulfill a task or job with the maximum of my abilities. This is mainly applied to my experience in a job because I have worked with a couple of people who have a get-in-get-out psych, instead of being disciplined to provide the extensive effort that they signed up for. Especially in my former job at Moni’s, I would catch some of my coworkers rushing through all cleaning duties. This wasn’t acceptable, as it didn’t present the restaurant to have a healthy and pristine environment. It was also a risk that could possibly hurt the business. So every night when I dealt with closing duties, there was always a reason why I would come late. And that reason built great trust with my manager and senior employees who knew the standards that I took value in.

  • Madeline Barham

    My theme for leadership is to never leave anyone out. If every single person included a person that was being excluded, there would never be anyone left out. When you make others feel special, they trust you, when they trust you, then they are more likely willing to help and volunteer with you. Everyone has felt left out and/or unwanted in at least one situation. If everyone would remember that feeling and make others feel special, I one hundred percent believe there would be more volunteering and love spread around.

  • Maddie Higdon

    Throughout this week, I have been going through initiation with Alpha Gamma Delta. Our theme as a chapter is to “Inspire the women, impact the world”. I hold this theme dear to my heart but at the same time, I want my theme to be more broad than that. I want to inspire every single person I come in contact with. I know it may be hard to deeply inspire everyone because it requires deep conversation and not everyone I meet will have the time for that. I think simply smiling at a stranger, or being goofy to make someone laugh can positively impact someone; which I can only hope that being kind and positive will inspire others to do the same. Therefore, doing so will impact the world one smile at a time.

  • Austin Loard

    Mr. Turpen encouraged us to live every second, every minute, every day. I liked this message and it goes along with what I believe my “theme” to be. I simply try to put everything I have into what ever it is that I am doing. My parents always encouraged me to “do my best.” My high school football coach would always tell us that each play only lasted a few seconds, but for those few seconds, he wanted everything we had. If I was on the field playing, I gave it everything I had. If I was at home watching my favorite team on TV, I would give it everything I had in cheering them on. That would usually result in one of my parents coming to the door and demanding that I, “hold it down.” Another of my high school teachers would tell us to make sure that when we went to college that we experienced the “college experience” to the fullest. I didn’t really know what she meant at the time, but LOT has helped me realize what she was talking about. As a result of LOT I have been able to experience this first semester to the fullest. Starting with the retreat and meeting new friends to participating in Cheer and Dance and UCOLA I have tried to put everything I have into this semester. I have also learned that some times you have to give more than you thought you had. I hadn’t planned to participate in the Greek system but was encouraged to do so and am glad that I pushed myself beyond my comfort zone. I have also learned that when it comes to studying for classes, that what I thought was “my all” may not have in fact been all that I could do. I have learned that being involved in many activities requires you to focus and like my football coach demanded for those times you have free time, you have to give it everything you have.

  • Jacob Thompson

    With all of the turmoil going on in our country, including, acts of terrorism, political hatred, and religious persecution, I feel that for the time being, I can only affect the people around me in Edmond, Oklahoma. I strive to be the light of Christ to people I come in contact with by showing kindness, offering help where it is needed, and including others.

    I hope to widen my circle of influence as I get to know more people on campus and in the community. This semester has already helped me grow in more ways than I could have imagined six months ago. I will continue to stretch myself through my involvement with Beta Upsilon Chi and other campus membership opportunities.

  • Kennedi Breuklander

    My theme has always been focused on change. What I can do to make a difference, for my life and my leadership to really mean something. I’ve always felt an urge to impact others lives in a positive way. Mike Turpin talked about how the best way to someones heart is through humor which is something that really resonates with me. A large majority of my friends and companions I’ve made through humor and I try to surround my life with people who like to laugh. Which also draws to my theme of change. I think if someone really wants change, while all it takes is one person to start change, it is a lot easier with friends by your side and a support system of people who believe in you. What a better group of people than the people you’ve laughed until you cried with. Another simple way to change lives is through happiness itself. Like how President Betz talks about the power of a smile and all it takes sometimes is to smile and be kind to others to make a difference in their lives. I really enjoyed how much passion Mike Turpin had about everything he spoke with us about and I hope I can carry some of his words of positivity with me and into my theme for life and leadership.

  • Angelique Jois Alog

    If I had to choose a theme for myself, it would be to empower as many people as possible. I have always believed that everyone can use the smallest amount of encouragement and support regardless of how great they may be doing. As Steve Maraboli claimed, “The empowered woman is powerful beyond measure and beautiful beyond description.” A person, woman or not, can easily accomplish anything he/she puts his/her mind to as long as he/she knows that there are people who believed in him/her. The ability to build people up and even help them get back up is truly something I strive to have. Everyone goes through struggles, but not everybody has to keep on struggling. As a leader, I do all I can to impact somebody’s life long term instead of temporary. I make an effort to not only help them but assist them in being able to also help themselves. There is already enough negativity in the world today, so I try my best to create a positive and uplifting environment for the people around me.

  • Brook Marshall

    As I advance my leadership role and experiences I want to live life to the fullest. I believe ESEMED can be a theme for anyone because it relates to everyone I choose to have the personal theme of don’t worry be happy. I know this saying is very popular and cliché but it is how I live life. I get up every day with the attitude that today will be better than yesterday. No matter what comes my way if I always choose happiness than no one can take that from me. Life is too short to constantly be stressed and worried, so why not take the energy we give to our stress and put it toward our happiness?

  • Cole MacCollister

    Mike Turpen made good point about how we need to live our lives to the fullest, by living “every second, every minute, every day.” This is good advice for my leadership roles because it reminds me that I need to make everything I do worth my time, which has a precious value. My own personal theme is to do what I can, while I can. To elaborate, there are many opportunities in college to become a leader. Whether this is to become involved with a student organization, or simply meeting people through everyday life, it is possible to become a leader in whatever you may do. That is why I wish to become involved on campus in every way possible, because there will come a time when I am no longer a college student. When I am in my profession, I will have different opportunities to be a leader than I would have had as a college student. There will be many seasons in my life, but no matter where I am or what I am doing, I know that by being involved and active in my commitments I will see my leadership styles flourish and my leadership skills improve tremendously.

  • Jarrod Barnett

    As others see me I hope they see someone who embodies passion and courage. Turpen spoke about having the courage to do what is right, which I think incorporates him discussing ESEMED, I want to be able to say that I had the courage to do what is right every time. He also discussed having three bones, a funny bone, back bone, and a wish bone I am a light hearted person who enjoys a good laugh so I hope that I can also have a back bone which can give me the courage to do what is right. I think that having a wish bone is an important as a leader, it shows that you are continuously looking to improve and want better for your group. After reflecting on what I want my theme to be I hope that I continue to portray it.

  • Madelynn Dancer

    “I am a great believer in luck, but I find the harder I work, the more I have of it.” -Thomas Jefferson. I have to admit that my leadership theme is defined simply by a strong sense of work ethic. I am a firm believer that someone who works hard will always surpass someone who is merely talented. From a very young age I have always strove to be the best possible version of myself. I always put one hundred and ten percent of myself into all my endeavors whether that is sports, academics, or extracurricular activities. In the past, my peers have noticed this hard work and elected me into leadership positions. As a leader, this sense of work ethic has allowed me to truly make impacts within organizations I am passionate about. It has also inspired my followers to give their very best. To this day, I still rely on my work ethic and sense of empathy to define me from others when I am applying for a job or running for an elected position. Overall, I have found that hard work is required for any initiative to succeed and can be extremely rewarding.

  • Emily Nelson

    I have spent a really long time thinking about this. and to be honest, I am not sure I have figured it out yet. I am still learning about my self on my journey. However, I know what is important to me. I challenge my self, to be honest, humble and to work hard. But I think that people are what matters most to this world. We can affect each other in ways we never imagined. This can be good or bad. But I honestly believe that if we invest in people in positive ways, they will pass it on to someone else.

  • Erin Jones

    I love the idea of the leadership style every second, every minute, and every day mixed with grit to grace. Making sure every decision I am making a good impacts others lives every second of every minute of every day. I also want to be able to give grace to those that I lead. These are my leadership themes.

  • Cole Spradlin

    My theme is be the change you want to see in the world. It is easy to sit back and complain about what’s wrong in the world. Nothing will change until you act. If you act you have the ability to play apart in removing the bad things. It is important to be persisitant and work hard at being the change.

  • Megan Watkins

    A theme that I have lived by for a long time has been “everything happens for a reason”. I remind myself of this because I believe that the events of a people’s lives and how they handle them is what helps to define that person. I truly believe that the events in my life have made me the person I am today. Every person experiences good and bad times. It is how those people come out of those situations that will most likely determine how, when and what situation happens next. Mike Turpen’s theme about every second, every minute, every day is an extremely good theme to live by. Everyone has life mottos and themes that drive them to success. My theme may change throughout my life but I will never forget that what I have experienced has lead me to be the person I am and that those experiences happened for a reason.

  • I believe that every true leader has their own specific style of doing things. The thing that Mr. Turpen stressed and encouraged us to do most, live every second, every minute, every day, is something that I believe everyone, not just leaders should try to do. The one thing that is so limited and we have no control of on this earth is time. No matter how much money we make or how hard we try we can never obtain more time than is given to us. I love that he is such an advocate for taking the most of the time that is given to us, and I truly believe that it is something that we can take with us every day.

  • Jake Seawright

    My theme for my leadership style is listening. I believe that listening is often a leadership quality that is overlooked. Being able to listen well makes a person able to hear other ways of doing something they might have never thought of themselves. Listening also helps others feel like they have a say in how something is being done. Another leadership style is honesty. I believe being honest is important because it shows integrity and how you are as a person. Honesty is another leadership quality that is often overlooked. Being able to be honest when leading a group of people will help them understand that the task might not be as east as they think, being able to break that news is good because it puts more focus on the work.

  • Garrett Gunn

    Listening to Mike Turpen talk really changed my outlook on things. He really made me realize that I need to live my life with a purpose every single day, because we only have a certain amount of time here on earth. We must always have a theme for our life and live it out to the fullest at all times. Looking at things in a new perspective, it made me realize how much I take things for granted and how sometimes I just go through the motions without having a purpose so this is why I have decided to make sure I have a theme for me to live out every single day. My theme is to do my best to impact as many lives as possible every single day. I have always been an outgoing person and I feel that this is the best theme for my life at this point and time.

  • Lillian Baker

    In high school, we had a program called Salt and Light. In the program, we had SWAT teams. No, SWAT isn’t used in the traditional sense, but rather it stood for Service Without Any Thanks. We had groups that did random acts of kindness without any expectation of a reward or thanks. I think as a leader we are supposed to live by that. We shouldn’t be acting or doing things with the hope or expectation of public recognition. We are to lead with more than words but with our actions as well. We are put in a leadership position for a reason. Let’s use that position to make a difference, to be the change. Whether your efforts are seen or not, you’re being a leader. So my theme to live by is SWAT. In everything I do, I’m going to serve without any thanks expected. In doing so, we are living for every second, every minute, and every day. We are living to find a chance to make a difference.

  • Bianca Navarro

    No matter what happens, I always say, “life goes on.” It’s true for everything, failures and also successes. There are going to be many points in life when we fail, but it’s not going to be the end of the road, we learn from the mistakes we’ve made and keep going. The success we have comes from the failure, and it shouldn’t be the end either. No matter what happens along the way, it’s never going to be the end because life goes on.

  • Curtis Diaz

    I agree with Turpen in that anyone who wishes to be productive to the best of their ability must have a theme. My personal theme is “do the best you can in the moment you’re in.” It may seem idealistic, but I think that if you are always focusing on that then you will see the results quickly. All of the time spent giving 100% adds up to unforeseen positive results and impacts that make it more enjoyable and easy to keep doing your best! Additionally, it sets a great example for those who make look up to you. People, notice when you try your best and it will pay off sooner than expected.

  • jjohnson217

    I just want to start off by thanking Mike turnpen for coming to UCO and talking to us. I believe my theme is taking advantage of my own opportunities. To me this means if something happens in your life and it’s good then you don’t question it and take the chance. As a leader you need to take advantage of every opportunity because you may not get another chance. For me i have been taking advantage of my opportunities by like being the pledge class president for ATO.

  • Mikkail Bishop

    I like to think that my personal theme is to influence everyone to be open minded and to reach for any goal they are seeking. Impossible should never be in my own or others vocabulary because nothing is impossible when you set your sights on what you are wanting for yourself or those around you. Every thing in life will have its challenges to face but if you strive to conquer these challenges then anything is possible.

  • Ethan Clark

    I think for me, just accepting each and every person I meet and striving to be the best I can every day. Just by doing this I think that I can make a big difference in whatever it is I’m doing. This is because if I accept everyone I encounter it can make all other endeavors in life much simpler and easier. Also, by striving to be the best I can, more often than not, I can accomplish the goals that I set out to do.

  • Ethan Bruegel

    One of the most crucial lessons I learned in high school is the value of hard work. I pushed myself to my limits to end up where I am today. My theme of work-ethic has risen from the years I spent in high school. My theme hasn’t been fully implemented into my leadership career, but I have a plan on building it up. My goal is to become an RA next year, so I have taken time getting to know the RA’s and understanding the job. I plan to carry on my theme of hard work into my future goal by pushing myself in every part of the job. This theme works excellently with Mike Turpen’s ESEMED because hard work demands that one put all of their time into a goal.

  • Sarah Faust

    Mike Turpen’s quote “Every second, every minute, everyday” made everyone think about how they are living their life. I think my quote would be “treat every person how you want to be remembered”. There is no saying when, where, or how you are going to die but when you do go you want to be remembered in a good way. I believe you should try to always be kind, patient, humble and strong and if you act these ways towards people then you will feel better about your life.

  • Mikayla M Little

    Mike Turpen was such an excellent speaker and couldn’t have come to encourage us at a better time. His words made my day brighter!
    His theme for his own life was ESEMED, and that is what he thinks about or says to himself every day. I watch a woman on YouTube who begins everything she puts on social media with “it’s a beautiful day to be alive”. That is her theme. Her slogan. I don’t think I have found mine yet, but I am eagerly searching.

  • Amanda Rebman

    I am not sure that I have found my theme yet. However, I do know that it will have something to do with helping others. I know that I want everyone to feel comfortable coming to me if they need help. I want to be a safe place for people turn. I want to be known for my Godly living and showing others love. I hope that I can always be a graceful leader, since the one I follow (Jesus Christ) shows immense grace to everyone. I guess my theme may be leading others with love.

  • Madison Lance

    Mike Turpen disccused that his theme for his life is every second of every minute of everyday, live fully. I would say that my theme aligns with his very well. Going through life proud and happy with what you are doing is what it is all about. Doing something for the greater good or living your dream is how life should be lived. With the world today, keeping a positive attitude is key to a successful happy life. In order to be a good leader you must contain these qualities. The theme “ESEMED” is something everyone should live by.

  • Robia Charbonneau

    My theme is the community. By community, I mea every single person around me. My passion in life is to help people. I try to be as involved as I can with people around me whether they are on campus or out in the surrounding Edmond area. I want to make a difference in people’s lives, especially as a nurse. In my leadership roles, I engage with my theme and make sure to include everyone around me. I hope to keep being engaged as take on more leadership roles and fulfill my positions.

  • Sierra Munoz

    Mike Turpen has been one of my favorite speakers so far this semester. The way he engaged the whole room with a common theme really stuck out to me. If I had to choose a theme to elaborate on, it would be to never give up and always strive to be your best. I am challenged in this everyday with sports and schooling. By continuing each and every day I grow stronger and more independent. I would encourage people to do this because it is so easy to slack off and not do your best; however, if one keeps pushing through, the reward is worth it. As Mr. Turpen said, “ESEMED”… strive to be your best.

  • Erika Jenkins

    I am not sure that I have a certain theme. I could be placed in any of them to be honest. I look at everything from every aspect that I can tell you. As I advance through my career, I’m sure my theme will continue to develop into a more prominent one.