Lessons in Leadership – Week 1 – Senator Adam Pugh

During Senator’s Pugh presentation he provided a number of themes to consider which include having empathy, valuing people, and finding mentors. Which point(s) stood out to you the most and why.


  • Sheridan Luis

    Adam Pugh was a wonderful speaker you talked about key points that helped him through life. His first point was ” Be the best you can be at anything you do in life,” I felt like this was great advice even in the little things in life you should give it your all. It got me thinking if I do the best I can at all times. His second point was “People matter,” this is the one point that really stuck with me. No matter where you are or what you are doing the people who surround you are the ones you should take care of even if they are strangers or not. Everyone deserves kindness that’s the motto I think we should start everyday with and Adam really harped on treating people well and I agree because it aligns with my beliefs. His third point was to have “Empathy,” to be open minded enough that you can understand where the person is coming from and see things from their perspective. Adam was a great speaker and I knew nothing about him coming in but, when he was done speaking I felt like I knew what he stood for and his most valued beliefs.

  • Brianna Jennings

    While Senator Adam Pugh was speaking through his three most important things to remember as a leader, the theme of “valuing people,” stood out most to me because I believe it to be most true. You can effectively relate to someone’s feelings through sympathy to understand them without having gone through it yourself. Through personal experience, of valuing people, of my own, I’ve found it most effective in being a leader. Whether or not you can directly to relate to their situation is not as large a factor in being a leader once you show them that you value their being, their situation, and their input. For example, it’s like when you have two polar-opposite teachers. One is a teacher that is there solely for a paycheck while the other is there to truly teach you and value you as a person. You are more likely to trust the teacher, that values you, to lead you in the direction you need to be going. Thus, the theme of “valuing people,” stuck out most to me.

  • Charity Lassiter

    During Senator Pugh’s presentation his point on empathy really stood out to me. Knowing where other people come from and understanding how they felt is the key to being able to push forward. As a leader, you want those who follow you to feel like you care about them, it helps to build rapport. At the end of the day we should all care about how each other’s feelings. These feelings keep us connected as human beings and allow for growth within communities.

  • Ebonie Reyes

    The number one thing that stood out the most to me was when Adam said “Be the best you can in anything you do.” He came from a low income and single parent household but he did not let that stop him from doing what he wanted to do. Although obstacles came into his life, he was still optimistic about everything. This taught me that even if I am not where I want to be in life yet, still do the best that I can. One day someone will notice it and give me a chance like they did to Adam.

  • Seth Harriet

    In Senator’s Pugh presentation one theme that stood out to me was to seek a mentor. I luckily picked a very good mentor that assisted me in the morals and beliefs that I uphold but the point that Senator Pugh made that caught my attention was to find a mentor specifically for what you wanted to do with your career. Another point Senator Pugh made during the presentation was to surround yourself with people that tell you what they think. I really liked this because a friend that just agrees with everything you say does not really care about you. Someone that challenges what you think will only help you improve yourself as a person. The last point in the presentation that I will talk about is the “can do” attitude that Senator Pugh presented to the class. The concept of doing your very best in any situation has been said to me multiple times before but Senator Pugh took a different approach, he gave exact examples of these situations. Not only did he give examples of these situations he reflected on how putting that effort in helped him be successful throughout his life.

  • Yaritza Romero

    I would have to say that the point that stood out to me the most was finding mentors. When he said “find a mentor if you want to personally grow,” I personally felt that. Coming from a first generation just like he did, going into high school was pretty scary and I did not really know what I was doing or getting myself into the majority of the time. I luckily found a mentor that helped me throughout high school and still helps me to this day. He has helped me grow personally and I feel like I would not be where I am and who I am without him guiding me through high school.

  • Zachary Nemecek

    I really felt he pushed the fact that the people around you matter. Throughout life you are going to be put in leadership positions and if you aren’t at least respected by your subordinates then you aren’t quite doing your job. He explained that the connections you make as a leader can shape your future and to always be respectful to others. There isn’t very many leaders that would prioritize the ones underneath them and accept their opinions even if they didn’t align with their own, and I believe that is a main reason to why he is successful today. I enjoyed how he explained his leadership because it will most definitely shape how I view leading in the future.

  • The point that stood out to me the most was “You can’t control your outcome but you can control your input.” This really summarized all of the points that he made throughout his lecture and truly emphasized the idea behind always doing the very best that you can even if you don’t like the position you’re in. He also went on to say that success isn’t always about winning, but it’s about learning and learning from losing, which also ties into the point that your input into situations is what’s most valuable in life rather than winning.

  • Ainsley Bain

    On Tuesday, August 27th, 2019 Senator Adam Pugh visited The University of Central Oklahoma to speak not just about leadership but about his personal story of strength, faith, and how he overcame many obstacles. Senator Adam Pugh was elected in 2016, and crushed the odds that had been seemingly stacked against him… until the day of the elections. He shared a few anecdotes, from the broken home he was raised in, to adventures in the Air Force, to wild experiences with Olympic Skeleton. His first leadership point was: be the best that you can be, meaning that you don’t have to be the best of everyone, but you do need to try the best and work the hardest that you as an individual can. His second leadership point was: people matter, elaborated to the extent that you can’t be selfish in this world. One must serve and give back to others. His final point was that we need to have empathy. Empathy piggybacks on the idea that people matter, but it expands into that not only do people matter but we must care for and be understanding of people from all walks of life and backgrounds. Some other quotes that I found inspiring were, “it will only get better from here,” and “sometimes you can’t control the outcome, but you can control your input.” I liked each of these because they encourage us to keep our looking up and put in one-hundred percent. Another quote that could be related is, “success isn’t always winning, sometimes it’s learning.” The final thing that I enjoyed from Senator Pugh’s visit was when he spoke about how much of an impact his mom had in his overall character, from the donations of what little pastries they had each week, to just general guidance and lessons on respect. Senator Adam Pugh was a truly inspirational speaker and had a distinctly interesting narrative on his life story, one that many people can only aspire to have.

  • Emma Lammers

    Before I answer the question for this blog I wanted to discuss how great of a speaker Senator Pugh was. You could tell by his posture that he was very relaxed and he wanted to be able to connect to all of us. It can be very intimidating to have a politician standing and talking to you. It can almost seem as we, college students, have to have correct posture and we tend to get more tense, but Senator Pugh made it very clear that he wanted us to feel comfortable and relaxed. This could also be a mechanism for the audience to pay more attention.
    Now to address the prompt. I felt like I have thought about everything Senator Pugh said. I may have thought of these things, but some things I have yet to hear out loud. I always knew people matter, but I never really heard anyone say it out loud. When I was younger I was always told to be nice, to listen, and to think about others from their perspective. Even though all these things lead to people matter, I was never verbally told that. It was an eye opener when Senator Pugh said this because it really categorized all these things I was told to do into one folder, the “people matter” folder. For some people, like me, categorizing is very necessary to truly understand something. The fact that I now have a “people matter” folder in my head, I am able to put more information into that folder (listening, empathy, kindness, honesty, love, and so many more) and actually use it and remember it.
    Senator Pugh has definitely helped me categorize a huge part of what floats around in my head. Because of this, I am now able to actually remember that every aspect of what goes into others truly does matter. This in turn will only make me a stronger person. I will truly be able to make thoughtful decisions when other people are involved. With this I want to thank Senator Pugh for a remarkable speech that is sure to open the eyes of many.

  • Joshua Chao

    Senator Adam Pugh had many interesting ideas and themes such as “you can learn just as much from a bad leader than a good one” and the idea that “people matter”. However, there was one theme that heavily stood out to me and that was the theme of empathy. He explained that an important part of being a successful leader was putting yourself in other people’s shoes was key. Pugh brought up the idea that now a days people forget to actually listen to each other in fear of “losing” the argument. This statement really stuck out to me because I have never realized how often people do this until he stated it. I completely agree with his statement because I believe that an important part of being a leader is to communicate with your peers and communicating is more than just listening but understanding and you can not understand without having empathy.

  • Kylee Snell

    While Senator Pugh was speaking, the thing that stuck out to me the most was his view on valuing people. Treating everyone the same way no matter their title, economic class, or views of the world is a task that can be very difficult to master and goes beyond just being nice. It is respect. Being able acknowledging that ever person has an important role in society and no job holds more value than another. For example, a business cannot function without boss, but it also cannot run efficiently without a secretary. These are two completely different jobs but they are both needed. This probably stood out to me the most because when I envision a senator, representative, or governor it is easy to assume that they are more important or better than most citizens because of their title. The fact that someone in that position has made it a point to treat everyone he meets the exact same speaks volumes, not only about his character, but also shows his sense of humility.

  • Austin Borjas

    For myself I think there are many things that have an impact on being a leader. But for myself I think that valuing people makes the worlds difference. When making people feel valued this can increase thier effort, productivity, and high self esteem. I know when someone makes me feel good about myself I feel like they see value, potential, and maybe something I do not see in myself. I try my best to value people by telling them “Good Job”, “Looking Good”, or “Proud of You”. This is a chance to be intentional with what you say. If you value people then your reach is higher, greater, and much more meaningful. If you great at this then you could be a world changer.

  • Destiny Perez

    The significance of finding mentors mentioned throughout Senator Pugh’s presentation deeply resonated with me, because of my own experiences with the impact that my mentors have had on my life. Finding a mentor for every phase is essential to becoming successful, by learning from their guidance. When Senator Pugh described the importance of valuing people, it made me reflect on my responses to others. This point especially stood out to me, due to the fact that one small action towards someone can have a world of an influence on them. Lastly, the way that Senator Pugh expressed his passion for having an empathetic attitude in all areas of his life was inspiring. The quality of empathy is necessary in order to grow your perspective, and demonstrate that you are able to understand others.

  • Carson Clay

    I really enjoyed listening to Senator Adam. He had a great message and it was something that was very fitting to a group of leaders like PLC and LOT. He stated early in his speech “Be the best you can be with anything” and I think as leaders this is a great quote to live by. Theres gonna be days like Adam had growing up where you feel down, not enough, or simply just not in the mood for anything. But those are the days he said that he made himself push harder and make a day out of it. I also liked when he said “Place yourself in someone else’s shoes” because it made me think that I’m gonna meet a lot of new people and I’m gonna get to know them and their background. Everyone is different in their own ways, but some peoples problems are just in a much more harsh condition. This when a leader should do anything they can to try to help, comfort, or protect those people without being told or asked to do so. I really enjoyed him coming to UCO and after hearing his life, I really look up to him and see him as a person I want to strive like.

  • Kinsey Harper

    Adam Pugh is an inspiring and determined man. He expressed his opinions about life and the adversities he has faced and overcome. From growing up poor and without a father, to being defined as medically disabled in the military due to having poor eyesight, Adam has been faced with many set backs. He focused on three key points: pay attention, leadership, and empathy. Pugh said that by doing these three things, you will connect with people. He lives by the words, “people matter” and I admire this because I try to live by that statement as well. He encouraged us to pray for our leaders, and I know I will from now on.

  • Callie Hambrick

    When Senator Adam Pugh came to speak to our class, he said many things that made me think. One topic that really stuck with me was valuing people. This is so important to me, and I wish it was more important to others as well. It isn’t enough to say to others, “You matter.” We need to show them through every opportunity that arises. As leaders, it is our job to be the ones who show others that we care about them and want to help with anything they need.

  • serah salau

    Empathy stood out to me the most.
    This is because I learnt that we can never really understand other people’s situation unless we try to fit in their shoes. Therefore we should not judge them since we do not know what options they had to finally come to their decision. I feel like that was an important theme to talk about since everyone need to be understood and empathized as well.

  • Lilian Smith

    Senator Adam Pugh presented many interesting and compelling points, but I believe the point that stood out to me the most was his emphasis that people matter. Throughout every season of Pugh’s life he has done everything he could to love and serve others. Pugh tried many new things and took many chances, and through it all he loved others unconditionally. He explained that he strives to treat every person like they matter, regardless of what God they worship, who they slept with last night, or what political party they are affiliated with. At the capital he treats the janitor like the governor, both with respect. He allows his faith to push him to love rather than to judge. He puts himself in the shoes of others. As leaders and humans, we all need to take on this attitude that people matter and watch how the world changes.

  • Sydney McDaniel

    Being told to value people would not have stood out to me normally, but the Senator put it in a different light. The people you see everyday (or even once) might appear unexpectedly somewhere else. For example, the lady working a cashier might go to your church. Treating people with kindness is a decency that everyone agrees is pretty much necessary, however, it’s not always that we put it into practice. Treating strangers like they matter is just as important as how you treat your close friends. It should also be noted to be personable to your associates and acquaintances, as well. For the Senator, a contact he made in passing from 10 years ago thought of him first for a job opening. We should make an effort to value everyone and anyone more often, or better yet, all the time.

  • Hannah Morrison

    Senator Adam Pugh’s points all had great ideas to consider from the standpoint of leadership. The one I connected to the most was his point on empathy. The idea of putting yourself in someone else’s position can be difficult to do. It’s hard to give up your side of an argument long enough to thoroughly process what the person on the other side of the argument is going through or trying to say. However, it’s important to do so in order to solve issues and find a way to connect to the people you talk to, work with, lead, or look up to. Having empathy for everyone you come into contact with will create a much more beneficial and peaceful environment. I also enjoyed his discussion on how everyone has the chance to serve. You do not have to be the head of a large company, or hold a certain position to help your community or the people around you.

  • Pierson Van den Dyssel

    One concept that really stuck out to me during Senator Pugh’s presentation was when he said be the best YOU you can be. The reason why it stuck out so much to me is do to the fact that I have to be the best I can be as an actor, or else I’m just another copy of someone else in times past. While on the other hand I also have to be me just in every day life so I can share with the world my own talents, and strengths that I was put on this earth to do that others might not have.

  • Remy Young

    Senator Pugh gave his three biggest points of advice that were 1. Be the Best You Can In All You Do, 2. People Matter, and 3. Empathy, and then went into depth with each piece. He wrapped up these points in saying that when you combine the three ideas, you will get the chance to lead. Though you will get the opportunity to lead, it probably won’t be as you ever thought. This point stood out to me most because we spend great deals of time and put tremendous amounts of effort into molding ourselves into the best leader we can be, and then end up formed into a different version of what we intended. I believe hearing and understanding this part of leadership is very important for the development of solid leaders.

  • Karina Cabrera

    Throughout the presentation senator Pugh discussed a few of the many motivating factors in his life with us, but what stuck with me the most is how his stories always came back to the same moral, “people matter”. Pugh never pretended to be in anyone’s shoes. He rather sat back and listened(although it can be very hard for a leader to listen to the entire story before wanting to take some type of action), then decide how to act in a manner that demonstrates to the individual that he is wanting to help. For example: Nancy contacted the senator in hopes to make a change. As a senator, I can only imagine how busy he must be, but senator Pugh took the time to read her email, do research, prepare for a case, and finally act in a smart and rational manner. Although he could not get back to Nancy in time and notify her of how successful he was to accomplish her wish, he decided to name the Law after her, in honor of her using her voice in hopes to make a change in this world. That is something that I think many of us can learn from.
    Another theme that stuck with me is “You can learn just as much from a bad leader as a good one. Sometimes even more”. When it came to discussing this topic, Senator Pugh let us know that it is our responsibility to always be the best we can in anything we do. We are the future of this world and we are who is setting examples for the kids in our communities. Although we discussed just how important it is to make the right decisions, he also mentioned that It is okay to make a mistake. We are all human and it comes natural, the only question was what will we do when we fall? Get back up and work harder, or stay where we fell.

  • Maggie Turner

    What stood out to me during Senator Pugh’s lecture was his focus on everyday people. He mentioned that all people matter, and it is very true that a small gesture such as a smile or a simple hello can make a difference to others around you. Personally, I have struggled to make friends and feel confident in what I am doing this first week of school, and there are people here who remind me that people matter everyday. They probably are not even aware, but their simple hellos and smiles make me feel more welcome and sure of myself. Being a leader does not always mean being the president of every organization or being the loudest person in the classroom. Remembering that people matter and using that to drive your everyday life can make a huge impact on others around you.

  • Shelby Denney

    Senator Adam Pugh’s presentation was very interesting and important show of civic character and humility, of the themes he discussed one that stood out to me the most was valuing people. Valuing those around us can sometimes be pushed to the back burner when situations in our life begin to become difficult or stressful. I feel as though during Senator Pugh’s career he exemplified this trait by treating those around them in high regard. He not only opened opportunities for himself, but also for those around him through this philosophy. Pugh’s relationships with others then showed through further, after the presentation when we found a personal connection to an old coworker from his career on the AWACS at Tinker Air Force Base. Pugh’s personal testimony of faith and attitude towards others is something I wish to grow in the culture of those around me and how I look at the world around me.

  • Sarah Huhman

    Senator Adam Pew came and spoke to our class on Tuesday. The purpose of his speech was to teach us ways to better ourselves as a person and a leader through three main points. The first point he stressed to us was to pay attention to our surroundings and situation and be the best you can be in whatever you do.His next point was “People Matter” , he wanted us to understand that how we treat people can effect our future years down the track. Respect people and be kind because kindness can be payed forward. The last point he made was to have empathy, place ourselves in someones shoes before we judge, and to have compassion for others. To convey his three main points Adam used personal examples which told a story of how the three qualities came into play and helped better him as a leader.

  • Sarah Huhman

    Senator Adam Pew came and spoke to our class on Tuesday. The purpose of his speech was to teach us ways to better ourselves as a person and a leader through three main points. The first point he stressed to us was to pay attention to our surroundings and situation and be the best you can be in whatever you do.His next point was “People Matter” , he wanted us to understand that how we treat people can effect our future years down the track. Respect people and be kind because kindness can be payed forward. The last point he made was to have empathy, place ourselves in someones shoes before we judge, and to have compassion for others. To convey his three main points Adam used personal examples which told a story of how the three qualities came into play and helped better him as a leader.

  • Mackenzie Sullins

    The theme presented on valuing people stood out to me the most by far. I believe that in searching for leadership, especially in a field such as politics, some seem to forget that they are not only speaking for themselves, but for the people around them as well. Each person has their own life and their own story, and every single person, no matter their background, should be treated with respect and dignity. Just because someone does not have as high of a rank as you or receive as much recognition as you does not make them any less of a person; every person has the ability to do great things, and everyone should recognize that. Whether you work as a janitor or the president, you are valued and make an amazing contribution to society as a whole. We are all family and deserve to be treated as such.

  • Savannah Hughbanks

    Regarding Senator Pugh’s presentation, he provided three main points that define what a leader is to him. The point that stood out the most for me out of those three was empathy. If you chose to try to understand the reasoning behind someone’s view, then it would make a difference of how we treat each other and there would be less conflict between people. Different experiences affect how someone acts, what they believe in, and how they view certain topics. By being empathetic and trying to have an understanding of that, it could help solve many conflicts. Pugh also mentioned in his presentation that a leader is someone who takes a stance on what they believe in. I believe that you can still be a leader and take that stance, but if you are empathetic it could strengthen your leadership, as you are accepting someone else’s views and being inclusive and understanding.

  • Dominic Graziano

    Listening to Senator Adam Pugh was an absolute blessing. The wisdom, encouragement and inspiration he brought for our class was superb and I’m incredibly grateful for his time. Senator Pugh had some very simple, yet critical, principles to follow in order to be a leader. One of the principles he listed was empathy. Empathy being to put yourself in someone’s shoes and see through their perspective. Senator Pugh said, “Our conversations would be so much better if we just shut up and listened to each other.” That resonated with me so much. I believe with everything in me that we as individuals, let alone leaders, cannot have proper discourse with anyone unless we make a solid effort to see through other’s perspective. It showcases the reality that everyone is different in their way of life, and all around thinking. Everybody is unique and has something to bring to the table. If we as leaders are able to have empathy with everyone, we can accomplish anything.

  • Madison Baugh

    Senator Adam Pugh embodies the three principles of leadership that he spoke about on Tuesday. He puts forth his best effort in everything that he does, he is genuine in how he treats people, and he has empathy for the people of his community.
    What truly stood out to me is how Senator Pugh puts forth his best effort in everything that he does. Senator Pugh faced many hardships throughout his life, but regardless of the situation, he put forth all of his effort. He was not always the best, but he did his personal best. That mindset has molded him into the remarkable leader that he is today.

  • Walker Holland

    Senator Adam Pugh did an amazing job speaking about his life and personal opinions and views on leadership. The outlier of his speech to me was that “People Matter”. I think in a society where there are almost too many people to count, we forget how important every decision we make impacts other’s lives forever. Senator Pugh hit this point home by telling about the impact people have made on him during journey through life. Whether or not it was a coach, colonel or just his mother. He made it clear the importance to understand what people are saying and doing, and giving them your attention. All in all an amazing speech from Senator Pugh.

  • Ashton Joyner

    Senator Pugh’s presentation left me feeling impressed, challenged, and empowered. One of my favorite quotes from his speech was “When you pay attention to the world around you, you start to see what people need. You might just have a skill that could help them.” This was meaningful for me because so often in today’s society we tend to maintain a sense of tunnel vision and only focus on what could better ourselves and our lives, completely forgetting the world around us. We need to master the skill of empathy, another topic Pugh positioned our focus on. Yes, the world does need a lot of love right now, but even more importantly than that the world needs more empathy. As Pugh said, “We need to start placing ourselves in other peoples’ shoes.” By simply understanding how our actions can affect one another and be able to understand the feelings that might arouse from doing them, conflict has the possibility to reach an all time low. We need less of ourselves and more selflessness. As Pugh stated in one of his points, people do matter. We may not have control of events that have taken place in the past, but we are the author’s of our own future. One person can not change the world, but a generation of people who are open minded, empathetic, and driven to make change happen can and will. We have the capacity to be that generation.

  • Saul Perez

    Senator Adam Pugh mention three simple but important leadership qualities. I have never realized how effective these leadership qualities were until I sat back and put some thought about it. Looking back on leaders I have had in school and in work I can now see why sometimes their leadership skills weren’t effective, they would forget one of the 3 leadership qualities Adam Pugh mentioned. I never realized that something as simple as to make everyone feel accepted and cared about can make your leadership stand out from everyone else. Adam Pugh himself made everyone in the room feel welcomed and gave off positive and upbeat energy. I have heard many speakers but Senator Adam Pugh has stood out from everyone else. His advice was so simple but effective, he wasn’t intimidating like other senators I have met. Overall Adam Pugh was an amazing speaker and gave quality advance I will forever remember and use from now on.

  • Brianna Taylor

    In his engaging speech, Senator Adam Pugh used personal anecdotes to relate to his audience. In one of his stories, he mentioned how his plans were derailed when he was denied by the naval academy for his poor eyesight. Despite this, he made the most out of his situation and went on to be the best in everything he did. His words resonated with me and showed me that if you begin each day with your best foot forward, you can positively impact the outcome of your situation. The tenacity and perseverance that Senator Pugh has shown throughout his life is admirable. I believe that everyone should try to implement this lesson when faced with adversity in order to be the best version of themselves.

  • Lynh Hoang

    Senator Pugh’s speech was aspiring and moving. His stories and lessons motivated me to become a better human being. Although all his points were appreciatable, One that stood out to me was “Doing your best at whatever you do. ” I think oftentimes in life we walk through the motions day by day, without trying to grow or improve ourselves. He made a significant point to grow each day because the little things do count in the end. Often times people aren’t watching you and you must have the self-discipline to work hard in anything you do. Success isn’t about being the best or winning, I’ts about being the best you can be at everything you do. This applies in any shape or form in your life, which makes it so relatable and attainable for anyone no matter your background or past.

  • Lynh Hoang

    Senator Pugh was an amazing and inspiring speaker. His lessons and points taught me a new perspective on life in general. He made great points like empathy and having life mentors, but one that stuck with me is “Doing you best in all you do.” Pugh talks about his stories in ROTC and all the different things they had him do. Whether the task was small or significant, he went out of his way to do the best he could do in all of it. This is an important outlook on life. We often go through day by day and walk through the same motions without trying to improve ourselves. If we want to grow within ourselves we must do anything the best we can do, even if people aren’t watching. This applies to any environment and situation given. By doing this we open new opportunities for ourselves and improve our self-discipline.

  • Audrey Allard

    Senator Adam Pugh was a great way to start the school year. I really enjoyed his opinion and view on leading out in everyday tasks. Whatever we are given to do we need to as leaders step up and lead out. Even something as simple as “stacking trays”. If we are proclaiming to be leaders but not giving our best to our current task then we are not being a true leader. I loved how intentional he is as a leader. That is one of my leadership styles. His emphasis on loving people first and being intentional with every person he comes in contact with is very important to me. That really encouraged me, especially from a State Senator. Hearing that he viewed people as that, people. Not potential voters, not numbers, but valuable human beings. Viewing people as humans is something our society is missing and to have someone encourage younger leaders to do that is really impactful.

  • Nathaniel Siress

    I think the thing that stood out most to me in Senator Pugh’s talk was the answer he gave to a student’s question, regarding polarization in politics now as compared to previous decades. His attribution of increased polarization to the advent of representatives commuting to Washington D.C., rather than living their while the government is in session, seemed like a very likely contributor. As he explained, your political opposites were no longer your neighbors, but merely the caricatures that their opponents describe when everyone is settled in their echo chambers. The reason why nobody in Washington can behave neighborly towards one another is that, simply, they aren’t neighbors anymore.

  • Jerome Brown

    Senator Adam Pugh is an amazing man and speaker, but he also is a great leader. The most impacting part of his speech for me was “People Matter.” No matter what someone’s background is or how they appear, you should treat them with respect and make them feel like they matter. There is an old saying, “treat the janitor like the CEO,” that I feel relates to this subject perfectly. Another thing that stood out to me was the “empathy” section of the speech. If you don’t take a step back and listen to what the other person is saying and try to understand their perspective, then some things can never be solved as a team. Senator Pugh really highlighted that point when he said, “Our conversations would be so much better, if we just shut up and listened to each other.” These are ways Senator Pugh has been able to distinguish his leadership status.

  • Jihyo(John) Bae

    There really are a lot of chances for me. Actually being an LOT student is a challenge for me. The respectful speaker told us to try your best, you have to work with passion. I really challenge myself to be a leader. If there is a place to serve others, I do that. I also try my best to get those chances. I believe there are so many chances in the future. I want to be helpful in this society. What’s best for me now is studying and preparing for my dream, being a politician in Korea. I will prepare and impact people in the world. Thank you for giving me a good solution to do so.

  • Jonghyeon Park

    The point that stood out the most to me was that leadership is a great responsibility. Senator Pugh explains how a leader must do the right thing even if people care or not. People will always criticize our actions even if we are correct.
    Pugh said that people will gather or leave according to what leadership a leader has
    I felt my leadership was important. It was amazing how one’s role moved everyone.

  • Ruby Gayle Edsall

    For me, Senator Pugh’s speech was especially impactful. I have always believed people are worth caring about; it’s a big part of who I am and how I view the world around me. Pugh is especially quotable, and I’ll provide several of his direct quotes from Tuesday that I especially enjoyed: “You can learn just as much from a bad leader as a good one.” I often find we forget to look at negative examples to learn; however, this is an excellent way to learn both what inspires and infuriates people. “. . . be the best I can be. That doesn’t mean the best. Just my best.” We often use comparison to value ourselves instead of appreciating just how hard we try. I believe we compare our “hard-working” successes to others’ “talented” successes. It’s such a simple concept, to appreciate ourselves for giving our all, yet most of us neglect it. “People matter.” I completely agree. As a great lover of humanity myself, I will testify that loving other people will increase the quality of life tenfold. Humans don’t thrive without love and support–I firmly believe that. “We’re not electing saviors.” As voters in a tumultuous society, it’s easy to forget that people are still people; they make mistakes, experience greed, and are mislead. Our leaders are flawed, as we all are. At one point, Pugh said something along the lines of “Until the people change, politicians won’t.” Elected officials, as he pointed out, are supposed to be a reflection of the people and their values. Until we make an effort, we won’t see improvement. I found Pugh’s views of empathy to be gripping: it seems so rare to see a politician genuinely caring about other people and their values. He discussed how we often forget to listen, instead planning our response. I really enjoyed our time with Senator Pugh and feel very privileged to have the opportunity to pick his brain.

  • Mide Cassaday

    Senator Pugh brought a lot of topics to light that really piqued my interest. One in particular was his plea to “have empathy” and “treat people like people”. He explained how a lot of people forget to look from different points of view and end up losing track of how some things may effect others. That really hit home for me. I want to get my PhD in psychology, and that has a lot to do with the fact that I’ve had to know a lot about empathy in my life. My Papa used to drill into my brain, that I should always put myself in another person’s shoes before I speak or act on something that I don’t fully understand. Adam Pugh really seemed to get that concept and he gave plenty of examples of how he used it throughout his life, during his campaigning process, and during his younger years before he was even involved in politics.

  • Myawna Moore

    State Senator Adam Pugh gave a rounded speech and spoke about three points in successful leadership. Those three points were being the best you could possibly be in every task, people matter, and empathy. The point that stuck out to me the most was being the best you could be. He stated that he didn’t come from wealth he came from a poor single parent household. Yet he didn’t let that define him he became the first generation to go to college. He received a full ROTC scholarship even though the odds were against him. He didn’t take no for a answer he put forth his best efforts and proved that he was worthy. He joined the Air force and graduated top of his flight class by being his best self. He went on to accomplish milestones and defied his situation by continuing to be the best he could possibly be. This stuck out to me the most because I have similar adversity against me yet I believe that with determination I can still accomplish great things and make my family proud.

  • Cassidy Riley

    I was really impacted by Senator Pugh’s speech. He is clearly a man who hasn’t forsaken integrity in the process of gaining influence and status. “Be the best you can be in anything you do.” This part of his speech moved me the most. I work hard at what I do, but sometimes its only because I want to be the best, or sometimes I do just enough to call it good. Being my best self is hard work in its greatest level of authenticity. He challenged me to reflect on areas of my life where I’m competing or just getting by, and to take ownership of how I can apply myself more fully to the work laid before me.

  • Abby Wright

    Senator Adam Pugh had so many wise thoughts that he shared with us throughout his lecture that have caused me to truly think about my goals and my purpose. He came from a background with little money and a single parent house hold yet he has proven how no matter where you come from you can have an amazing successful life. He said that he has always been a person that “where you come from is not what defines you. it is about who you are and what you continue to do.”
    He made me realize how important being present in your local community is. He said that by paying attention to the people in your local communiy you can start to see what needs improvement.
    Although he came from a lower income household he has turned that around and is a very successful christian man. He talked about always giving back to the community. He has so many amazing things to say but what will continue to stick with me is that “everyday you can win the day”. There have been many days where I have felt like I don’t know what tomorrow will bring and what my future holds. Hearing those words have really changed my outlook and will continue to motivate me as I move forward.

  • Mason Lance

    Senator Adam Pugh had a lot of great points and views on leadership. He had three main points that were all very important factors on leading. The main point that stood out to me was that “people matter.” One thing that he said that stood out to me was, “If you don’t treat people like they matter, then you won’t be successful.” In order to be a leader you must put yourself in other people’s shoes and situations. Every person is at different points in life and deal with different struggles. If you give someone a chance then you will earn their respect and trust, which are two very important things you need from your peers to be a good leader. A great leader treats every person like they matter. Just like a quarterback on a football team. He makes sure that every player knows what to do and helps them become a better player and a better man. All around, Senator Pugh’s speech was great to hear. His viewpoints on life and leadership have inspired me and many others.

  • Mason Rasmussen

    Senator Adam Pugh talked about many great leadership lessons that he learned throughout his life and career. One key point that really stood out to me was empathy. As a society, I believe we are too quick to judge and not accept ideas from other people. If we showed more empathy and are willing to see things from other people’s point of views, I believe we would be able to solve many more problems. Senator Pugh also said, “Always be the best you can be at whatever you do.” I believe that by always doing your best and always doing the right thing, you will be noticed by those above you. Senator Pugh gave an amazing speech with many important lessons that we can all benefit from.

  • Heather Maker

    I was very excited when I read on the schedule that the guest speaker was going to be Senator Adam Pugh due to the fact that I have considered going into politics myself. The first thing that stood out to me was in his lecture was, “Be the best that you can be in anything you do”. Normally I would’ve glazed over at his cliche verbatim that I have heard at countless leadership conferences; however, he followed it closely with, “That does not mean that you will be THE BEST”. So many times I think to myself, “well someone can definitely do this better than I can”, but that shouldn’t stop me from doing the best that I am capable of to accomplish any of my goals.

    Another phrase of his that stood out to me was when he said, “You cannot control the outcome but you can control the input”. This really hit home with me because I am 100% a future see-er only; however, I can’t control the future. I can only control what is in front of me now. Upon hearing that phrase, it is now on my letter-board in my room so that way when I wake up, it is the first thing that my brain registers. I hope that one day I will be able to take all of my life experiences, just as Senator Pugh has, and shape myself into a future leader for all.

  • brinlee lenochan

    This week in class we heard from a wonderful speaker, Senator Adam Pugh. Senator Pugh spoke about his life, his faith, and his personal views on leadership. He discussed three main values he believes every leader should obtain.These values are serving one another, people matter, and be the best that YOU can be. I think the value that I really stood out to me would have to be the last one. Being the best I can be is a concept I believe every leader should try to live by, its not always about how much or how well someone else is doing but only if you are doing your very best. As a leader you should all ways give your all, no matter the situation. Senator Pugh gives examples of this by sharing stories from growing up in broken home to his experiences in the air force. Overall Senator Adam Pugh gave me a glimpse of what it means to be a true loving, and respected leader.

  • Before class I didn’t know much about Adam Pugh. In fact, I had never even seen his face. I was excited to listen to his story. I don’t believe he is the stereotypical politician, he is more genuine and I could easily tell he wasn’t just all talk. Learning about Nancy’s Law and how it came to be really spoke to me. Senator Pugh showed just how much he cares about the community by helping pass this law. He is a man of action, that is what I respect about him most. His lesson on being the best you can in all that you do was very inspiring to me. My goal is to apply this lesson everyday and be the best I can be in every area of my life.

  • Ashlynn Meyer

    During Senator Adam Pugh’s presentation, he listed three key points that have the ability to make a great leader. While all his points hold a lot of truth, the point that resonated most with me was his emphasis on being empathetic. Leaders can only do so much to impact individual people without being empathetic and placing themselves in the people they’re leading shoes’. Non-leaders say what the majority wants to hear, but a leader listens and empathizes with the people they are representing.

  • Maria Carbajal Alvarado

    Senator Pugh’s point about valuing people stood out the most to me because that’s something I try to do every day. Like the senator said “people matter”. That is something that I agree is so important to always keep in mind. Since we were children we’ve been taught to treat others the way we want to be treated. If we don’t respect others, then how will they respect us as leaders. Like Senator Pugh said, you don’t have to be the best, just do your personal best. I think that’s a really valuable lesson that will help us in our journey as leaders.

  • Emme Douglas

    Senator Pugh’s points of view were really refreshing to hear. I particularly enjoyed the fact that he says “people matter”. I think that so many people forget that and sometimes I am guilty of it too. We do not always have to agree or want the same things, but we can always treat people and their opinions like they matter. Also, I liked how he talked about how people are always watching no matter if you’re the Senator or not. Being watched like that means that you have to remember to show God to others through your actions, not only your words. You can turn someone off of Christianity just by one wrong action, so you should always be aware. I really enjoyed having Senator Pugh come and share with us, and I will be thinking of the points he spoke about frequently.

  • Gavin White

    I thought that Senator Adam Pugh did a great job this past Tuesday in class speaking about various stories, life experiences, and role models that he had. All of these stories were good, but the talk of people matter appealed to me like nothing else did. All my life, I was taught that above any decision, I had to think of other people and how they would be affected. So when Senator Pugh was talking, I just remembered how I was raised as well as to see someone with that viewpoint have such great success. When I was younger, my grandfather sat me down and told me of how the world we live in is a gross and nasty place mainly by our own doing as a human race. My grandfather has always stressed to do the right thing and be a nice person when people are watching, but also especially when people are not watching. For me, this life I’m trying to live all starts with people, so for me, Adam Pugh really struck the nail on the head in this speech.

  • The theme in Senator Pugh’s speech that most stood out to me was “be the best you can be at what you do.” This applies to so many areas of life, and it is something that will always cause a more successful outcome. It proved successful for Senator Pugh in the military, on the skeleton team, and in his campaign. By putting this theme into practice, more leadership and respect would be earned on all fronts. Life as a whole would be improved by putting these wise words into practice.

  • kaylee sloan

    I really enjoyed Senator Pugh’s presentation. I felt as if he really tried to connect to us as an audience even if we didn’t necessarily vote for him. I thought all of his points were impactful and helpful. One of the most impactful statements Senator Pugh touched on was empathy. He made the statement “Train people to leave, but treat them to stay” and I just really felt like that this spoke volumes to me! It’s so important to put youself into other peoples shoes before judging them and it was a nice reminder to hear how much of a difference it made in his life alone by just being an empathetic and genuine person. Another point that was very inspirational to not only me but most likely to everyone that listened was his point on leadership. He talked about how being a leader was not only about stepping up to every challenge but by finding a mentor and someone you can base ideas off of and listen to their opinions even if you dont agree is so important and meaningful in life. I think Senator Pugh’s presentation was very impactful and I enjoyed getting to hear a little bit about his life.

  • Sydney Garrett

    During Senator Pugh’s presentation, I learned about many characteristics that helped shape Pugh into the leader he is today. During the time I spent listening to Senator Pugh speak, two characteristics, empathy and valuing others, stood out to me. Pugh said that in order to be successful, we must treat others like they matter. I want to be able to grow into someone that others can put faith into, and I believe that having empathy and valuing others can shape me into that kind of leader. I feel like I cannot make a meaningful difference as a leader until I am able to see other’s perspectives and take that into account instead of acting solely on my feelings. I think that the foundation of a successful leader is valuing others and empathy and that is why these characteristics stood out during Senator Pugh’s presentation.

  • Dawson Rose

    Senator Pugh did an amazing job presenting some important aspects of leadership. The two that stuck out to me the most were being the best at whatever task is in front of you and having empathy towards others. The stories about his experiences both in college and in the military helped paint a better mental picture for me. “Whatever job I had, I was going to be the best at it. Even if I was stacking trays I would be the best tray stacker”. This quote from Senators Pugh’s presentation shows what working hard truly entails. Whether it’s a big or a small job, all jobs matter. You should do your best at everything, even when people are not watching. Having empathy for others is important too because often we do not listen to what others are saying, this is where our divide starts. If we would just take a step back and listen to what others were saying before having our response in our head, many more arguments would be solved.

  • Tyler Garcia

    Throughout Senator Adam Pughs speech, he discussed many relatable topics. From discussing the importance of youth voting, to talking about how much one word of wisdom from a mentor helped him so much. But what stuck out to me the most, was when he said, “Leadership is forged by experience.” I feel like that is the most true statement I’ve ever heard. I wouldn’t be the person I am today if I didn’t live by those words. It also made me realize sometime I hold my self back because ‘I’m not a good enough leader’ to do this or that, but in reality, it’s those experiences of adversity that truly shape our leadership.

  • Lauren Berry

    Senator Adam Pugh’s speech, story, and personality truly resonated with me. His entire presentation was easy to listen to, and he established credibility in every sense; he gave his history, he shared his experience through life and the armed forces, took us on the ups and downs of aiming to fufill his goals, and left us with an inspiring message on life after college – all the while entertaining us with a comfortable, lighthearted atmosphere. I could discuss more on his speech in its entirety, but one thing that I truly enjoyed the most was the certain points he made and later elaborated on. For example, his views on how people and life were similiar to my own – in fact, the delivery of the point “treat people like people” was the most so. He explained that he ‘… would treat a janitor in the Capitol the same way as he would treat the govenor.” This is a very similar philosophy that I hold true to my heart. And this point also ties into another: “Make Connections.” I am a firm beliver that the connections you make in the present will help you in the future, and his story of how someone from a base he worked in remembered his kindess from years ago, and then offered him a position really reaffirmed my beliefs. Overall, Senator Pugh’s presentation was phenomenally informative and will leave an impact on me, as well as inspiring.

  • Sarah Huhman

    On Tuesday, Senator Adam Pugh came and spoke to our class about three main components to help better ourselves as a leader. He started with the thought of better ourselves for others, while being the best you can be in anything you put your heart in too. He made sure we understood the importance that comes along with this crucial point. The amount of effort we contribute to an idea or situation can be very rewarding in the future. Even if your best effort is not perfect, it still shows the potential of how hard of a worker you are and can be. The second point Adam made about becoming a better leader was “People matter”. Discussing this point with us, Adam used a personal experience on how he treated someone played out in the future. We need to take a step back and understand that anyone who comes across our paths can have an influence on an even in your future. Treat people with respect as you always should and in the end it can reward and benefit you from doing so, rather it is now or ten years down the track. His last key point in becoming a better leader was to have empathy for others. In these days, we are quick to judge and react based on appearance or someone’s personal beliefs and opinions. Before we make a judgment, you need to put yourself in someone’s shoes to try to understand their thought process and there story. Having empathy for others allows you to be optimistic and not simple minded when it comes to listening to others ideas and being a leader. Because being a leader does not mean just being the one voice in the room. It means being the voice for multiple people, and you cannot do that without having an understanding for others. Before Senator Adam Pugh came and spoke to us, I never really thought how much these three things could have an impact on your leadership abilities. Now having an open mind these three things are something I will strive to better myself in so I can be better for others.

  • Tyler Owens

    Senator Adam Pugh was a very passionate speaker about his community and his service to others. What stood out to me the most from his speech was how to always treat other people as humanly as possible. I myself have run into that same situation, where your selfless kindness towards a stranger has resulted in the stranger remembering you and going out of their way to recognize you for that act of kindness. I firmly believe that everyone that comes in and out of your life is there for a reason, regardless of how long they are there. Every interaction we have with others shapes who we are as people, and who that other person is can sometimes shape how we act with them. These interactions can help people to realize how their actions and beliefs affect others, and how they should rethink those actions and beliefs to be more inclusive of other people. Overall I thoroughly enjoyed Senator Pugh’s speech, and this was just one of his several great points that truly resonated with me.

  • Maison Smith

    There were a lot of great points that I took away from his speech. One thing that really stood out to me was his point about how people matter. His story about taking the time to read and reply to the email that led him to making Nancy’s Law really touched my heart. It was a great example of how we need to take the time to listen to and get to know the people around us and the problems they’re facing. I also really liked what he said about success and learning and how they often don’t happen simultaneously. I think it’s easy to forget that failure is a part of learning, and it was nice to be reminded of that. He also said that we can’t control the outcome, but we can control the input. I feel like that really goes along with failure. We can only control how much effort we put into something, and just because we try our best doesn’t mean we will always be successful, but we have to trust that life works itself out and just keep trying our best. The last thing he said that really stood out to me was to give people grace. He said we forgot that our leaders are people who are prone to make mistakes like anyone else. I definitely feel like this can be applied to everyone in our lives. People deserve to be given grace and be allowed to mess up and grow as a result.

  • Riley Bishop

    In the beginning of Senator Adam Pugh’s speech, he said that what he cares about is not the amount of voters there are, but about the amount of people who serve others in the community. This is something I believe we don’t talk about enough in our current political climate. The best way to really make a community better has nothing to do with who we vote in or out, the secret is serving others. Senator Pugh also talked about three things about leadership that he has learned. I think of all three, the one that I have struggled with the most personally, is being the best I can be at whatever I do. If you truly become the best you can be and put everything you can give into something, even if it fails, it can be personally satisfying by learning so much more than you would have otherwise, and will eventually lead to success.

  • Kameron Kimball

    I like all of the points that Senator Pugh made, however a couple stuck with me more than others. The two points that he made, that I really liked were “people are trained to leave, you treat them to stay” and how bad leaders can teach just as much, if not more than good leaders. I like the treat people to stay a lot because it really shows insight on how people should be treated. What I took from it is that you have to give it your all, and can’t be the typical “norm” to have a positive affect. I like the part about a bad leader can teach just as much as a great leader for one main reason. The reason is that you can always learn, no matter what type of people you’re around. If you’re around good leaders you can learn the good traits, yet when you’re around bad leaders, you learn exactly what not to do. Senator Pugh did a great job and some of the things he said were very eye opening!

  • Caylee Ralls

    Senator Pugh gave us many insights on how to better ourselves as leaders. Personally, the phrase “how do I win” really stuck out to me. He explained how this is such a poor mentality to have as a leader and that so many do this. This goes under the area of valuing people. No leader can succeed if they only have their personal interest in mind. The best way to lead is to focus on the interests of everyone under your leadership. They are the reason you are in the position you’re in. Senator Pugh mentioned that a lot of his fellow Senators do not fully believe in what they are voting for, but they are doing it for their constituents and not themselves. He made it very clear that when we take the time to listen to what others say and value their opinions, it advances our leadership position. It makes those you are leading feel heard and important. That is something I personally need to work on and I am very thankful for him taking the time to come speak and giving us that information.

  • Amira Ourani

    I am extremely appreciative of the fact that senator Adam Pugh came and visited us during our PLC class. He had present many important key points which I truly admired and idolized. One of his key points that I valued the most was his drive for voting. As someone who has spent effortless hours hosting voting registration drives in order to get the youth to understand the importance of being an active voter within our community. Another one of his ideologies which really stuck with me was the idea of never giving up. He always kept believing in himself and doing what he could do at the best he could do it. I met with the Senator after his lecture with another classmate of mine and we asked him some more personal questions and he answered each one of them honestly and genuinely.

  • Kameron Kimball

    First off, Senator Pugh did a great job and really had some good points. I really liked all of them, however the two that spoke to me the most were definitely “People are trained to leave, but you treat them to stay”, and bad leaders teach just as much if not more than good leaders. I like the treat people to stay because it shows how you treat people really can have a positive influence, and more people need to look at this way. If you treat somebody to stay, then they’ll feel they need to do the same (is what I took from it). I really like this mindset and feel this needs to be known by more people. My favorite point he had though is how you can learn more from bad leaders at times than good leaders. The reason I like this so much is because it means that you can always be learning. Seeing a “bad leader” is no excuse for you to not better yourself, because you can learn exactly what not to do or how not to handle certain situations. Overall Senator Pugh did an amazing job and taught me that being empathetic is an important part as a leader, along with “putting yourself in their shoes”. In conclusion, he was a great speaker that was very eye opening!

  • Mikaela Trenary

    “When you pay attention to the needs of your community, your gifts and voice can be put to great use”. Senator Adam Pugh brought forth an exceptional lecture built on the foundation of selfless leadership. Like many of my peers have previously stated, Pugh’s three main points, regarding leadership, resonated within our council. I especially admire his emphasis over “People Matter”; it brought me to a deep place of reflection and made me ask the question, “Am I treating a janitor the same way I would treat a senator or admirable community leader?”. I could truly go on and on about the ways in which Senator Pugh’s lecture shifted my perspective concerning the current season of life I am in and I do not take for granted the wisdom he brought to our council. Lastly, I encourage you to ponder this question he asked us, “Are you aware of how much grace you are showing to your leaders and to people in general?”.


    During Adam Pugh presentation out of his three themes ‘People Matter’ stood out the most for me. The way he gave those examples of his life were very true and that helped him a lot to be here at this position. The reason why I think so is if you value people how they are and make people feel that they matter even for a very small reason they will remember you and they will also give priority someday which helps people to go ahead as a leader. Another reason is one can be sufficient by himself but one cannot be successful by himself only, he need people and treat people as they matter to be a successful person and a successful leader.

  • Emma Childers

    Senator Pugh’s outlook on life really inspires me to take action for the things I believe in rather than just talking about them. The story he told about Nancy with breast cancer really hit me because it’s so easy to write off an issue when there’s so many things in the world that could be named a “higher priority.” His story is specifically strengthening for college students because at this point in our lives, as leaders, I believe most of us has at least an idea of where we are going to end up and it’s easy to get swept away in our future goals and it’s difficult to anticipate life’s curve balls, impossible even. Adam’s story is a perfect example of rolling with the punches and as long as you do your best, put in hard work, respect others, and have empathy and courage, you’ll end up where you were always meant to be, even if it wasn’t what you imagined.

  • Erynn Coppedge

    Senator Pugh did a great job overall in his speech. I believe that the points he made were great inspiration for the beginning of a semester. One of the points he made that stood out to me was when he said that everyone has a skill that can help someone in the community. Everyone has different skills, but everyone possesses something that can make a difference. Another thing he said was do everything to the best of your ability, even if it is a small task. I think that is a great mindset and that this can help many achieve their goals. However, I believe that the point he made that is most important to me is having empathy for other people. While it can be hard to place yourself in other’s shoes, it can help you grown as person when you do. I am very glad that we were able to hear Senator Pugh speak this week, and I hope that everyone takes what he said to heart.

  • Alexis Howry

    Hearing from Senator Adam Pugh this past week was an absolute delight. He was such a naturally gifted speaker who delivered so much knowledge to us students. His overall approach to life and his career really was a great reminder. Adam constantly mentioned his approach to everything he did with zeal. Along with that idea, he harped very heavily with the mindset of “I knew I could win today”. As long as you give your 100% energy into what you were doing you had succeeded in what you were doing. Because being THE best isn’t equivalent to doing OUR best. The idea of trying to be the best and making a name for ourselves can harm us in making intentional connections and giving the personal best to everyone we connect with on a day to day basis.

  • Tyler Boykin

    The theme that stood out to me the most was valuing people. Valuing people has always played a huge role in how I go about my daily life. Without valuing people then what’s the point in life? A majority of people have something valuable that they contribute to society. Whether it be a simple saying of hello or holding a door for someone, no matter how small the task, almost everyone, should be valued for the things they do. Part of the reason why I think this way was the way I was raised. My parents taught me to always respect people for what they do. In the end people should be valued no matter what they do (to an extent), what they look like, and where they came from. I would also like to thank Senator Pugh for coming out and speaking with us, his speech was very engaging and spotlighted some valuable points.

  • Alexxa Lewis

    Senator Adam Pugh spoke of such leadership and valuable qualities that should be admired by many; he not only briefly spoke on his political views, but how he grew as a leader and a role model. The three main points he touched on were to be the best you can be, that all people matter, and to have empathy on one another. For me, I believe that having empathy for everyone directly relates to treating all people the same and showing that everyone matters. In Senator Pugh’s speech, he admits that he has had struggles getting to where he is today and not everything is as simple and perfect as it seems, but in every hardship he was faced with, he had a positive mentality and proved to be stronger than he was before. My favorite thing he said was that we aren’t solving any problems, whether it’s politically related or socially related, by putting people down who may have a different opinion than you. In today’s world, negativity and social discrimination is dominating our generation because of the lack of empathy we have for each other. People stop listening to other’s opinions or views simply because they “are wrong” or “wasting your time”; if more people placed themselves in each other’s shoes, conflicts could be solved easier. There are times when having empathy for one another is difficult because of social media and how it affects our society. Senator Pugh calls to us as leaders to be the change for this generation and prioritize everybody in our path for us to be successful.

  • Rebekah Clemmons

    I really admired the leadership tips from Senator Adam Pugh. The way I lead most effectively is through relationships with people and that is what two of Adam’s main points entailed: people matter and empathy. It is hard to influence others and provide meaningful results if one doesn’t take the time to treat other people like they matter. One must have respect for all people and all people’s opinions, because each person’s views are unique and important. That being said, I think an admirable leader is someone who can culture that respect into empathy for others, putting oneself into another person’s shoes and try to understand how they are feeling, and use that to relate to others.

  • Joey Boschert

    In terms of the stylistic aspects of Senator Pugh’s leadership, I was personally affected by his emphasis on humanism, empathy, and his point of “being the best you can possibly be in anything you.” It was evident that his humanist base truly shaped his leadership style; he demonstrated this in the creation of “Nancy’s Law.” Pugh stated, “The bill doesn’t make Nancy come back, but this will be beneficial for future generations of women.” This certainly stuck out to me, as I often find myself focusing on the bettering of the ‘here and now’ rather than the bettering of the future condition of myself and the world. His statement regarding the bettering of the general public’s future in response to something so tragic as Nancy’s death was uplifting and inspirational, as he used his humanist beliefs and positive mindset to turn tragedy to innovation. I do believe he has formulated a completely personal leadership style, as he seems to be largely led by his morals and beliefs.

    In terms of long term impacts, his point on ‘being the best you can possibly be’ has already made an impact on me in the short time since hearing him speak. I admired his willpower and humbleness as he emphasized that ‘being the best you can possibly be’ should not only be done while people are watching, but especially when there is opportunity to ‘slack off,’ as this is the time when you can grow your skills, morals, and humility. I have since mentally referred to his talk while at rowing practice and when completing notes and assignments. It hit me while in class that being the best that I can possibly be in the moment rather than not paying attention or using my phone is nothing but beneficial to my future. I also referred to this point while at rowing practice, as if I have hopes of one day joining my team at NCAA’s, I have to build my skills and try my very best to reach the potential I need to achieve my goals. This is especially important to my leadership style, as my role as the coxswain of the boat is built on leadership as I am required to give commands and lead my rowers to success through communicating trust, skill, and leadership.

    I hope to carry these values long term, and admire Senator Pugh’s thoughtful talk regarding his leadership style.

  • Grace Duvall

    Senator Pugh’s speech was fascinating and extremely beneficial for my life. His story of him as a child growing up poor and rising to the level he is at now is beyond inspiring. A lot of the things he spoke about has been resonating in my mind ever since he spoke on Tuesday. The idea of putting myself in others shoes and loving people no matter what is something I will take from him. It has motivated me to become a better leader and to make connections with people no matter how small. I loved his quote “give it everything you have”. I think this motivates me to always try my best in everything I do, because even the little things matter. Someday, I would love to have a story to tell like him to show how I got to be where I am at. I want to have the ability to be a great leader that has empathy and truly believes that people matter. Senator Pugh has had so many experiences that has shaped him into the person he is today. I can only strive for a life like that and to be a great person like him!

  • Kaylan Henley

    The Senator had so many thought-provoking points in his talk, but I personally benefited greatly from his discussion of the phrase “people matter.” When I was younger, my instinct was to hang back and allow others to lead me, so I was frequently the one affected by people like Adam rather than being the one who affected others. Every year I work on stretching myself further and further from comfort and closer to the leader I want to be. Adam reminded me that all my interactions matter, so perhaps next time I want to put my headphones in and ignore the world I am lucky enough to be a part of, I will think of his words and choose to look and listen for the person who is in need.

  • Yiel Lee (HwiYeol)

    Senator Adam Pugh gave me many lessons. When he was saying about his past life, it was my best part of his speech. He grew up under one parent, and his life background is very poor so, there were many sufferings in his life. Nevertheless, he never gave up his responsibility as a leader and overcome everything. When I faced hardships in the past day, I used to avoid those situations; however, I realized that I have to try overcoming to make better situations. When I stand the status of leader, I fell hard and lonely sometimes, but I know it is a good chance for me learning more to become a successful leader. I think he has a great passion for his work so; he can be a good leader. And he did not let the day control him. He always controls his day and life. I want to learn from him about responsibility and passion for works as a leader.