July 22, 2016 – Bedford, Indiana
“Leadership is about action,” said Becky Skillman Friday, July 22.
Dozens attended the Becky Skillman Leadership Institute that raises money for the Boys & Girls Club of Bedford, Indiana. Special guest speakers included former Lieutenant Governor and Ivy Tech Community College President Sue Ellspermann, Brigadier General Jonathan George, and General Motors Plant Manager Lamar Rucker. Leadership panelists included Fox 59 Anchor Aishah Hasnie, NSWC Crane Division’s Deputy Technical Director Brett Seidle, and Southern Illinois University School of Law Dean Cynthia Fountaine. Most panelists and speakers have ties with the Bedford, Indiana region and have gone on to become great leaders in their fields.
WestGate@Crane Technology Park tenant, STIMULUS Engineering, and WestGate Academy staff attended the Leadership Institute. STIMULUS Engineering was a Platinum Sponsor. WestGate Academy Event Manager Alex Jackson said the event was a great way to boost workplace motivation and drive for success.
“It was great to take a step back from the everyday norm and reflect on how I can be a better leader in the workplace and at home. I really felt like the speakers this year were great models of leadership. There were several takeaways from the institute I can implement to better regional prospects in the WestGate@Crane Technology Park community, which expands across several surrounding counties and I-69 Corridor.”
The first speaker Lamar Rucker, General Motors Plant Manager of Parma Stamping Operations in Ohio, remarked on leadership no matter what career path you were on.
“No matter where you go, understand your part to take the lead. No matter what you do, pursue it with passion and hard work.”
He said integrity was an extremely important aspect of leadership.
“How you get things done is just as important as getting things done. Try to get things done the right way.”
Rucker says in his experience if you fix the morals, the financials fall into place. In addition, he says character is the cornerstone in which you structure the foundation of your company.
He adds there are several important aspects of leadership all individuals should strive to seek growth: Teamwork, mentorships, relationships, diversity, vulnerability, reflection, honor progress, and don’t make emotional decisions.
Ellspermann is the first woman president selected to serve Ivy Tech Community College. She recently took the position in May.Sue Ellspermann said leaders have many qualities.
“A leader leads. Leaders align behind a mission and cast a vision.”
Ellspermann adds leaders engage in relationships with and do not manage over people. She adds leaders have authenticity, make a difference, encourage and respect others, and are role models.
The final speaker Brigadier General Jonathan George, who is retired from the United States Air Force and spent 30 years as a combat veteran, said staying on top as a leader takes hard work.
“There is no guarantee you get to stay on top; there’s a constant struggle to stay on top.”
George said it is important to give our youth leadership experience because experience is the best teacher.
George concluded by saying a leader’s most important quality is perseverance. Intelligence, he says, will get you nowhere without the will and drive to succeed beyond all odds.