Today I’m going back to where I failed out twice, Rider University, while studying computers.
No, I’m not going back to get my degree (I have a degree from Ferris State University’s Marketing/Professional Tennis Management program).
I’m going back to Rider to be the opening speaker for their Team Leadership Challenge. This is my second time speaking at this great event and this year’s theme is “Navigating Your Way to Success.”
That’s funny to me.
When I started college it was as if I needed a map, but after failing out twice, I CHOSE to follow my passion (sports) and transferred to Ferris State. My grades skyrocketed. I graduated in 1997 and was named Pro of the Year for the USTA in 2005. After that, I started my own business, wrote a book and became a motivational speaker.
So what is leadership?
I think a big part of leadership is being brave enough to follow your passion. It’s about helping others. Leaders do things because it is the right thing to do, regardless of what others may think. That’s when people will follow. But it’s not about having followers…
The function of leadership is to produce more leaders, not more followers. -RALPH NADER
If you look at all of the great leaders in history, they all made everyone else better, whether it is Michael Jordan, Oprah Winfrey, Martin Luther King or Henry Ford. Focusing on yourself is weak. Focusing on others is powerful.
So today I hope to motivate, energize, and inspire the students at Rider, but more importantly, I hope to produce more leaders.