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Franklin Leadership Summit prepares students

by Tracie Tuttle– Last week, students learned about developing their leadership skills at the first Franklin Leadership Summit.

The Summit, which took place in the Yockey Room, was created and led by Morningside alum and brand consultant Cleo Franklin JR. “The purpose of this is to help students build a better pathway to whatever [they] desire,” Franklin said.

Led by a panel of three other professionals, students learned ways to help develop their leadership skills so they stand out from other job applicants.

Left to right: Hering, Sweeney, Davis, Franklin

The first panelist, Dr. Scott Davis, a marketing professor at University of Houston, spoke about the significance of personal strengths. He mentioned that most people focus on fixing their weaknesses, which “only prevents failure.”

Davis suggested keeping a journal to write down what activities energize you and put you into a “flow state” and what drains you to help identify your strengths.

Nicole Thill, a senior social and behavioral science major, found Davis’ advice very beneficial. “I really liked that he said not to focus too much on your weaknesses, it’s something that everyone needs to work on,” Thill said.

The next speaker, Coreen Sweeney, president of Iowa’s largest law firm, shared her advice for getting to know your audience. She gave several suggestions, one being to listen more and talk less to find out as much as possible about your interviewer or client.  Sweeney also pointed out that your approach to dealing with your audience is important. She suggested students “be elegant and calm.”

The final panelist, James Hering, principle at the largest independent branding agency in the US, emphasized the importance of knowing your personal brand. He encouraged students to think about what makes them unique compared to others.

Hering also recommended cleaning up social media accounts, polishing resumes, and creating a LinkedIn account as essential to establish a professional online presence.

The summit took place on February 4, which was an All Campus Event day when students were encouraged to attend a variety of sessions to learn more about their potential career paths.

February 9, 2020