One lecturer and his 16 principles, more than 200 students, eight sections of classes and several Dilbert comics. K-State President Kirk Schulz spoke to several sections of the Introduction to Leadership Concepts class yesterday afternoon.
“I thought he was a pretty influential guy and he had some good points, and I think what he’s going to do for our university is going good so far,” said Chad Nuelle, freshman in agricultural technology management. “He’s got it on the right track.”
Schulz presented his 16 principles of leadership that he told the students he has used throughout his career. Intro to Leadership Concepts is the introductory class for the Leadership Studies minor at K-State. Schulz also fielded questions from the students ranging from leadership qualities he looks for in others to athletic and academic issues.
“I get a chance to meet a whole bunch of our new freshmen in a different venue in any other way in any other time,” Schulz said. “Plus, I’m interested in leadership — so are all these people — so it’s really a neat way for me to get out on campus.”
Schulz encouraged the students, who are mostly freshmen to get involved during their time at K-State.
“You’ve got to get in there, jump in the river and start swimming,” Schulz said.
Mike Finnegan, instructor in School of Leadership Studies, said the course also encourages students to get involved in leadership roles on campus.
“The best part about the work we do is watching students exercise leadership on K-State’s campus and in the Manhattan community,” Finnegan said. “Service is a critical component of leadership and our students have served the K-State and Manhattan community by making progress on community identified needs…We talk about K-State being a playground for leadership — take what you have learned in class and use the K-State campus as a playground to find out what works as you develop your own authentic leadership style.”
Finnegan also said the faculty at the school value that students are able learn about leadership from different perspectives, which is why the introductory course has many guest speakers including President Schulz.
“Students have had a chance to hear Dr. (Pat) Bosco, Dr. Maura Cullen and President Schulz,” Finnegan said. “We are always looking for campus partners and community leaders to visit with our students.”
This is Schulz’s second year speaking to students in the class. Finnegan said President Emeritus Jon Wefald addressed the students for nearly 10 years prior to that.
In addition to presenting his 16 principles of leadership and fielding questions, Schulz shared stories about his background and encouraged students to focus on their strengths in order to be successful, which coincidentally the students recently studied in class.
Jared Brown, junior in business marketing and a class leader, said he liked that Schulz touched on strengths. Each student in the course is assigned to an upperclassman class leader who assists in teaching the course.
“It’s really important to focus on strengths and not so much weaknesses as a leader; and when you focus on strengths then you’re really allowed to, especially in a group situation, to focus on what the group’s goal is and a way to collectively come to meet that goal,” Brown said.
Finnegan also said the school was very pleased Schulz could give the lecture, and that his material was very relatable to the content of the course.
“Leadership is an influence relationship and President Schulz has had a significant influence on the K-State and Manhattan community,” Finnegan said. “It’s important for our students to learn more about the person, Kirk Schulz, just as it is to understand the goals and the vision of the university administration. Leadership students have been learning about the academic discipline of leadership. Our students have focused their work on leadership theory, leadership models, personality types and identifying their strengths. President Schulz’s presentation is an opportunity for students to learn how leadership concepts are applied by listening to how the President exercises leadership on a daily basis.”