Lorenzen Talks Leadership And Relationships
Oskaloosa, Iowa – William Penn University welcomed Al Lorensen as the 2014 Dean’s Convocation keynote speaker on Tuesday morning in the Wm. Penn Gymnasium.
Lorenzen is a former Iowa Hawkeyes standout, who played several seasons overseas in professional basketball. Lorenzen is a graduate of William Penn College for Working Adults.
He is now the CEO of Wildwood Hills Ranch, which is a non-profit organization located in Madison County that helps at-risk children.
Lorenzen’s casual speaking style and humor lead into his discussion on leadership, relationships and teamwork. He said that these “are [some] of the primary issues facing our culture and our society today.”
“I want to challenge you to think about what it means to be a leader,” Lorenzen said. He expressed that many believe there are those around us that are seen as leaders, maybe the outspoken, or one that challenges others.
Lorenzen asked those gathered if they thought they had influence on another person’s life. He said that stasticts show that each person impacts 30 other lives during the course of time of primary education. “Think about in your lives how many people you’ve impacted… How many people you’ve influenced today.”
“I would challenge you to think of leadership in that capacity,” Lorenzen pointed out, challenging the group.
“We live in a world that’s all about, how do I get mine,” and challenged them to wake up in the morning and see how they can better impact someone else’s life. “Help them reach their goals.”
“You know, a funny thing happens if you adopt that as leadership. You get rewarded more than you could have imagined,” Lorenzen added.
“Influence and relationships are absolutely critical how we live, it’s how we’re wired up,” said Lorenzen. “It’s how God created us.”
“There’s two kinds of relationships,” said Lorenzen. On relationships, he said you can put them into one of two categories. Transactional and Transformation.
Lorenzen said that his relationship with his dad was transactional. “If I achieved enough, if I got good enough grades and I was good enough at athletics and what I did, I got some love. I got approval. I got the affirmation all of us need and want.”
He said he spent most of his youth trying to reach “that imaginary bar” so his father would affirm him “and give me the love I so desperately wanted.”
“Transactional relationships have become the norm,” said Lorenzen. He pointed back towards the statement of “how do I get mine,” and you won’t think of a relationship in another way.
He challenged the group to move towards Transformation relationships. “Willing to put the needs of others ahead of yours.”
He explained the difference as being on a team and being a teammate. “Being on a team benefits your personal goals and ambition. Being a teammate benefits the goals and ambitions of you, your team and your teammates.”
Transformation relationships can be seen as a teammate and “you know, if I do my job, it’s going to make it easier for my teammates.”
“Being on a team can make you a bystander,” said Lorenzen, but that being a teammate benefits the lives of your teammates.
Lorenzen ended his discussion, leaving the students much to consider as they headed back to their classes.