Communication key in leadership, instructor says

The best way to become a successful leader is to learn how to deal with people, said a marketing instructor at Wednesday’s Leadership in the Lounge Series.In front of a crowd of about 50 students and faculty, Bob Akin, a marketing instructor, said the biggest problems students will have in business are people problems.

“You’ve got to motivate people to do things,” Akin said.

Akin is the first speaker this year for the Leadership in the Lounge Series, which is hosted by the TCU Leadership Council. The council hopes the series will encourage students to become better leaders by listening to professionals’ experiences and successes, said Cleda Wang, a member of the Leadership Council.

Akin stressed the importance of leading by example.

“Do not delegate and sit back to watch other people work,” he said.

Emily Taylor, a freshman business premajor, said she especially liked Akin’s three fundamentals of leadership: get to know everyone around you, understand their situations and learn to communicate successfully.

Another important aspect of leadership, Akin said, is learning to communicate and getting to know the people around you.

At a previous job, Akin said he made index cards detailing each of his employees’ information. They included addresses, birthdays, anniversaries and the names of their children. When special dates arose, he’d send them a card, he said.

“The greatest thing you can ever do is get to know your people one by one,” Akin said. “If you do that, they’ll go the extra mile for you.”

Akin pointed out the importance of treating employees well.

“Be loyal to your subordinates,” he said. “Do not micromanage the people around you. Empower them.”

Lilly Frawley, a freshman nutrition major, said she learned a lot from Akin’s speech.

“A crucial part of being a good leader is communication and showing people you care,” Frawley said. “Then, people will go out of their way for you.”

Attendance at the series was higher than it has been at any previous Leadership in the Lounge Series event, said Wang, a junior biology major.

The Leadership Council will host another Leadership in the Lounge Series Nov. 1.