The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

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The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

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Perot informs, encourages student leaders

 Perot informs, encourages student leaders
Photo by Lindsey Perkins, The Daily Campus
Perot informs, encourages student leaders

Perot informs, encourages student leaders (Photo by Lindsey Perkins, The Daily Campus)

Ross Perot Jr. informed students of the importance of having passion for leadership during his talk to a small gathering at President Turner’s Leadership Summit.

“To be successful in life you must be a leader, and to be a leader you must have passion,” he said.

He urged students to seek adventure and take risks after college to find what it is you love.

Perot said he speaks from experience. When he graduated from Vanderbilt in ’81, instead of following in the footsteps of his friends who immediately entered the workforce, Perot became the first person to fly a helicopter around the world.

He emphasized the point that students cannot relive their 20s.

“Be patient going through life – don’t rush it! Take this time to experiment and gain all the experience you can, because you shouldn’t know what you want to be in life yet,” Perot said.

Perot didn’t know his career plans after graduating, but he did know he loved to fly, and he understood the importance of surrounding himself with great role models, so he joined the U.S. Air Force.

He attributes most of his success to working hard to get opportunities to be around great military role models. Perot believes leading a country through a war is one of the toughest jobs on the planet.

“You can learn leadership. The best way to learn to become a leader is to be around leaders,” Perot said.

He advised students to take advantage of the opportunities a college environment provides.

“Recognize opportunities when they come your way and be prepared for the opportunity,” he said. “Be the first person to volunteer. Jump into the toughest jobs, because when you do a great job three other opportunities will open up for you.”

He referred to recent SMU graduates that he hired to design the Victory Project in downtown Dallas because of their experience from previous opportunities they had encountered.

“They were told it was an impossible job, but they brought young, trendy, successful concepts and made the project a success,” Perot said.

Perot emphasized his belief that ethics are critical and that just because something is legal does not make it the right thing to do.

Overall, Perot encouraged students to plan out their decades and make a long-term life plan.

“One of your goals should be to say ‘every dream I had I tried.’ It doesn’t mean you’ll get there, but at least you tried your best,” Perot said. “Have the courage to go out there and do it.”

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