Leadership at the center of Henry County students’ full-day visit to Troy University


University of Troy Institute for Leadership Development hosted the Henry County Youth Leadership Program on Thursday, October 21 for a leadership development day at the Troy campus.

The group of about 17 high school students from Henry County Schools were welcomed to the campus by Chancellor Dr Jack Hawkins, Jr.

“What’s your favorite four-letter word,” Dr. Hawkins asked the students amid laughter from the crowd.

“Food,” replied one participant.

“I think this is the first time I’m getting this response,” Hawkins said. “I think my favorite is ‘TROY’ but I want to tell you about another one today: Lead.”

The Chancellor then spoke about the essentials of leadership, stressing that “leading from the front” is essential and that the “little people” are the ones who make leaders successful.

“Leadership is not about how close your parking space is to the building or your name on the wall. You have to treat those below you with respect because they are the people who will determine your success and who are closest to the issues at hand, ”he said. “Listen to those closest to the problem and often you will find the solution in what they tell you.”

Hawkins went on to explain that “E” should remind students of the importance of a leader in setting an example.

“St. Francis of Assisi said ‘Always preach the Gospel. Use words if necessary. Your actions will speak louder than words, and people will follow the example set by a leader, ”he said.

Attitude, Hawkins explained, was essential for success in leadership, and said a positive attitude is often more important than qualifications. The attitude exhibited by those in leadership positions often tempers the attitudes of others around them.

Finally, Hawkins spoke about the fourth element of “Lead” – leadership.

“It was this great philosopher Yogi Berra who said,“ If you don’t know where you are going, you might end up somewhere else. While you can change direction from time to time, you have to make a plan for your destination, ”he said. “.. your ‘out of the woods’ is education. The more education you have, the more options you have in life.

Following the welcoming remarks, the class attended several lectures throughout the day, including the hearing from Troy University Administrator Charles Nailen, who taught the Leadership Institute‘s Capstone course on the subject. “leadership lessons learned during a marathon”.

Troy University Administrator Mr. Charles Nailen of Dothan addresses the Leadership Capstone class and Henry County Youth Leadership Program at the Troy Campus on October 21, 2021 (Photo TROY / Clif Lusk)

Nailen and his wife Kay owned and operated a chain of Taco Bell and Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurants in the Southeastern Alabama area of ​​Alabama, Georgia and Florida. He was appointed to the Board of Directors in 2003. In 2018, he was inducted into the Dothan Business Hall of Fame. Currently, the couple manage Nailen Properties and Nailen Lands.

Pulling on a coat and tie in front of the class, Nailen, clad underneath running shorts and a long-sleeved t-shirt, told the class he wanted them to remember him.

“You hear guys in suits and ties all the time, but I bet you’ll always remember the guy who dressed as a marathon runner,” he joked. He reinforced the concept by providing the class with Taco Bell tacos.

The Henry County Youth Leadership Program is an annual program to identify and train emerging leaders. Participants learn leadership skills while learning about the various government, economic and social sectors of the community.

Participants in the Henry Youth Leadership meet with Troy University Chancellor Dr. Jack Hawkins, Jr. (TROY photo / Clif Lusk)
Henry County Youth Leadership Program attendees meet with Troy University Chancellor Dr. Jack Hawkins, Jr. (TROY photo / Clif Lusk)

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