Outlook: Ohio University News & Information

President shares leadership tips with students

Visit part of student group's speaker series
Feb 26, 2010
By Molly Essell

Ohio University President Roderick J. McDavis shared some of his personal ideas about management and leadership with members of the Ohio Management Group (OMG) on Tuesday at the Amanda J. Cunningham Leadership Center in Baker University Center.

McDavis told the group he realized he wanted to become a university president during his time as an undergraduate at OHIO in the late 1960s. He continued and said that someone told him he needed three things to accomplish that goal ? a doctorate degree, work experience at a university and luck.

McDavis applied himself to pursuing his dream through professional and personal development. In his talk, he said his life experiences in learning, teaching, following and leading nurtured the abilities he needed to become president at his alma mater.

"I'm not standing here today without Ohio University," McDavis said. "This school means the world to me."

McDavis chronicled his long journey back to Ohio University. He talked about working at the University of Florida, the University of Arkansas and Virginia Commonwealth University, where he served as provost and vice president for academic affairs until he was selected to be Ohio University president in 2004.

"Sometimes the best laid plans work, but some don't," McDavis said. "You have to be prepared for whatever comes your way."

When discussing how he developed his leaderships skills, McDavis said he was always a "do it person," someone who would step up to the plate and get things done. He explained that this does not always mean being the leader.

"I was in a lot of organizations as a student, but I was always the follower,? McDavis said. "I learned how to be a leader by following."

He said another major factor that helped him become a productive leader was networking. He stressed the importance of getting to know everyone around you, while making those relationships last.

"Get to know as many people as you can in college," McDavis told the students. "Cultivate those relationships over time by getting face-to-face with people. Nothing beats human contact."

The OMG is a student organization in the College of Business that is open to all academic majors. The group is dedicated to providing its members with the tools to succeed in college and after graduation. OMG's weekly meetings address a variety of topics ranging from networking skills to management techniques. It also enriches its members' managerial and leadership skills by regularly hosting professional speakers. 

OMG Secretary Katy Taylor said McDavis' visit was successful.

"President McDavis was a great speaker to have because he is a major part of management within the university," she said. "He is also a leader at this school to students, staff and faculty."

For more information about OMG, send an e-mail to ohio.management@gmail.com or attend its weekly Monday meetings at 7 p.m. in the Cunningham Leadership Center.


Published: Feb 26, 2010 12:27 PM


Sophomore Kirsten Patrick talks with President Roderick J. McDavis on Tuesday in the Cunningham Leadership Center.

mcdavis2 OMG_story

McDavis addresses Ohio Management Group students on Tuesday

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