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When you hear the word “leader” you might think of political figures, your favorite celebrity role model, or even a professor you had in college, but a speaker at Missouri State University’s Public Affairs Conference is looking to redefine leadership. KSMU’s Chasity Mayes has more.
Missouri State University’s annual Public Affairs Conference kicks off this week. The leadership-focused event will feature multiple speakers from across the country. Bill Perry is one of those speakers. Perry is a senior executive at the global management and outsourcing firm, Accenture. While many might consider his success closely tied to the very definition of leadership, Perry gives motivational talks encouraging the average parent and Girl Scout to embrace their leadership roles. Perry says that a lot of the country’s true leaders go unnoticed, and often that’s the way they would prefer it. “Maybe we should take a moment and look around at what I might phrase as “random acts of kindness”. Where people have stepped up, and some people might not view it as a leadership trait, but they’ve stepped up and acted and just did something. They helped out, they volunteered, and they didn’t do it for any sort of recognition. There wasn’t any glory. There wasn’t any compensation,” says Perry. That’s the kind of leadership Perry is hoping to encourage others to take part in. Perry says his leadership style was greatly influenced by his father and his involvement with the U.S. Army. After graduating from MSU in the early 80’s, Perry was involved in the ROTC program and served four years in the active military. Perry says everyone has the opportunity to influence and shape another person’s life, but it’s the random acts of kindness that keep him hopeful and driven.“So as long as I see stories like that about people stepping forward and just doing things like that I think it tells me that we probably have far more leaders out there. They don’t have a lofty title, they don’t get a lot of recognition, and they just go out and do that. And so, I think that kind of warms my heart,” says Perry.Perry will speak Thursday at 7:30 pm in Plaster Student Union on the Missouri State University campus. The Public Affairs Conference is free to attend and open to the public. For more information visit our website: KSMU.org. For KSMU News, I’m Chasity Mayes.