If you are like me, you’ve never heard of Paul Quinn College. Prior to last week I would not have been able to tell you that Paul Quinn College is a private, liberal arts, historically black college (HBCU) located in Dallas, Texas. But I learned about Paul Quinn College because I was fortunate to hear a talk by their President, Michael Sorrell. President Sorrell visited Pittsburgh last week and delivered a talk about how he guided Paul Quinn from near bankruptcy to one of the most innovative small colleges in America.
Sorrell talked extensively about the values they identified for the college. He knew that individuals and organizations improve their chances of success when they are in touch with their goals and values. So he made the following values a priority at Paul Quinn:
- We over me – the needs of the community are the priority.
- Choose the harder right over the easier wrong.
- Leave places better than you found them.
- Live a life that matters – what will they say about you when you are gone?
- Lead from wherever you are.
- Love something greater than yourself. “We are a place that loves out loud.”
As my regular readers know, love, coincidentally, has been a common theme of this blog over the last several months. (Go to this link to see my blogs about Love and Leadership). We have read how effective leaders like Dabo Swinney of Clemson, Pat Narduzzi of Pitt, Clint Hurdle of the Pittsburgh Pirates, and Kevin Plank of Under Armour, all point to their ability to love their teams as a key to their success. Since I’ve written so frequently about love, I was excited to hear President Sorrell talk about its importance to the success of Paul Quinn College. It is yet another reminder of what we can accomplish if we can show our teams that we love them.
Michael Sorrell has done amazing things at Paul Quinn College. His emphasis on the themes of unselfishness, integrity, caring, and love has certainly been a key part of the success of the college. As leaders, we must model the values we want our teams to embrace. So try practicing these in your organization and see the impact they have on your team and your organization’s success.
Thanks for reading,
P.S. – Follow me on Twitter, @jvearle, and feel free to share my blog with those who love leadership and positivity!