The President’s Leadership Program (PLP) recently invited all of its students to Bill Ermatinger’s speaking engagement at the Ferguson Center of the Arts. These speaker events happen a few times a semester. The premise of them is that a great leader of our day gives a speech on their leadership journey and advice for how we might become leaders in our own right.
Bill Ermatinger was this month’s speaker; he is the executive vice president and chief human resources officer of Huntington Ingalls Industry. Quite frankly, I had never heard of that company and wasn’t too interested, but PLP has never invited a boring speaker, so I put my faith in them. I definitely was not disappointed. Mr. Ermatinger was absolutely hilarious, but he also gave an amazing speech that really resonated with us as an audience. He walked us through his life as he went through his leadership presentation. He spoke of pursuing his dreams, but how he also was never afraid to try something new and take risks. As a leader, it’s absolutely imperative to be open to other ideas that might not have been your personal first choice. It was a great presentation.
PLP is more than just a scholarship, it’s an opportunity to become a great leader. Not only do we have our classes, hands-on leadership extracurriculars, but we also get to learn from the very best – leaders who have proven themselves again and again. I am so grateful to be a part of this program at Christopher Newport.