The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

February 15, 2013

Coburn: Jesus set best example of effective leadership

By Phyllis Zorn, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle

ENID, Okla. — The leader U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn admires most lived 2,000 years ago.

Coburn, one of the speakers at Northwestern Oklahoma State University’s Leadership Traits of Successful Entrepreneurs seminar Thursday and Friday, said Jesus set the best example of effective leadership the world has seen, and our culture has lost sight of the leadership principles he demonstrated.

“A few people are lucky. Everybody else has to work,” Coburn, R-Okla., said.

But accomplishing something that will last requires thinking beyond ourselves and thinking about others, Coburn said.

“To accomplish great things, we really have to work through and with other people,” Coburn said.

Coburn said successful organizations recognize that people need to be recognized and rewarded for good work. Business leaders have lost sight of the idea that the best investment is investing in people.

“The enemy of great leadership is business,” Coburn said.

He said people take time to get to know about a house before they buy it, but avoid investing time in other people.

“When we give ourselves away, when we invest in other people, that’s when we have people follow us,” Coburn said.

The seminar was sponsored by the Charles G. Koch Foundation, Ward Petroleum and several local businesses.

Other speakers during the two-day seminar included Tony Woodlief, vice president for academic programs at the Market-Based Management Institute; Ernesto Sirolli, founder of the Sirolli Institute; Sal Alvarado, C&C Dry Cleaning; Marlin Esau, Marsau Enterprises; Cara Carson, Private Partners Opportunities Fund; Vicki Brown, T-Shirt Store; Cecilia Holle, GYM; Lynn Biddle, McDonald’s franchises; and Connie Sturgeon-Hart, Chick-fil-A.