“What a world we live in!” proclaimed High Point University President Nido Qubein to open his UB Tech 2019 keynote address, which encouraged attendees to embrace opportunity and a growth mindset, and to strive for excellence in finding relevance in their roles on campus.
Qubein also exhorted the audience to prepare for the world that will be rather than the one that is, adding that there’s no greater asset in that pursuit than wisdom.
“There’s artificial intelligence, but no such thing as artificial wisdom,” he said.
Read: Focus on the future
During his inspirational talk, Qubein also detailed the tremendous growth of North Carolina’s High Point University under his leadership, and sprinkled in humorous, and often poignant, anecdotes from his personal journey, which started with coming to the U.S. as a young man and teaching himself English. He also shared sage advice from his mother, who had five children and was a widow who worked around the clock. “I’m the person I am because of this woman who had a fourth-grade education but had a post-graduate degree in common sense,” said Qubein. “And common sense isn’t as common as it used to be.”
To build any successful program, Qubein stressed the need for authenticity over charisma when it comes to communicating. “Bridges of understanding are built on the shoulders of people who know how to build trust and relationships,” he said.
He also discussed how his friend Daniel Lubetzky, CEO of Kind snacks, described himself not as an optimist but as an actionist who proactively created his own opportunities and success.
“The future belongs to the actionists,” said Qubein. “The future belongs to the growth mindset.”
During his address, Qubein also showed clips of interviews he’s done with well-known public figures—including Netflix Co-founder Marc Randolph, former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Twitter Co-founder Biz Stone, Gen. Colin Powell and Apple Founder Steve Wozniak—in which each explained how they achieved success and viewed the impact of leadership.
At one point, Qubein gave attendees homework: Write down the names of five people you spend time with, and then ask if each one is an inspiration for success. Anyone who is not should be removed from the list, he said. Quoting his mother, Qubein added: “Who you spend time with is who you become. You’re only as good as your circle of influence.”
Ultimately, Qubein emphasized that attendees need to continually embrace a growth mindset and to say “yes” to the best choices to propel themselves onward and upward.
“For the comfortable, change is frightening,” Quebein said. “But for the confident, change is opportunity.”
UB Tech® 2019 announces keynote livestream
All three keynotes at UB Tech® 2019 will be available to view live online for any higher ed leaders unable to attend the conference in person, made possible by the exclusive streaming partner of UB Tech®, Mediasite. Read more>