Lecturer broadcast relates self-knowledge to leadership

IUS Horizon

It’s difficult to resist taking advice from someone who can make you laugh repeatedly.

The National Society of Leadership and Success broadcast a lecture by Bertrice Berry, speaker, called “Become the Highest Version of Yourself” in the Life Sciences Building on Jan. 25.

Berry discussed how people need to concentrate and lead themselves before being able to lead others.

“Your gig is to find your uniqueness,” Berry said. “Your purpose is not your job. It is your calling.”

The live broadcast was the first broadcast of the semester from Mitchell College in Connecticut.

Tim Duffy, National Society of Leadership and Success officer, hosted the show.

At the age of 26, Berry earned her doctorate in sociology. She has won various awards throughout her career, including Comedian of the Year, Campus Lecturer of the Year and Campus Entertainer of the Year.

Berry also discussed how important critical thinking is.

“In that moment, we come to expect people to think one way,” she said. “The trick is to take that moment and expand it higher. Critical thinking is critical, and common sense is not common. It’s just not common.”

With the comical stories in between the points she made throughout the lecture, Berry emphasized the importance of being your own leader before being able to be a leader to others.

She said one needs to have knowledge and have the ability to teach in order to carve the path for others.

“When you can order your own life and control it yourself, no one can control you,” she said. “The problem with leadership is that we get stuck with a ‘You.’”

Advice was also given about how people should be able to discover and transform themselves into better individuals and leaders.

“The beauty of life is always in that statistical outlier,” Berry said. “This is such a beautiful place. This is that outlier that enables us to really find the answers that we need, and sometimes we keep looking for the normative patterns of behavior — what to do and how to do it — and my life is never going to be normal.

“When you learn a lesson, you’ll stop going through the same thing over and over again,” she said.

Berry quoted Socrates, saying he said the highest form of knowledge is self-knowledge.

“I’m amazed because, nowadays, young folks know everything about everybody else,” she said. “You know about Snooki, ‘The Situation,’ Tiger Woods.”

She said once a person realizes all these aspects of their inner-self, only they can change themselves. Nobody can beat them at being themselves. They need to identify what they are challenging, explore their options for a plan of attack and act on it.

“If you’re a taker, everything’s going to look bad,” Berry said. “Leaders do not fit in, they lead. You cannot fit in if you’re leading people.”

Berry said with this self-knowledge, people are then enabled to believe in something they did not believe they could do before. Then they can finally be a leader. Things can only get better when people can get over and outside of themselves.

Berry also said people should not take themselves so seriously.

“Don’t think so highly that there’s nobody that can replace you,” she said.

It was also brought up that when other people have good energy, a person can acquire good energy. For those who are in leadership positions, they should be able to laugh. When they can laugh, they can work at their full potential as leaders.

“I believe that laughter is a gift to those who get the joke,” Berry said, “and those who get the joke are the ones that work.”