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An Example of True Leadership: Ernest Cockrell

By Julian Fuentes —Leadership. In the world we live in today, there aren’t very many people who have this quality. And few who exhibit it quite as well as Mr. Ernest Cockrell does. As a student leader here at the University of St. Thomas, I often ask myself , “What does it mean to be a leader?” More specifically, I find myself asking, “What does it mean to be a leader of faith and character?”

Here at UST, we are blessed with the ability to express our faith in ways that we would not be able to express it elsewhere. Mr. Cockrell, in fact, touched upon this very subject when discussing the secrets of happiness. In his illustration for the secrets of happiness, he named “faith” as the outer most lying ring in his diagram.


Celts Breakfast Club

I am always appreciative of opportunities to learn and to experience things from the perspective of leaders who have come before me. The Celts Breakfast Club with Mr. Cockrell was one of those opportunities that the Cameron School of Business provided for me and other students. This event gave us the opportunity to learn from the example of a man who embodies the spirit of what it means to be a leader of faith and character.


Faith and Character

Mr. Cockrell has been a successful businessman, but what impressed me most about him is the attention he has given to charity in his business. It is often said that when one works in the business of making money one often forgets one’s duty to his fellow man. In fact, this has been a great fear of mine while studying in my chosen field, Finance. But sitting there in a room with a man who has gone through the business world and has maintained his faith and integrity, I found my worries to be relieved. I was shown first hand that regardless of what I choose to be my path in life, it is possible for me to do so without allowing my character or my values to be broken down.


Seize the Moment

We are not often provided opportunities in our lives to learn from those who have come before us and succeeded. It is not often we are provided with the tools necessary to succeed in this world. Therefore, I urge you to grasp each and every moment you are given here at UST to learn from others and to capitalize on the opportunities provided to you.

Julian Fuentes
UST – BBA-Finance Candidate, Cameron School of Business

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