Lebanese American University


What does it take to become a leader?

Over 220 LAU alumni turn out for a spirited lecture designed to enhance their leadership skills.

Elie Samia, executive director of LAU's Outreach and Civic Engagement Office, gives a spirited lecture titled "Awaken the Leader in You."

Over 220 alumni attended the event, which was organized by LAU's Alumni Relations Office.

Over 220 alumni gathered for an engaging lecture with tips and tricks on becoming stronger, more confident leaders, at a packed LAU Beirut lecture hall November 26.

The two-hour event, titled “Awaken the Leader in You,” was led by Elie Samia, executive director of Outreach and Civic Engagement at LAU, who began by acknowledging that there is no magic recipe for leadership, but certain tactics can surely have an impact on strengthening characters.

“The first thing is to know thyself. You need to know what your weaknesses are and turn them into opportunities,” Samia said.

“If you are too pretentious, if you don’t accept constructive criticism, if you don’t recognize your weaknesses, you will never be a leader,” he said.

He added that individuals should control anger, project confidence in their voice, make a good first impression, and maintain eye contact.

Then, assisted by Sarah Bou Ajram, coordinator of Leadership and Civic Engagement at LAU, Samia hit on 11 other aspects of leadership, using examples to illustrate each one.

“The most important thing a leader has to do is to project confidence … to the team, not just alone,” Bou Ajram said, adding that a helpful trick to use when you feel discouraged is to tell yourself that you are confident.

She later talked about the importance of humility and dismissed the notion that humility shows weakness.

“Humility is not being weak. It is being confident enough about your character that you don’t have to boast,” she explained.

The spirited atmosphere Samia created with his lively presentation offered a seamless transition to his next point: passion.

“I don’t like dull spirits. I like spirits animated by visions, by missions, by goals. If you bore me, I will die!” Samia said.

Another point Samia brought up is that successful leaders draw plans with objectives that are “realistic, down to earth, and smart, while always looking at the big picture.”

The lecture was organized by LAU’s Alumni Relations Office as part of its “Keep Learning” alumni lecture series.

“We chose the topics based on alumni surveys and on the most popular and attractive topics during the year,” says Ghada Majed, Alumni Relations assistant director.


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