On Friday, January 19, Catholic Central students attended a leadership workshop by the Detroit Catholic High School League at Sacred Heart Major Seminary featuring keynote speaker Chris Okoye ’14, Director of Diversity, Student Engagement, and Community Outreach. The event was attended by several Catholic High Schools in the area and encouraged students to become leaders by using God to amplify their success.
During his speech, Okoye discussed “God’s Plan, My Efforts,” a presentation he wrote highlighting the secrets to success that abide by three simple principles:
- Focus on getting better
- Maximize and leverage every opportunity
- Embrace your journey
He opened his speech by asking students to raise their hands if they are a leader, stating that every hand in the room should be raised. He discussed how God gives us the secrets to become leaders, but we need to be the ones to take action.
Okoye stated, “When you first open the bible, God talks about giving you what you need to succeed – you just have to make it actionable. What are you going to do to aid God to complete your plan?”
He also discussed the importance of accountability. “What did you do? How did you contribute to the outcome of a given situation? Taking ownership of your actions and being able to describe why you did it – that’s accountability,” stated Okoye.
“Be consistent. We talk about the work ethic of Lebron James, but we never talk about Jesus and the work he put in. There were no days off. Jesus was the most consistent leader and hardest worker ever,” Okoye continued.
He encouraged students to identify their dreams and then find ways to avoid distractions and say no to things that deter you from them. “To be a leader, you have to be around people who think like you. You also have to be comfortable with being alone.”
During his speech, Okoye made several references to the Bible. For example, he stated that the Book of Corinthians tells us never to judge a person or thing out of season before it’s their time.
To be a leader, Okoye stated you have to leverage and maximize everything God gives you before asking for more. He also warned students against comparing themselves to others, stating the comparison is a thief of joy.
“When you compare yourself to others, you don’t know how to use what you have because you’re so focused on what you don’t have. Look forward. Stay focused on the end goal. When you begin to compare yourself to others, you lose focus of your gifts. Maximize what God gave you and don’t worry about anyone else,” he stated.
Okoye talked about the importance of focusing on the little things to build good habits. “The way you manage $100 dollars is the same way you’ll manage $1,000. Every opportunity is a blessing, no matter how big or small. Find ways to build relationships that lead to opportunities. Lastly, embrace your process. How you do anything is how you do everything. A person who is a good leader is often a good student, and vice versa.”
He concluded by sharing a Bible verse from Galatians 6:9: “Don’t grow weary in doing well because in due season you will reap your reward if you faint now.
Following Okoye’s speech, students enjoyed lunch and later participated in a workshop activity practicing what they learned during the presentation.