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Deputy commerce secretary keynote speaker at COBA Emerging Leaders Conference

For immediate release
March 2, 2006

Deputy commerce secretary and ACU alumnus David A. Sampson shared his approach to effective leadership at Abilene Christian University's College of Business Administration Emerging Leaders Conference in Dallas Friday, Feb. 24.

"Today our nation probably enjoys the highest standard of living in the world," Sampson said in his opening remarks. "Nurturing great leaders is a large part of that success." Sampson discussed some of the leaders he’s worked with and the traits all good leaders must possess.

Leaders must have a will to lead and make tough decisions and a belief in something bigger than themselves, a "transcendent purpose and cause," Sampson said.

The secretary's speech focused on politics as well, mentioning his relationship with two secretaries of commerce and his experiences working for them. He also referenced the president and how he is "confronting the problems that face our nation and threaten our security and continued prosperity," and that he’s not backing down because "it's not in his DNA."

Sampson emphasized the need to know who you are and to be who you are. He advised surrounding yourself with people who complement and balance your style.

The conference featured seven guest speakers throughout the day, addressing a variety of business and leadership topics. Sampson was invited to speak as the event's keynote speaker.

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