Friday, July 7, 2017

Cornell's Got Talent

Today was another guest speaker day in class, which are days I enjoy very much because I get to hear different stories from individuals and the leadership roles they have held, it helps humanize the concepts and theories we discuss in class and put everything into a different perspective. Rob Koll is the head of wrestling here at Cornell University and has been for quite some time. He came into our class to discuss success through effective relationship building. He typically speaks more about fundraising and development but he shared with us his story of driving a 1988 red Ford Escort and being the head coach in 1985 at the age of 22, straight out from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. 

Rob dropped out to accept a job offer for $20,000 per year, he got a job at the age of eighteen and all that he wanted at that time in his life was to wrestle and coach and win. He saw other coaches working ten percent as much as him and getting one hundred percent results, so he was wondering what he needed to do more. Rob had a very big ego back then, as he stated, he was not a good leader but a strong one, a strong motivator who could go in the morning and the evening. Leadership is about being able to motivate people to buy your dream to make it their dream. He sold candy bars and stole toilet paper, encountering various struggles, many which he will never forget. Rob learned a lot from cleaning wrestling mats, and doing everything for Cornell Wrestling, more than he ever would in a classroom. 

The Ithaca glow.
Rob was very confident and arrogant, but had a humbling experience when he was certain he would have a job at Purdue, Lehigh, or UNC, but he didn’t, not at any of them. He had not even gotten the interview. It changed his approach completely, because prior he knew he was going to be somewhere bigger and better so he wasn't making the investment. Though, after this experience, he knew he might be at Cornell for a while so he began calling alumni, professors, anyone who could invest. Rob never invested into the infrastructure of the Cornell Wrestling world; he realized that he was hired to Cornell working to meet their goals, and not the other way around. 

He went from having 38 people who would watch wrestling practice to a whole arena full. This was all because of his vision of becoming something greater than what they were. His advice for us was to work your first job as if it was your last job, all things change when you start working to make your job great instead of working to get a great job. It was empowering to hear and I walked out wanting to buy a Cornell wrestling shirt just because of the way he told his story, absolutely inspiring and a great lesson. 
The mandatory outfit photo.
After class and lunch I came back to my dorm to get some work done, and then helped my friend Bella get ready by doing her makeup while another girl from our floor, Vanessa, did her hair. Tonight was the talent show for Summer College and she was performing along with another girl from my floor named Trinity. We ordered some Indian food from Collegetown and got dressed before walking to Willard Straight Hall where the talent show was taking place. 

There were so many different performances, and people were not shy at all. There was singing which is what Trinity and Bella did, as well as dancing, some people even played instruments such as the piano or trumpet or did some martial on stage. I feel like my group had the most enthusiasm and the RCA's noticed it, they were taking a lot of videos of us dancing for the yearbook I'm assuming. Overall, we had a lot of fun seeing the diverse group of individuals who I call my peers, and a part of Summer College. Returning to my dorm room, we just ate and talked while I blogged and some of my friends did their homework. A great Friday night indeed. 
Not the best quality photo, great quality moment. 

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