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SBL Hosts Leadership Roundtables

By Brett Wilson | June 4, 2013

Cdr. Kenneth Rice and his wife, Marianne, at the 2013 Roundtables of Leadership Reasearch & Practice.

Each year in May, Regent University's School of Business & Leadership (SBL) hosts the Roundtables of Leadership Research & Practice. The annual event presents students with the invaluable opportunity to present their research on leadership to practitioners and scholars from around the world.

This year's roundtables explored key areas in leadership such as Biblical perspectives of coaching and consulting, leading transformative innovation and servant leadership. Regent alumnus and speaker, Commander Kenneth Rice, USN, '09 (SBL), offered his own insights about global and servant leadership to the roundtable attendees at The Founders Inn and Spa.

"I tell my sailors that if you ask these questions in the morning and live your day working to answer them, then you are practicing servant leadership," said Rice. "Did I care enough, did I laugh enough, and did I make a difference?"

As the executive officer aboard the USS Jason Dunham, Rice asks himself those same questions every morning. Rice explained that he frequently implements the servant leadership practices he learned while pursuing his Doctorate of Strategic Leadership at Regent.

"Sometimes [being a leader] is about being a mentor, sometimes it's about being a confidant, and sometimes it's like being a big brother or guidance counselor," said Rice. "My role as a leader is about helping others do what they need to do in order for them to get through a regular work day."

Out of the 300 sailors aboard the USS Jason Dunham, the majority of Rice's crew is under the age of 25. Rice is responsible for the supervision of, at times, 18 and 19 year-olds who are charged with the task of offloading $2 million missiles off of the ship. Rice explained that the most important part of his job is giving his sailors the freedom to focus on the work ahead of them, rather than what may be unfolding within their personal lives.

"My real job is about removing barriers," said Rice. "If I can remove [the sailors'] barriers, then they can do what they need to do without me micromanaging."

Rice also explained that staying in touch with the members of his cohort reminds him of the lessons he learned while pursuing his degree. Rice said he frequently "reaches back" to his classmates and mentors from SBL for support in his leadership tactics.

"I love coming back to Regent," said Rice. "I come back, not only to pass along my thoughts, but to stay on top of my leadership skills in a world that's constantly changing."

Learn more about the School of Business & Leadership.


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