Leadership Comes From Motivation

“Leadership Comes From Motivation”


            For our monthly meeting on November 11th 2019, Pine-Richland FBLA was fortunate to have Mr. Patrick Dugan speak to our members about leadership. Mr. Dugan is the Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at Westinghouse Air Brake Technologies Corporation. He is a part of a management team that strategizes growth through developing new products, expanding internationally, and acquisition. He is responsible for the strategic areas of Finance and Information Technology in his company. After graduating from Pine-Richland High School, Mr. Dugan earned a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Pennsylvania State University and received his MBA from the University of Pittsburgh.

Mr. Dugan kicked off his presentation with the quote “leadership is the art of getting people to do what you want them to do because they want to do it” stated by Dwight D. Eisenhower. This led him to share the questions “Why is it worth it?” and “How can I build a culture and style in the workplace that makes people motivated to do their work?” that he asks himself everyday while he works. Mr. Dugan went on to share the benefits, fundamentals, and standards of leadership in today’s workforce.

The benefits of leadership were broken down into 5 ideas that focused on significance, growth, being a role model, recognition, and having pride in yourself. The first benefit of leadership that Mr. Dugan shared was the feeling of significance. Leaders all around the world make a difference in the workplace everyday. Through taking opportunities and believing in the importance of leadership, leaders in the workforce feel significance in their careers. Another benefit of leadership that Mr. Dugan discussed was the growth that is gained from experience. The growth that people gain professionally and personally from experiencing a leadership role lasts a lifetime. The third benefit that Mr. Dugan listed was being a role model. As a role model in the workplace, co-workers admire those who give them direction and respect strong leadership. Also, Mr. Dugan mentioned that recognition is a benefit of leadership because great work does not go unnoticed when all eyes are on the leader in the workplace. Lastly, taking pride in yourself is a benefit of leadership because it builds confidence and encourages leaders to keep working hard.

In order to thrive as a leader, Mr. Dugan shared the 5 fundamentals of leadership. First, he explained the importance of ethics. He stressed that as a leader, it is important to distinguish right from wrong, especially in the workplace. In addition, he stated that leaders must have concern for others. As a leader, it is important to prove to every employee that they are noticed and cared for. Mr. Dugan’s next point was that a desire to learn is a fundamental of leadership because it provokes ambition and curiosity. A curious and ambitious leader will lead workers down a path of success. The next fundamental that Mr. Dugan shared with our members was having a vision. Visions allow leaders to know where they want to be, and it helps them plan to get there. The way a leader commits to their vision is what defines their growth. Lastly, Mr. Dugan stressed the importance of the ability to communicate and influence in the workplace. It is important to interact with co-workers so that strong relationships are built within a company. Mr. Dugan wrapped up the topic of leadership fundamentals with the quote, “leaders are the glue that tie everything together.”

Finally, Mr. Dugan shared the 7 leadership standards that maintain a positive team. First, careful selection is an important factor in hiring the right people for the job. As a leader, it is vital to be involved in the selection process to make sure that the prospective employee will be a good fit in the group. Second, early contact is an excellent way to establish and build a relationship with your team and co-workers. Consistent contact creates trust and professional relationships in the workplace. Third, leveraged communication is extremely important. Face-to-face interactions and body language creates transparent communication that is lost through the technology we use today. Responding to feedback and questions communicates that you are listening and understanding what is being asked of you as a leader. Fourth, leadership availability is significant because it is important to be responsive in the workplace. Never let a question go unanswered, and if you don't know how to answer a question, tell whoever asked it that you will get back to them as soon as possible. Fifth, leadership predictability keeps consistency in the workplace. Mr. Dugan said to always stick to your vision and never be indecisive. Sixth, team equity is valued because as a leader, it is important to treat others as equals in the office. Lastly, the seventh standard of leadership that Mr. Dugan shared was recognition. People thrive with recognition and appreciation. Mr. Dugan shared a story about how he thanked his finance team while speaking at a company function, and all of his co-workers were extremely thankful for the recognition. Overall, these seven standards of leadership will make a better team in the workplace.

As he wrapped up his presentation, Mr. Dugan shared what leadership means to him. As he started college, he took any opportunity that no one else wanted. Through this tactic, Mr. Dugan found hidden opportunities that prepared him for his future. He advised our members to always look for opportunities and be good at any opportunity that they take. He closed his presentation by stating that opportunities will prepare you for your future and shape you into a leader through your involvement.


Thank you Mr. Dugan for taking the time to share your insights with the members of Pine-Richland FBLA.                                         

Payton McGee, Reporter