Laura Lopez Speaks of Leadership


Laura Lopez speaks to WTAMU students about leadership development.

Austin Heinen, Former Associate Editor

Leadership, to almost everyone, is a great virtue to possess. What makes someone a leader is a discussion itself. Former Vice President of Coca-Cola, Laura Lopez, came to West Texas A&M University to speak about what she envisions a leader to be.

Students from various majors came to hear Lopez’s words of wisdom on leadership. Others also interested about how she climbed the ranks to eventually become an executive of one of the most internationally known companies. Lopez said she was happy to see such a turnout and to see so many students listen to her.

“I loved it,” Lopez said. “I love the fact that there were so many students and some people from the community as well. It was a great reception and was exciting.”

Students who attended also really liked the turn out. Spectators were given pointers of how to lead, stories of Lopez’s experiences, and ideas about how to apply this to their lives. Senior agriculture business major Louriann Villa said she listened to many tips that Lopez gave but one in particular stood out.

“I definitely took a lot of tips from her,” Villa said. “Most of it was being adaptable to the situation or whatever may happen between co-workers, employers, or companies. That was something that hit me. Being adaptable is a great skill to have and her talking about it reaffirmed that it’s good to keep learning new things and strengthen what you know.”

Lopez told some of her personal stories of her experiences with her rising to a leadership role, what she learned from these times and how the audience could relate to the issue. Graduate management student, Kathrine Cueva, says that this helped relate to Lopez’s words on a personal level.

“I really enjoyed her speech because she shared more than just books,” Cueva said. “She gave her personal experiences for more than just business majors but for every career. She impacted every student. She introduced leadership and how it’s not right or wrong according to one person but the difference is made by the personality each person has.”

Despite various majors, thus various personalities attending Laura’s speech. Everyone in attendance had their focus on her. After conducting crowd activities as well it was clear that everyone also related with some tips she gave. But what made Lopez develop the certain tips she gave?

“I think it’s important that leadership drive results,” Lopez said. “If you’re a results driven person like I am and know you can’t do everything by yourself, you need other people to mobilize. I just find it fascinating to study all the things about leadership and how to implement it because I’m a learner too.

Laura taught that leadership comes in different ways. Knowing there are many ways to lead, people will always be curious as to how they can become better leaders. As Lopez said herself, curiosity to learn is part of the virtue to leadership as it shows a drive to keep learning. Having a drive is already one step in the right direction.