Schafer talks to students
DICKINSON, N.D. (AP) -- Former Gov. Ed Schafer advises students to be clear, be optimistic and set an example. Schafer shared that advice with students at Dickinson State's Business Challenge this week. He is the honorary chairman of the weeklong...
DICKINSON, N.D. (AP) -- Former Gov. Ed Schafer advises students to be clear, be optimistic and set an example.
Schafer shared that advice with students at Dickinson State's Business Challenge this week. He is the honorary chairman of the weeklong event, which is marking its 30th anniversary.
"It's important to be clear about who you are and what you stand for," Schafer said during his keynote speech Tuesday. He told the students that when he decided to run for governor, he made lists of what he stood for and what he wanted to accomplish.
"What I wanted to do was take business principles and transfer them to the public sector," said Schafer, who was North Dakota's governor from 1992 to 2000.
Earlier, Schafer worked for his late father's business, The Gold Seal Company, in Medora.
"He just wanted something to happen out in Medora," Schafer said of his father, Harold. "He said about Medora, 'I never had a vision; it all started with the toilets."'
His father noticed long lines at outhouses and decided to install more public toilets, Ed Schafer said. That led to the purchase of businesses, and the development of the tourist community.
"Leadership is really just taking that handle of responsibility," Schafer said. "Taking that first step is kind of important."
Harold Schafer was the first honorary chairman of the Business Challenge, a series of workshops and speakers focusing on business.
Ed Schafer said that along with clarity and consistency, it is important to set an example because people make judgments about others almost immediately.
"The other thing is optimism; so often you can enthuse people into the direction you want to go," Schafer said. "You have a choice to get up in the morning and say, 'This is a great day,' and that optimism is infectious."