Stephen Ziogas, a 2009 graduate of Brown University, was the speaker at the Bristol Sports Hall of Fame Leadership Breakfast at Nuchie’s Restaurant on September 15,2009.
Since 2004 the Bristol Sports Hall of Fame has gathered the captains from the local high schools to assist them in improving their leadership skills not only on the ball fields but in the classroom and in the community.
At the recent breakfast, Ziogas spoke about some of the captains he played with during his football career at Bristol Central High School, where he was an All State linebacker, and at Brown University where he earned All Ivy league recognition. He told the students that there are different types of leaders, quite leaders, smart leaders and hard working leaders. Some lead by example, some lead with passion and others lead with a positive attitude.
He told the students being a leader and being successful in life is a constant struggle to improve on the gifts you already possess. Ziogas mentioned former teammate DJ Hernandez as a captain who led by example. DJ never rested on his natural abilities; his work ethic was contagious and it made his teammates adopt his hardworking attitude.
Ziogas emphasized that leaders need to gain the respect of their teammates, but that respect is not given it is earned. Ziogas emphasized to the students that they must continue to have a great academic focus, because true leaders want to excel in all areas.
In closing, he told the students that hard work overcomes talent when talent doesn’t work hard. Treating your teammates with respect will only strengthen your sports experience. Be confident in your abilities, you already have the tools and skills to become a leader.