PBA President William M.B. Fleming, Jr. (right) welcome James L. Davis, president, World LEADERS Group March 6.
Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told a gathering of more than 400 business, civic and religious leaders Thursday, March 7 that the single biggest national security threat is the crisis in K-12 education.
In her address at the 2013 World LEADERS Conference held at Palm Beach Atlantic University, Rice told the crowd that in America, it’s not important where you came from, but where you are going.
“You can come from humble circumstances and still do great things,” Rice said. With her global perspective and as an educator, Rice stated that of the world’s industrialized countries, America has the shortest education days and academic year.
During her one-hour address, Rice reflected on the nation’s past 10 years where Americans experienced “three big shocks”: 9/11, where the United States now has to worry about ungoverned places; the economic/financial crisis coupled with unemployment, which dramatically challenged the country’s perception of economic security; and the sectarian violence in the Middle East.
Also on Thursday, March 7, Bible teacher and author Joyce Meyer talked about the call to ministry.
She was married, a mother of three and holding down a job though the family had difficulty making ends meet. With a 12th grade education, Meyer didn’t feel prepared to teach the Gospel or ready to quit her job to start a ministry.
“If we can step out, we can find out what God can do,” Meyer said. She quit her job and took a part-time job, but she was fired from that position. “At first I wasn’t obedient,” Meyer said. “When God puts it on your heart, you can’t do half. I took a total step in faith but I needed to face some facts. God needed to pay the bills and He did.”
Meyer got the education she needed and began her ministry to become one of the most influential evangelical leaders in America, reaching three billion people through her television and radio program, Enjoying Everyday Life®.
Gary Kelly, C.E.O. of Southwest Airlines, believes the purpose of his company is clear: “to connect people to what’s important in their lives,” he said Wednesday, March 6 during the World LEADERS Conference at Palm Beach Atlantic University.
The conference, known for its unique blending of speakers from both business and ministry, offers executives from all areas of leadership the opportunity to learn from some of the world’s foremost leadership experts.
Kelly, who oversees 46,000 employees at the nation’s largest airline, said the thing he loves about Southwest is that “we are servant leaders because we want to be.”
He noted that Southwest has enjoyed 40 consecutive years of profits and has avoided bankruptcy as well as furloughs and pay cuts for employees. “I think our people have made that happen because they have been steadfast in their devotion to our purpose,” he said.
Kelly also spoke about his company’s vision to fly to all of North America within the decade. The company presently flies within the United States.