Julius Maddox, raw bench press world record holder, spoke to local students Friday afternoon during the Owensboro Family YMCA’s 14th annual Young Leaders Luncheon. Using examples from his own journey, Maddox talked about what it takes to be an effective leader.
As an Owensboro native, Maddox said that he is very proud that his benchpressing career began in the local YMCA from a young age.
“That’s where my roots are when it comes to being literally the strongest man in the world,” Maddox said.
When he was the same age of the young leaders in the crowd, Maddox didn’t consider himself much of a leader by a typical definition. He would dress in Power Rangers gloves and rally his friends together to fight crime in the neighborhood, and then run to the YMCA for some fun.
But he said that ultimately all leaders emerge in different ways.
He continued to go to the YMCA over the years as he became who he is today, saying consistency is one factor of an effective leader.
“The one thing I love talking about as far as the service of the YMCA is consistency; 178 years, that is a long time to serve this community. That’s consistency to its finest,” he said.
Using the Y, Maddox continued and said a good leader also displays discipline within their situations. Coming out of the pandemic, he said several people have displayed discipline and a strength to persevere through their situation.
Finally, he said a good leader is not above reproach. He said good leaders are able to take criticism and learn how to grow from that situation.
“When it comes to leading, we all lead in different ways and luckily some good are qualities, but some are bad qualities. But there is no gauge of how a person is really supposed to lead. There’s no standard, curriculum that says ‘this is what a perfect leader is,'” Maddox said.
By taking those three steps, he said each of the young leaders will be able to grow and develop into successful leaders within their communities.