Gootee Lecture Inspires Students

Max Williams

Dental students gave a thumbs up to the January Robert G. Gootee/ODS Health Endowed Lectureship in Leadership and Professionalism. The speaker was Max Williams, J.D., president and chief executive officer of The Oregon Community Foundation.

"It was an excellent speech and an opportunity to hear from a leader outside the dental community," said fourth-year dental student Iraj Kasimi, who has been attending the Gootee lecture since entering dental school in 2009. "The speaker gave advice that rings true to everyone no matter their profession."

First-year dental student Sidhu Sukhmanpreet said, "It was like a light bulb going on to find out how much society needs our help," she said. "It was great to learn about how people can make a difference in their community. We have big shoes to fill when the older dentists retire and I liked listening to examples of ways we can be leaders."

Williams spoke to the dental students about leadership, philanthropy, and community. "Motive and intent are key," he said. "Leaders who can align their motives and intent with those they are leading build trust and increase their effectiveness. Understanding that trust is the 'secret sauce' to effective leadership might help you understand how to be more successful or when you are trying to figure out how to begin to move a group or an organization in a meaningful direction."

Williams said that philanthropy is important to being a leader, and that people's time and talents are as essential as dollars.

"You must be willing to give up a bit of yourself: give up some of your time, give up some of the focus you have on yourself and your family and think beyond yourself," he said. "When you do, you will unleash parts of yourself that you didn't know were there.

"And our world will be a better place for it."

Full Text of Lecture