Texas Tech University System Regent, John D. Steinmetz, recently visited the Rawls College of Business to discuss leadership development with students in the Rawls Business Leadership Program (RBLP).
The RBLP lecture series, which is held multiple times a month, invites business professionals from across the country to share their leadership expertise and insights with students.
Steinmetz, who received his B.A. in Finance from the Rawls College in 2002, was first appointed to the Texas Tech University System Board of Regents in 2001 by Governor Rick Perry. He was reappointed by Governor Greg Abbott in 2017. Steinmetz is also Vice Chairman and CEO of Vista Bank, where he oversees all banking activities, directs strategic planning, and is responsible for employee and client relations.
As part of his visit, Steinmetz participated in an informal luncheon, allowing students to get to know him and ask questions. Following the luncheon, Steinmetz participated in a class lecture with over 50 students. During the lecture he shared how his personal experiences helped develop him as a leader and stressed the importance of humility and servant leadership.
"I am absolutely confident, you will be successful if you anticipate the sacrifice consistently, while staying humble, hungry and smart," Steinmetz stated. "Like athletes who are always working towards the prize, you become a successful professional when you practice just as hard, set achievable goals and create real value in the marketplace."
Steinmetz also shared his belief in keeping a consistent management style to motivate others, saying it is important to care about others more than you care about yourself. At Vista Bank, they call it putting 'People First.' He advised students to differentiate themselves from their peers and to stop worrying about what others think.
"Leaders make the best decisions based on what they know in their gut and they quickly admit when they are wrong," Steinmetz added. "Be self – aware, recognize what you don't know, and don't try to be someone you're not."
As he wrapped up his visit, Steinmetz emphasized the importance of doing the right thing when no one is watching. He also encouraged students to search for opportunities that provide mentorship and allow them to experience both failure and success, which he has found invaluable in developing leadership skills.
"Look for the job that will give you the opportunity to learn the most, not the one that will pay you the most." Steinmetz concluded.