First leadership series guest: Kermit Mankiller


Antonia Gutierrez

Kermit Mankiller, ‘87 LC State alumnus, ’18 Alumni of the Year, and current Executive Officer of the Nez Perce Tribal Enterprises, was the first speaker to launch LC State’s Leader Spotlight on Tuesday, November 17. As November is Native American Heritage Month, LC State is proud to host Mankiller, a member of the Nez Perce Tribe.

Much of Mankiller’s presentation was focused on confidence and leadership.

“Leading and confidence go hand in hand,” he explained.

He was very fortunate to be raised as a confident person. Growing up, his mother told him stories about other leaders.

“I recommend that everyone lead with confidence.”

Confidence is a skill. Some people are born confident or looking confident. He posed this question about confidence, “Is it something inherited or is it developed?” Some people are extremely confident. Others are not. There are varying degrees of confidence. It can all depend on the situation or context that one is in.

He thinks it’s somewhere in the middle. He believes we are all born with some sort of confidence and it is a skill that we can all build on.

He shared a story about when he was student at LC. There was a class that he didn’t feel confident in because he was always showing up late. Due to having to work to pay for school, he would show up late to class and felt like everyone was looking at him.

“Don’t mistake foolishness for confidence,” is another piece of advice that he had.

Towards the end of his presentation, he explained his own leadership model that he follows. It consists of three basic principles. The first one is “Take care of each other.” The second is “Do the right thing.” And the last one is honesty.

He also talked about integrity and its importance. Having integrity and playing by the rules is one of the most important things to remember when building trust with your team.

“Leadership brings opportunity. Opportunities lead to more confidence. Success is function of knowing you will succeed.”

Don’t miss out on future presentations.

Find them at LC State Center for Student Leadership on Facebook or on Instagram @lcstatecls. To learn more about the LC State Leadership Series go to: