Lt. Governor Boyd Rutherford speaks to student leaders on Monday, October 23.

Little did Lieutenant Governor Boyd Kevin Rutherford know as a kid that he was going to be in political office one day. He grew up just down the road in Washington D.C., where he delivered newspapers in the wee hours of the morning. It wasn’t until his thirties when he finished school that he started to become involved in politics. Politics was not always the path Mr. Rutherford followed. He started his career in business working for a bank in New York City. He soon realized this wasn’t his forte and moved on to something different in his life. He left the banking job he had in New York to go work in technology sales for a while. In his marriage, his wife encouraged him to take his bright ideas he had for the community to a town meeting. That meeting was the beginning of a long, successful career in politics. Being able to “be open to opportunities that’ll come later in life” is essential, even if you do not know what those things are now.

Senior Steven Huang spearheaded the effort to bring Lt. Governor Rutherford to campus.

The Lieutenant Governor was hesitant to run for office with current Governor Hogan at the time because he wasn’t sure how the campaign process would affect his family. His family was very supportive, so he decided to go on and run with Mr. Larry Hogan, whom he had known for 15 years by the time they started their campaign. They were most definitely the underdog in this election, but they weren’t afraid to fail. He said “Great leaders don’t take the easy road,” and that is exactly what they did. They were able “to face adversity and going through that process will make you stronger.” The LG was able to get the win with his running mate, and then came the real opportunity to lead.

The Lt. Governor spoke about how, as a leader, “you have to manage from the deck of a gunship.”

Not being afraid to fail was what propelled them into office, but once they got there, the job had only begun. A Navy Supreme Commander once said, “You have to manage from the deck of the gunship,” meaning that good leaders can’t manage from behind a desk. They need to interact and work with their team to reach their common goal. The overall goal of Lieutenant Governor Rutherford and Governor Hogan is to leave Maryland in a better position than when they entered office. In order to lead successfully, Lieutenant Governor Rutherford stated how one must respect and depend on work of his or her peers and the dedication/hard-work of the team. As a leader, one has to be willing to jump in and get dirty to get some work done.

At the end of his talk, Mr. Rutherford answered a plethora of questions. But when it was my turn to ask, I asked why the school systems in Maryland now starts after Labor Day instead of in August. The main reasons he said are because of tradition and economics. Even though this may not be a tradition in my generation, back in Mr. Rutherford’s and our parents day, that was the norm. Also from an economic standpoint, starting school after Labor Day allows families to regather from vacation comfortably before school starts and allows more business to expand in the state and flow down to our beaches in Maryland, such as Ocean City.

“Those who dare to fail miserably can achieve greatly” – John F. Kennedy, Jr. The overall message Lieutenant Governor Rutherford wanted to get across to us was to be open minded to new opportunities, to not be afraid to fail, and to work hard with peers. Doing those things can allow us, the next generation, to be great leaders.

After his speech, Lt. Governor Rutherford took questions from the audience.


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