Hartzell shares insights on leadership

Rick Hartzell, Director of Athletics for Upper Iowa University and long-time college basketball official, was the guest speaker at the Hancock County Economic Development Corp. annual meeting and banquet on April 3.

Rebecca Peter | The Leader

DUNCAN – Rick Hartzell never forgot his rural Klemme roots.  The former coach, athletic director and college basketball official, was the guest speaker at Hancock County Economic Development Corp. annual meeting and dinner on April 3.

“I’m thrilled to be back,” he said. Now a motivational speaker, Hartzell is the author of “Whistle in a Haystack: An Iowa Farmboy’s views on Life’s Lessons, Leadership and College Basketball.” He is currently Director of Athletics at Upper Iowa University.

“I would not trade that upbringing for anything. I mean it. Hard work – milking cows, baling hay  - all that.  The rule at our house was you couldn’t play ball until you got that work done. I got the work done in a big hurry.”

His stories of his career as a college basketball official and athletic director were humorous but also carried a point about a leadership, caring, and moving on in life.

 “Every child is one caring parent away from being a success,” he stated, “and for those of you who run a business, your employees are the same way,” he said. “If you’re dealing with people in this generation who are on their phones and have their heads down all the time, they need you to build a relationship that says you care about them. They need you to be involved.”

“Leadership is guiding people where they are to where you believe they can go in a systemized, step by step process. You have to think. You have to plan and take action.”

Read the complete story in the Apri 10 Leader.