Drew Griffin, Vice President of BWG Shared His Personal Story at the 2017 East Carolina University Business Leadership Conference

April 11, 2017

Audience      Drew Griffin

April 11, 2017 – Hendrix Theatre (Greenville, NC)

East Carolina University (ECU) hosted their annual Business Leadership Conference on Tuesday, April 11th, 2017 where over thirty (30) business leaders from across the United States [some ECU graduates] volunteered to help students understand the realities of the business world in a professional conference environment.

Dr. Stan Eakins, Dean of the ECU College of Business, said, “The conference is a tremendous event that inspires and informs our students, and the presenters touch lives in ways they can’t imagine. ECU is known as the Leadership University, and this event shows how the College of Business is determined to lead in the development of tomorrow’s business leaders.”

 Drew Griffin, Vice President of BWG asked students to think back to middle school geography class and visualize where Washington, DC is located on the U.S. map. He stated, “just like there are countless paths to Washington, DC via car, plane, train, bus or even boat; there are equally that many paths to personal success. So, do not let someone else’s version of success or their risk factors solely determine your path in life. Consider other’s advice but remember, regret feels way worse than failure.”

Mr. Griffin then shifted to describing the two most formative moments in his adult life; inflection points as he described them: 1) his father passing away and 2) being dismissed from ECU’s Graduate School for poor grades, on top of losing his job. Like most people who undergo traumatic situations, those days were stressful and especially difficult to handle. Mr. Griffin explained these events forced him to decide between using those unfortunate events as a crutch for not reaching his full potential or motivators to drive him. He chose the latter and encouraged attendees to do the same for any traumatic situations in their own lives.

Drew emphasized worrying only about our own effort and spending dedicated time reflecting on our actions for improvement. Nothing else matters. He encouraged attendees to act now, be patient and stay optimistic. Success will come! Mr. Griffin closed with the following:

  1. Maintain a High, Consistent Failure Rate. If you are not failing on a consistent basis, be it personally or professionally, you are not putting yourself out there enough to experience the unique success you desire. Persistence is the key!
  2. Commit to Uncommon Actions. Look for ways to stand out above the crowd – show people they are worth your inconvenience. Look for opportunities to go the extra mile, it will serve you well because the extra mile is not well traveled.
  3. Listen to Understand, Not Just to Respond. When people talk, actively listen for cues to show you are listening; rephrase their statements to show you understand their point and do not interrupt. Do not participate in verbal boxing where each person essentially bobs and weaves during the conversation to get a word in.
  4. Be a Servant-Leader. Take ECU’s motto “servire” seriously. Help others before yourself. Identify and meet the needs of colleagues, customers, and communities.

For more information on the ECU Business Leadership Conference, please contact: Steve Myzsak at

BWG Media Contact:

RJ Blake || || 443.235.7882 (c)


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