The Center for the Advancement of Leadership hosted Ricky Hacking as part of its Mastermind Lecture Series on Monday, Feb. 4 in the upper conference rooms of the Sorensen Center.
Hacking is vice president of operations and marketing at Elevate, a branding company located in Lehi. He was recently noted in the UtahValley360 magazine as part of their “40 Under 40” series.
Elevate provides branding strategies for companies wishing to communicate ideas through imagery, according to Hacking. The vice president has had a unique journey to get where he is today.
Addressing the topic of positive leadership, Hacking shared with students that he believes the best way to lead is by being positive.
Citing the Marcial Lambada Study, Hacking further discussed the impact positivity has on those whom leaders influence and direct.
“The single most important factor in determining success is the ratio of positive comments to negative comments; the ratio is 5 to 1,” Hacking said.
While attending Utah State University, he had several comedic experiences. Named as Mr. USU 2003, Hacking’s time at school resulted in the creation of various comedy troupes and stand-up comedy performances. After his undergraduate years, he received an MBA from the University of Utah.
According to Hacking, his comedic background is a vital part of who he is and how he runs his company. While speaking with students from the Center for the Advancement of Leadership, he focused the conversation around his love of laughter and positivity.
In addition to the success gained by being optimistic, people are also more productive when they focus on the good according to Hacking.
“Your brain is 31 percent more productive if you are more positive than if you are negative,” Hacking said.
The impact of positive leadership was recognized by students as they took the presentation given by Hacking and applied it to their own lives.
Matthew Mraz and Moeau Watson, both freshman students at the School of Aviation Science joined the leadership center to improve their ability to lead.
“Over summer, when I was taking a tour of [UVU], I decided to apply to grow as a leader. [Being a leader] was one of my weaknesses in high school,” Mraz said.
The Mastermind Lecture Series is held on the first Monday of every month in SC 206 by the LEAD Program.