Chris Paul Provides Leadership Inspiration to Student Athletes


In a visit sponsored by The Leadership Project at Wake Forest University, Chris Paul (’07) NBA superstar and Wake Forest alum provided leadership insights to the Wake Forest community in Wait Chapel on Wednesday, September 13, 2017.

Earlier in the day, he gave a brief talk to Wake Forest student athletes at the Sutton Center. Highlights of his talk include insights on how to develop yourself as an athlete leader and how to leverage your support team to make the most of your opportunities:

  • Take advantage of opportunities to develop yourself.
  • You have got to want your goal and be willing to work to set it. Be competitive.
  • Enjoy what you do. Be willing to sacrifice to achieve. Pursue passion.

On developing as a college athletics leader:

  • After your high school practice, come and watch Wake practice.
  • Come in and work as hard as you can.
  • Know how to start over. Be adaptable.
  • Lead by example as freshmen.
  • Work harder than anyone to show respect.

On developing as an NBA leader:

  • Ask to serve on the Player Association Board (Executive Committee) as an opportunity to learn about the business of the game. (In your 3rd)
  • Be open to and try to understand diverse perspectives with players, coaches, and owners.
  • Form a support team for your personal success.

On parents and family as role models:

  • I have felt supported by my family in all I do.
  • I was provided good discipline with my dad acting as a mentor more than a friend.
  • I used my family as a check point – What would Dad do?
  • I have valued my brother as my best friend and trusted wingman.

On service to others:

  • Be open to leading people.
  • Draw on family examples including parents and grandparents.
  • Recognize I did not get here on my own – pass it forward.
  • Realize success is an equal playing field. Integrity is essential to educational advantage.

On upperclassmen helping to develop younger athletes:

  • Set the example (work hard, be on time, get good grades).
  • Show younger athletes the skills and pass on knowledge.

Final thoughts:

I have valued my crucible events. In 2008, playing on the USA team gave me the chance to selflessly work with other players to represent my country as one team. “There was nothing like it.”