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Former U.S. Secretary Of Defense Robert Gates Closes 2012 Southeastern University Forum

Gates referred to foreign policy decisions throughout American history as a "constant blending of realism and idealism." He also looked back on his days as a CIA professional and his time as the agency's director, saying that most of the work of the CIA is much less dangerous than movies portray.

"It is hours and days of boredom punctuated by moments of sheer terror," he said.

Day Two of The Forum began with renowned speaker and author Mark Sanborn, who spent his session fleshing out the principles from his book The Fred Factor. He told the story of how his postman Fred in Denver went the extra mile in customer service from the first day Sanborn moved to the city and how Fred's attitude can be applied by leaders in dealing with their workers or customers.

"(Fred) said he worries about one thing at the end of the day," Sanborn said. "Did I waste any of the day I just finished?"

Sanborn gave four-and-a-half principles that can help leaders to take advantage of the Fred Factor, including four ways for an organization to increase its number of "Freds:" Find them, Reward them, Educate them, Demonstrate his attitude yourself. He closed by encouraging leaders to love what they do, who they do it with, and for whom they do it.

"Love is a commitment to treat people with dignity and respect, regardless of how you feel about them or how they make you feel," he said.

Filmmaker, producer, speaker, and write Phil Cooke followed Sanborn, calling on his experience to advise leaders how best to communicate their message and control the public's perception of their organization. Cooke emphasized originality, visibility, the power of a name, and simplicity during his session, while giving real-world examples of organizations that didn't follow those principles.

He also encouraged leaders to make sure they know their own story first before trying to share it with others.

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