kiesau-web.jpgJason Kiesau, author and motivational speaker from Iowa, was the keynote speaker for the fourth annual Larson Leadership Program leadership summit held at Mayville State University Tuesday, Feb. 28. Kiesau also led a couple of breakout sessions, as did 1991 Mayville State University graduate Dawn Cruff. The word of the day was “focus,” and both presenters based their presentations on this concept that can be a benefit to all people as they pursue their goals.

Jason Kiesau has been studying personal, professional, and leadership development for most of his adult life. Adversity in his early 20s made him rethink his approach to the world. He was motivated to study the characteristics of success. Today, he travels across the country working with leaders in the areas of self-management, relationship building, strategic thinking, and creating high-performing teams. Jason’s purpose is to inspire confidence in everyone with whom he works, and he is passionate about helping these people pursue and achieve meaningful results.

Kiesau’s most recent book, “Focused: Your Future Starts Now!” was featured during the summit. In the book, Jason advocates that life is about focus. He feels that who you are today is the result of what you focused on in the past and that your future will be the result of what you focus on right now. Copies of the book were distributed to summit participants.

Dawn’s Cruff’s break-out session was a spinoff of her involvement as a player on the Mayville State University basketball team when she was a student. In her “Full Court Press” presentation, she likened the skills that are helpful in becoming a successful leader to a game plan. She stressed the importance of cruff-web.jpgnetworking and being organized, skills she learned as a student at Mayville State. She also highlighted the significance of having mentors, in addition to maintaining balance and giving back to your community as a way to show your appreciation for those who have helped you.

Cruff has had an impressive career in real estate, specializing in both existing and new home construction in the Fargo-Moorhead area. Guiding clients throughout the buying and selling process, she keeps their best interests a top priority. A member of the Mayville State Athletic Hall of Fame, as well as a recipient of the MSU Distinguished Alumni Award, she continues to stay connected to her alma mater, supporting the university in a number of ways.