Valparaiso men’s soccer player Zev Taublieb (Malibu, Calif./Agoura) was recently awarded the Highest Award for Achievement in the Dale Carnegie Course offered by Valparaiso University’s College of Engineering. The award, which is voted on by students in the course, recognizes the person that best represents Dale Carnegie’s principles.
Valparaiso is one of only two universities in the Midwest that offer the world-famous course. Offered by the College of Engineering, the 12-week course included 36 students; five of which were students of Valparaiso with the remaining students coming from different organizations across the state.
The course is based off of the principles proposed by Dale Carnegie, a best-selling author and founder of a worldwide network that consists of 2,700 trainers across 85 countries today. The course is meant teach students effective communication skills that will enable them to strengthen interpersonal relationships in order to become a more focused, effective leader. Specifically, the course is meant to meet the following objectives: Build Greater Self-Confidence, Strengthen People Skills, Enhance Communication Skills, Develop Leadership Skills, Reduce Stress and Improve Attitude
Students would meet once every week of the 12-week span for four-hour sessions. In each session, each student would make one speech based off one of the five main objectives of the course, and include an opening, a breakthrough, an example, and offer of advice.
These sessions built up to the final presentation where each student would give a three-minute speech that included a return on investment and a vision in addition to the other components of a speech. At the conclusion of the final presentation, the class voted on the award for the Highest Award for Achievement, which is to be award to the person who best understands and represents Dale Carnegie’s principles.
Taublieb, the youngest student in the course, was unanimously voted by his classmates as the recipient of the award. “I was the youngest of all of these people and arguably the least experienced,” said Taublieb. “It was both an honor and a pleasure to learn from our inspiring instructor, Mark Wilson, and from everyone in the class who so generously gave of themselves. My prior experience as both a brother and teammate contributed to my thirst for knowledge and the desire to learn how to better relate to others. I was so excited to attend each session and to take in everything that the course had to offer. Receiving the award and being recognized by my classmates was a bonus.”
The Highest Award for Achievement is said to be the most prestigious of awards in the Dale Carnegie Course. Essentially, the award is given to the most impactful communicator and leader in the course. To those familiar with Valpo Men’s Soccer, Taublieb’s ability to both communicate and lead is well known. Serving as the team’s captain, Taublieb is expected to both lead and be the voice of the team. To do that effectively, communication skills are essential.
Although it is obvious that Taublieb possesses such skills now, that wasn’t always the case. “When I came in as a freshman, I was shy and had difficulties communicating my thoughts and persuading others to listen to my ideas,” said Taublieb. “I would try to give my opinion but could not find the words to communicate what I wanted to express. The coaching staff here at Valparaiso saw my passion and helped me learn how to communicate. [Coach Avery] played the largest role in my development. He showed, by example, how and when to communicate a specific idea and how to address each individual team member so that they could not only hear, but take in what he had to say and make it their own. When the opportunity to take the Dale Carnegie course came about, I wanted to seize it because I knew it would give me the opportunity to apply the lessons learned to the team, and I knew [Coach Avery] would be able to advise me along the way.”
Taublieb considers his time at Valparaiso as the key factor in his growth as a leader. “My experience at Valparaiso has not only made me a better soccer player and more sophisticated student-athlete, it has made me a stronger leader and communicator – which in the long run is most important.”