Azziz calls on young leaders to help transform Augusta

In a pause from his work to consolidate Augusta State and Georgia Health Sciences universities, Dr. Ricardo Azziz called on young business leaders Tuesday night to help make Augusta more attractive to new students and recruits.

Speaking to the Young Professionals of Augusta, GHSU’s president, who will be president of the consolidated university, spoke of the qualities that leaders must have.

“Leadership is really an attitude, a way of thinking,” Azziz said. “Leadership is not your title. It has to do with the skills you learn.”

A key part is building a team with the best people in the best place, he said.

“The right people are your main asset,” he said, and too often leaders, in which he included himself, leave the wrong people in the wrong spot where they won’t succeed.

“We don’t move on people fast enough,” Azziz said.

Despite running a research university and an academic health center, Azziz said he stays in touch by treating patients himself once a month, staying involved in his lab and just walking around campus chatting with people, which he also does at ASU now.

“It’s always amazing what you learn when you talk to people,” Azziz said.

YPA founder Jonathan English asked for advice about how the young business people in Augusta could help transform the region into the next Research Triangle, located in North Carolina’s Raleigh-Durham area.

“To be great, you have to be great to the outside world,” Azziz told him. “We need to make our community attractive to individuals outside (the area). You are the young generation that needs to do this.”

The group, which stresses socializing and networking but also outreach and service to the community, has been working on projects to try to help in various areas of the community, English said.

“We can have a good time and help our community at the same time,” he said.

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