In 2014, I became the Secretary of the National Society of Leadership & Success (NSLS); I learned everything about being a part of an executive board from time management, assisting your peers and colleagues, the administrative tasks like taking meeting minutes, sending and responding to emails, putting together events (reserving a location, ordering food, inviting members to attend, etc.) and how to be actively involved with my community.
One of the most meaningful moments that I experienced with NSLS, was our Leadership Training Day at the beginning of every semester. This event usually took place after the member orientation day; it was the day where existing members would meet new members and split up into teams for the semester’s activities. The teams were geared towards helping each other brainstorm and gather ideas for accomplishing our SMART goals throughout the academic year.
Another event that I enjoyed hosting was the Speaker Broadcast; twice a semester we would have a leadership lecture given by a societal leader or a popular entrepreneur where they would share their journey through leadership with us. Afterwards, we would have an open discussion so students could asks questions, share their thoughts and give their opinions. In the years of hosting this event I’ve learned from some of the most amazing people from Jim Cramer: host of CNBC’s Mad Money and best-selling author to Daymond John: CEO of F.U.B.U. clothing line and investor on ABC’s Shark Tank, and even Carly Fiorina: CEO of Hewlett-Packard and political figure.
My favorite speaker broadcast was by Blake Mycoskie, the founder of TOMs. I learned about who he was, what he did in his early years of life, and how his business venture in creating TOMs taught him the value of doing something that has an impact on the lives of others. When he first started he was making the shoes in his home, working hard to sell and make a breakthrough. Surely enough, he got his first sale of over 100 shoes. So he began travelling in search of a manufacturer. In this moment, he told a story of a mother and her sons. The boy walked to school one day and his brother the next. The reason for this was because they only had one pair of shoes and would switch them day to day so each son could go to school. Blake saw this happening and gave the mother a pair of shoes. She cried. This is what made him realize his business had the potential to do something bigger than just him. He began to use his business as a platform to become a leader and to change the world one pair of shoes at a time. TOMs is now a One to One company, where every shoe bought is matched and given to people in the world who don’t have shoes. To me, this was the most touching and epic story about leadership in business that isn’t just about capitalism but about philanthropy and humanity.
The National Society of Leadership and Success taught me the beginning stages of what it takes to be a leader and gave me the opportunity to discover and achieve my goals. The NSLS provided me with a community of like-minded individuals that gave me encouragement and kept me focused on what’s important to me.