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Spring Fever

Spring is officially here, spring break has likely come and gone, and the rapid pace of the end of the semester is about to begin. While this is often filled with exciting events, it can also be a time with numerous deadlines and long to-do lists. The stress of getting it all done may lead to us being less understanding of your roommate’s annoying habits, team member’s lack of follow-through, or people emailing you questions about things you just announced the night before. The end of the semester combined with a sense of responsibility leaves many leaders frustrated, confused, and over it. You have a choice – ignore it all and get through the semester or step up and address it. Susan Scott said it best in her book Fierce Conversations, “You get what you tolerate.” What are you tolerating? What needs to be discussed to help your organization focus more on collaboration instead of trying to resolve small personal issues? What decisions do you need to make to get results instead of just participating in every activity or event that comes across the calendar? Are those events even things your members enjoy and align with your values? What do you need to tackle today in order to have a clear list of priorities so you can stop feeling overwhelmed? What are those things that keep you up at night? Do you have that list? If you don’t, take a second and write it down. So what is stopping you from having that conversation? Do you find yourself saying things like: What do I know? I don’t want to...

Do you even care?

Over the past handful of months, social media has looked like thousands of people all trying to have a “conversation” with their own megaphone.  Most of it was an unproductive hot mess. I would be fascinated to see data about if Facebook posts actually changed people’s minds, or if it just caused us to fall deeper into our own worlds, causing deeper rifts between political colors, genders, races, religions, and socio-economic classes No matter what, what has not been happening enough is listening to each other. Politics and religion bring out the worst in us. Compassion, patience, and having an open mind all often get thrown out the window.  We are so set in our ways that we no longer regard others’ opinions and stories. If we are ever going to progress, this has to change. We have all been taught at some time or another what active listening is. For those who need a refresher, active listening means: Maintain good eye contact Square your shoulders to face the other person Nod your head at various points Then paraphrase what the other person said before asserting your own thoughts or asking another question. Those all sound great, and sure, they could work.  But I would like to offer an alternative: Care. Just care, friends. When you care about someone you naturally lean in, maintain good eye contact, ask better questions, etc. It is possible for you to fake active listening, believe me I have done it. But it is not possible to fake caring. When someone tries to fake caring it is so blatantly obvious. It’s time to start...

How does one find their life’s passion? By serving others.

Nowadays we are asked to volunteer for many different things – from serving at food banks, to walk-a-thons, to participating in breast cancer awareness events. All of which are important. But while volunteering, we often act mechanically without a thought – except to just to get it over with. To volunteer is to give of one’s self and to truly find out who you are and what you are made of. There are many advantages to volunteering, but I’d like to highlight three that I believe are the difference in finding one’s passion and determining one’s destination for life. Before I began my professional speaking career, my younger sister approached me and asked if I’d speak at her school about the topic of teen pregnancy. She indicated that they were having a panel of speakers to talk about their experience. I immediately said, yes. And the experience was life changing. I discovered that I had the ability to tell stories that were very relatable and at times even funny, but, I could get a serious point across. After my initial presentation, I was rewarded with a request from teachers asking if I’d come back to speak to the students because of their positive response. I found myself volunteering to go to the school once a month to speak with students. What I got out of the experience was well above what I believe my audience received from me. I realized I had the skill to speak. I also realized I had a story that needed to be shared, which brought value to others through my experiences and message. The...

5 Tips for a Safer Spring Break

It’s that time of year when college students around the country travel to sunny beaches and other vacation spots to enjoy their spring break. Unfortunately, some leave behind the knowledge they’ve gained and disregard some of the safer behaviors they’ve learned regarding alcohol use. Here are a few tips for a safer spring break, to help reduce risks and negative consequences associated with heavy drinking: Spring break is a marathon, not a sprint:  Several days of heavy drinking, let alone one night, can be very taxing on the body in terms of the liver and other organs. This also can affect your immune system, and many students have tests or exams immediately upon their return from spring break. Hydrate: Alcohol is a dehydration agent, meaning it take water out of your system. Consider limiting alcohol consumption while being out in the sun or on the beach all day, and consider alternating water for alcohol (drink-for-drink) throughout the week. Know your surroundings: Become familiar with where you’re staying and the neighborhood. Make plans with friends to meet up at specific locations or times. Watch out for each other. Keep your phone with you at all times, and avoid looking like a tourist with your phone in hand while attempting to look at a map.  Stay in groups and avoid going off alone. Intoxicated spring breakers often make easy targets for theft and other crimes. Predatory drugs still exist: Always watch your drink being poured by the bartender, and take your drink directly from the bartender. Carry your drink with your hand covering the open top of your drink, making it...

Monica McGee Appointed Chief Operating Officer of CAMPUSPEAK

March 8, 2017, Orlando, FL – CAMPUSPEAK announced today the appointment of Monica McGee as its Chief Operating Officer, effective April 3, 2017. “I’ve known Monica for over a decade and couldn’t be more excited for her to join our staff team. She has always had a student-first approach to her work that I admire,” says David Stollman, President of CAMPUSPEAK. “That approach will translate into ensuring that we continue to focus on outstanding customer service.” Monica McGee has been working in student affairs for over 15 years. Throughout her career, she has worked at both private and public institutions, including University of the Pacific, Marquette University, Carnegie Mellon University and Arizona State University. McGee has a deep affinity for the interfraternal experience, having joined Gamma Phi Beta while attending the University of Wisconsin-Platteville. She chose to pursue a career in Higher Education, earning her master’s degree in Student Affairs in Higher Education from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Monica is a consummate student affairs professional and believes deeply in the engagement of students outside of the classroom. Before her role managing the operations of the Memorial Union at Arizona State, she was an award-winning fraternity and sorority life advisor. In 2011, Monica was recognized as the Campus Professional of the Year by Beta Theta Pi fraternity, and in 2012, Monica received the Outstanding Campus Professional Award by the Association of Fraternity Advisors and the Fraternity Insurance Purchasing Group. Commenting on her appointment, McGee says, “From the time that I was in college, I have seen the positive impact that CAMPUSPEAK has had on college students’ lives. I am truly excited to join the...

The need for conversations on masculinity.

For me, masculinity has always been an interesting concept. I grew up in a military family surrounded by what some might consider ideologies of “traditional” masculinity. My father was stoic and expected achievement. Our lives were heavily ordered, and he served as the primary breadwinner, while my mother was a source of emotional support and nurturing. I did not live in a military school by any means, but there were set expectations for how I behaved in public, how I tended to my responsibilities and swift repercussions for mischief. Which was a problem because, boy oh boy, did I love engaging in mischief. From breaking my bone to dismantling items to see their inner workings to drawing on items not meant to be colored, I broke the rules frequently, and I broke them well. Where, for other boys in my class, it was not uncommon to hear “oh, boys will be boys,” for me, this refrain did not come as much. For a long time, I wondered why but now I realize a little more. The reason I was never given leniency, is because of my actions, in a sense, were not inherently masculine. Creativity, the expression of visible emotion, challenging teachers, not about rules but about what we were learning. I broke the rules but in a different way than my peers. Reflecting on this, I was always curious about why sometimes, my decisions stood out, why adults bothered me, why I stood out from my peers and why I received more pushback against my behaviors, especially the more artistic ones. Growing up, I did not have the answers...

Tips for recruiting and retaining LGBTQ+ students.

  When I was in high school, I remember checking out the college and university brochures, trying to decide which campus looked like the best fit for me. Like many prospective students, I looked at the city or town the campus was located in, the overall vibe of the community, what kinds of activities were available in the surrounding areas, like skiing, hiking, attractions, etc., and finally, I checked out the actual academic programs that the school offered. I may have had my priorities backward, but nevertheless, I had to envision myself living and being comfortable with the entire experience. Even though I wasn’t ‘out’ in regards to my sexual orientation or gender identity, at that time, I still felt the need to choose a school/city that was open-minded. For LGBTQ+ (especially Trans) students, there is much more to consider when selecting a college. In addition to finding appealing college courses and majors, and an open-minded town, LGBTQ+ students look for indications that the campus culture is safe and inclusive to diverse groups, like themselves. For many students, high school was less than favorable, and they were victims of bullying and anti-LGBTQ+ harassment, so for those who choose to continue their education, it’s imperative to find a campus that welcomes them, as their authentic self. Students need to feel safe and supported emotionally, physically and socially, to succeed. Here are some tips to effectively recruit and retain LGBTQ+ students, as well as to promote inclusiveness on your campus. Recruiting Materials Just as I looked at all the college brochures and campus photographs, so is every other prospective student, and...

WHY and NOW!

Your WHY is important, but so is your NOW! You have been hiding under a rock (shameful Geico reference) if you have not heard someone ask about your WHY. It has been made insanely popular by Simon Sinek who focuses on helping organizations and leaders discover their WHY in his latest book. Although Sinek has made it popular, this question has been a vital issue for a long time. In my most popular presentation and my upcoming book, WHY Matters NOW: How Some Achieve More and Other’s Don’t I challenge you to explore both your WHY and your NOW, as they are of equal importance!   The WHY: What is your WHY? No, I am not asking you to look in the mirror and ask, “what is the meaning of life?” I am asking what motivates you.  What is your purpose? What is your intent? What drives you and energizes you? When you understand your WHY, it leads you to make better decisions, to say no more effectively, and persevere when challenges arise. Whether for new students, professionals, or organizational leaders, this question is important. I like to frame it this way. What do you offer/contribute and what is your effect/impact? It’s called the “I AM, SO THAT!” To further clarify it, it can look like “I AM (what you offer/contribute), SO THAT (your effect and impact). Let me give you my example. I AM (inspiring others to take purposeful action), SO THAT (they can achieve authentic results and challenge the boundaries of what they believe is possible). I ask myself what I am doing filtered through this lens....

I spent 24-hours of my honeymoon playing soccer with Syrian refugees.

Ethan Zohn won a million dollars on the TV show Survivor and put the money to good use. As a philanthropist, entrepreneur and college speaker, Ethan dedicates his time to helping others in need and educating his audiences on how they can make a difference. Read his most recent article about how he and his wife spent their honeymoon making a positive impact: I spent 24-hours of my honeymoon playing soccer with Syrian refugees. Learn more about speaker Ethan Zohn and his story:...

Building a legacy through leadership and service.

Service is an integral part of leadership. Not only do student leaders have the opportunity to inspire and guide their fellow students. They can also model the importance of serving our communities, and giving to those in need. Someone who modeled this for me was my mother. Here is a story about her: It was 1990, and I was sitting in the auditorium of my old high school waiting for the show to begin. The lights flickered on and off letting the audience know there were 5 minutes left to the start of the production of Music Music Music. We sat there in great anticipation. Finally, the lights dimmed, the curtains opened, and the audience erupted into applause. Up on the stage were 30 adults with down syndrome, decked out in full costumes, ready to perform their lip-sync number to the song Delta Dawn. This was the fundraiser my mother had produced for many years for a group called the DDA, (Developmentally Disabled Adults of Rockingham County). My mother worked with the DDA from 1985 to 2011, when she retired. My mom was the Director of Parks and Recreation in Madison, North Carolina, the small town where I grew up. She had gone back to college when she was 40 years old to major in Therapeutic Recreation. She vowed that went she graduated and got a job; she would hold a special place in her heart for anyone with a disability. And she did! Each month, as the Director of Parks and Recreation, she offered a program for the DDA. Sometimes it was a Scavenger Hunt. Other times, it...

Words Make a Difference

  Recognizing people is one the most important parts of being a leader, and it’s also one of my favorite parts. Praising and complimenting others has always come naturally to me, and I love making people feel good about themselves. But the first time I remember my positive words really making an impact on someone was soon after I started a cleaning company when I was in college. It was in the middle of what we call “move-out season,” which takes place in the dead of summer. I was leading a large team at an apartment complex, where we were tasked with cleaning about 100 units that day. My company is based in Gainesville, Florida, so as you can imagine, it’s Really. Freaking. Hot. Add that to cleaning empty apartments where people have lived for years—sometimes without cleaning them at all—and you’ve got a recipe for misery. To get my team through the move-out season, it takes a lot of encouragement. I was making my rounds to each apartment, delivering water to teams and thanking them for working so hard. In one of the units I visited, two students were working together in a kitchen. I greeted them and handed them each a water bottle. Then I consulted my list and realized there should be another person in the apartment. “Isn’t there someone else with you?” I asked. “Yeah,” one of the students said. “He’s… down that way, cleaning one of the bathrooms.” The way she said it made me think something was up, so I set off down the hallway. When I reached the bathroom, I looked through...

Fill Their Bucket

  As a student of leadership, I’m always looking for pragmatic concepts that I can add to my toolbox, and especially ones that I can incorporate into my keynote speeches. Enter Child Psychology 101. My wife and I have two kids. Roman is four and Sylvia is two. We love them to death, and in our minds, they truly are our little angels. But sometimes, as you might imagine, they don’t always demonstrate angelic behavior. Up until recently, well, let’s just say they were in the habit of displaying remarkably “spirited” behavior. My wife’s and my patience was pushed to the limit, and we arrived at a point where we both agreed we needed some professional help. We made a beeline for the Google search bar and found a child behavioral expert who bases her methodology on what is known as Adlerian Psychology. One of her premises is that if you want well-behaved children, you must satisfy their need for attention and power. At the end of her one-hour webinar, we were sold on the promise that inside her magic box lay all the secrets for putting an end to all of that undesired negative behavior, of which our kids seemed to have an endless supply. She had shown us the light, and we were ready for her six-week course. Early on in the program, we learned that children (1) don’t experience an adequate amount of attention and (2) don’t feel empowered, through no fault of their own, they act out in the only ways they know how, usually in the form of temper tantrums, whining, and innumerable other ways...

The Power of Belonging

      Over the last four years, I have engaged in an in-depth inquiry into the nature of fraternal brotherhood and sisterhood. I have learned a great deal about the fraternal experience in those four years, and have published and presented research that I think represents a fundamental shift in focus for those of us working in the fraternity/sorority industry. Of all that we have learned, one finding stands out above the others: a brotherhood or sisterhood based on belonging – a feeling of connectedness and mattering – is the single most important aspect of the fraternal experience. In our research, we have quantitatively studied over 30,000 fraternity and sorority members, and have engaged in in-depth qualitative analysis, hearing from fraternity and sorority members themselves about the experiences that shape their feelings of brotherhood and sisterhood. And those students have resoundingly stated, over and over again, in their own words and in their answers to survey questions, that a feeling of belonging is of paramount importance. Belonging is the single most powerful predictor of retention in fraternities and sororities. It is the single most important predictor of overall satisfaction with the fraternity/sorority experience. It is the single most important predictor of organizational commitment and attachment. And belonging is the key that opens the door to the most altruistic versions of brotherhood and sisterhood – a drive to hold one another to high standards and to strive together to achieve greatness. Show me a chapter with retention issues, motivation issues, or involvement issues, and I’ll show you a chapter with belonging issues. The importance of a brotherhood or sisterhood based...

I cannot make you change. But I can change me.

    “If only my spouse/child/parent/boss would change…” To focus our attention on what we can’t control produces suffering. You and I have limited resources. We have finite time, energy and attention. When we expend those resources on what is beyond our control, suffering ensues. That suffering is a sign. It means we’re out of balance with the natural order of things. It means we’re not harnessing our limited resources towards doing what we can do because we’ve opted to focus on what we cannot do. I cannot make you change. But I can change me. Often, that’s enough to ease my suffering. Every week, I meet with courageous people in the therapy room. People from all walks of life who are struggling to overcome challenges impeding them from becoming their best selves. Too many have been the victims of unspeakable abuse, neglect, or crimes they did nothing to merit. For these folks, empowerment comes from the paradoxical truth that although what happened to them long ago was not their fault, today they have the moral responsibility to assume ownership over the effects of their earlier trauma. Then, no longer are they passive victims, but can begin to forge a new meaning from their experiences and chart a new path of their choosing. What happened to me yesterday may not have been my fault. What do I do with today is my responsibility. Be well. Joel Learn more about speaker Dr. Joel Núñez, check...

The Perfect Love Affair #PLA

      “Love is patient, and love is kind…” or so the story is told. There is a moment when you think about your personal love, and sometimes it leads to warm fuzzy moments or cold realities of the bad decisions you have made in your lifetime. We often find ourselves waiting for someone to say how much they like us, or even how much they love us. But sometimes the voice that we need to hear to say those things belongs to us. Why do we find ourselves waiting on others to acknowledge our existence when we may have walked by five mirrors and didn’t acknowledge ourselves? I know this may be too deep, especially if you just stumbled across this article while eating your morning Cheerios. However, I have a responsibility to share with some and remind others. Does the love affair that you seek, start with yourself first? Loving yourself first is what I call the PERFECT LOVE AFFAIR! No one is going to love you better than you. No one is going to encourage, motivate and inspire you to stay strong more than you can. I know that this may cause you to be a bit vulnerable. However, this is what creates inner strength. Brené Brown says it best: “Vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage. Truth and courage aren’t always comfortable, but they’re never weakness.” You’ve heard this before, but allow me to reintroduce you to this phrase – You can’t worry about the haters. You have to be prepared to lead your haters. Hence the reason that self-love is so important. When...

How to Mistake Your Way to Your Best Self

It’s pretty uncommon these days for anyone to encourage you to make a mistake, let alone celebrate one. A mistake is considered to be the opposite of a success and therefore something to be avoided in our success-focused culture. But what if I told you that it’s not so simple – that mistakes are crucial for your personal growth and that avoiding mistakes is the best way to keep you from being your most successful self? What would you do? How would you live a life where mistakes were marvelous? First off, you have to believe that mistakes are great! We have spent most of our lives being told to avoid mistakes. Almost every test we take in school sends that message. If you want a good grade, don’t make any mistakes. A good grade is considered the key to a good school, which is the key to a good job, which is our key to a good life. Anything that derails that imaginary path is a bad thing. But take some time to think about your life when you learned the most about yourself and others. Did they come from easy successes? Or did they come from epic fails? Perhaps it was the success you found after the trials, obstacles, and mistakes you had to experience to get there? My guess is it was the latter. Mistakes have changed the world for the better! All you have to do is look back in history to see all the mistakes that we benefit from today. The microwave was invented because Percy Spencer was trying to create a new vacuum tube....

Selling is Synonymous with Success

    “I do not have the personality to be a great salesperson.” I may be the first one to tell you this, but personally believing in that statement can be a major hindrance to your personal and business progression. Out of every ten salespeople that you meet, two usually have the personality of a great salesperson. The ones that we usually run into are the other eight, and unfortunately, until the message from this article spreads to the general public, the stereotypes that come with the personality of a salesperson will continue to push possible buyers away. These traits include: aggressive over-talkers impatient not genuine egotistical Those are just a few, but these are usually characteristics that someone who agreed with my opening statement is thinking about when assessing the personality type os a salesperson. The previous traits are not only unproductive for someone in sales, but also for anyone in life. What Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King Jr., Andrew Carnegie, and Henry Ford have in common is that they were some of the greatest salesmen who have ever lived. The ideas that they persuaded others to buy into had a generational impact that has had an effect on the way we all live today. The mindset of a great salesperson involves understanding human behavior that they demonstrate through their passionate delivery of their message. What the average person deals with is the total opposite when it comes to sales. They deal with an overly assumptive person who usually does not allow proper communication, and those types of experiences cause the buyer to carry defenses into future encounters...

Leadership Misconceptions: How Extraordinary Leaders Inspire and Lead Differently

  Leadership is… action, not position. transformation, not a transaction. influence, not management. a verb, not a noun. Whether I am speaking to student audiences or corporate organizations, the challenges and frustrations I hear leaders talk about have common threads. The seasoned executive and department manager are very likely dealing with many of the same issues as the student leader. “Others just don’t seem to care as much.” “If only people did what they said they’d do!” “Why can’t we get more people involved?” “20% of us are doing 80% of the work!” etc., etc. The good news is there are solutions to whatever your frustrations might be. Of course, circumstances are unique for each of us, but leadership principles are universal and span across an age and industry. As long as a leader recognizes the specific changes they desire and are needed, there are ways to make that reality come to life. That’s what effective leaders do. They have a reality check to assess and recognize where they are and then they work with others to get where he/she/they want to be. Where they want to be is a clear vision that they communicate and hold themselves accountable to work toward. Spoiler Alert! This one article won’t solve all the world’s problems, but it can help us get started. I’ll be diving deeper into what I believe is the most important concept that will help you tackle and work through any challenge you are currently facing. Whether you want to improve your organization, a relationship, or yourself, apply this one principle to begin the journey. “Remember, it’s not what...

Release Self-Neglect and Love Yourself in Action

    When it comes to moving toward more fierce loving of your own body, speaker and founder of bodyheart, Amber Krzys is an expert. She recently sat down for a podcast with Sexyfit to talk about the importance of creating a positive body image that will help carry out more meaningful New Year’s resolutions. You can hear the podcast episode here. Learn more about keynote speaker Amber Krzys and her story:...

Showing Up With Purpose & Embracing Vulnerability in 2017

    We have all been affected by trauma: violence, disease, injustice, poverty. I believe that these certain events in our lives (both in personal and societal spheres) resonate with us and inspire us to change the world for the better. Some of us just lack the courage and insight to step out into our calling. For myself, it was an unfortunate event of sexual violence that caused me to rethink how I wanted to live and participate in the world. It was this event that made me change my college major and career path so that I could pursue more meaningful work in the empowerment of women. As some of us wade into 2017 with a deep sense of fear, anger and heartbreak, we must consider how to react to the circumstances which brought us here, especially when they seed in us a desire to implement positive change. My proposal: embrace your vulnerability on the path to discovering your own calling. Here are three steps to getting started: 1. Spend time alone To pursue work that’s meaningful to you, you must truly know your own heart and identity. What do you stand for? What are you passionate about? For myself, spending six months travelling and working overseas allowed me to explore my passions and identity while stripped of societies definition of who I was. Back home, I was so consumed with what others were doing or what others thought that I lost touch with Me. By literally unplugging from the world I was most comfortable in, I was able to spend time tending to the greening of my...

Put On Your Oxygen Mask First: Prioritizing Self-Care

  It’s the beginning of 2017. Are you already feeling stressed out? After the holiday season, we tend to be that much harder on ourselves and the start of a new year can feel even more overwhelming. When the workload has got you down, one of the best things you can do is take preventative steps to protect your wellbeing. We call this self-care. What is self-care? I like to envision it like this: have you noticed that when you’re preparing to takeoff in an airplane the flight attendant demonstrates how to use the oxygen mask? They always say to put your own oxygen mask on first before helping someone else. This is exactly how self-care works. We need to invest in our well-being before we can help others. Self-care includes anything that you love to do. What makes you feel recharged, well-rested, and happy? I especially love how Dr. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi conceptualizes self-care with the notion of “flow.” Flow is the optimal state when we are so in the moment that we lose track of time.[i] The activity is so emotionally stimulating and engaging that we don’t care what other priorities we have on our list. And if you’re not sure what you love to do or when you are in “flow?” Follow your natural curiosity and talent and see what you find. Be willing to experiment with your creativity and be open to new experiences. What are some different things that you can do for self-care? I’m listing a plethora of options for you below. Self-Care Set Hold, walk, or play with your pet ~ Go for...

The “secret sauce” of SNL’s success is dropping the drama

  It is strange that a show like Saturday Night Live’s success comes from removing “drama,” but it’s true! To understand why, let’s first talk about belonging, psychological safety and authenticity. Belonging. My friends Gentry and Josh over at Dyad Strategies told me a lot about belonging that I already knew. Good research can uncover ideas that make you say, “duh,” because common sense helps us come to some conclusions naturally. Sometimes, it makes so much sense, that on face value, it’s easy to accept. The feeling of belonging matters. In fact, a member’s depth of feeling that they belong to an organization will predict most aspects of their experience, like their level of commitment and identification with the organization. The more one feels they belong, the more one expects a correlation of those factors. Why do people feel that they belong? And, what can your organization do to help deepen that feeling? One answer comes from the “secret sauce” of Saturday Night Live’s success –  psychological safety. Charles Duhigg (Pulitzer Prize-winning, New York Times) writes about the role psychological safety plays at SNL in Fast Company. Since 1975 when the show first aired, the one constant has always been Lorne Michaels, the show’s first and only executive producer. Michaels says the reason why Saturday Night Live has succeeded is because he believes in abiding by two rules: giving everyone a voice, and enforcing that people need to really listen to each other. A positive communication culture is a key to psychological safety, and essential for organizations to truly be successful. Positive communication culture doesn’t just allow, but encourage...

Tom Healy releases his new book, Limitless Leadership.

  Speaker Tom Healy is passionate about helping students reach their extraordinary leadership potential. For the past seven years, Tom has used his straightforward style to empower students by challenging them, making them laugh and most importantly, helping them thrive as a leader in everything they do! Tom recently released his new book, Limitless Leadership: Find Your Drive to Thrive. Through his personal experiences, extensive research and working directly with thousands of student leaders across the country, Tom has developed a specific system for student leaders to thrive. Here are the key actions Tom walks the reader through: Be the hardest worker in the room. Outwork everyone around you, and help others understand the value of hard work. Have a laser-focused vision. Know what you want for your future. Work with others to develop strong visions for organizations you are involved with. Surround yourself with good people. Build and army of good people to make you a better leader, and constantly work to connect good people and organizations with each other. Be authentic 24/7. Be your authentic self, and encourage others to be comfortable in doing the same. Be a problem solver. Create solutions for the problems around you, and make sure organizations you are involved with have the same attitude. Always persevere. Fight through whatever life throws your way, and help those around you fight through adversity as well. You can find more information about Tom’s book, audiobook and Kindle e-book by visiting here. Learn more about leadership speaker Tom Healy and his story:...

2017: Your Year of Practicing Badassery

    Every year in January we are bombarded with the #NewYearNewYou, that consists of promises to lose some pounds by giving up all of our favorite foods and doing some kind of fitness challenge, only to quit it all in a matter of weeks. Well, this year I am challenging you to something greater, something deeper. I am challenging you to have your most badass year to date. The Urban Dictionary defines badassery as “engaging in seemingly impossible activities and achieving success in a manner that renders all onlookers completely awestruck.” In 2004, after four years of blood, sweat and tears at a martial arts school in New York City, I finally tested for my black belt in Hapkido. We were instructed that the test would start at 4 am and that we needed to be prepared to train for several hours. That’s it. The rest would be a surprise. So, I and the others I trained with, prepped ourselves as best we could and practiced our forms, trained our techniques, adjusted our sleep schedules and our diets to get ready for the big test. The night before the test, knowing that I had to be up early, I barely slept. But, I got myself there and after eight long hours of physically grueling work, we finished! I can’t tell you exactly what we did in the test because, a) it’s just a big blur and b) it’s like the first rule of Fight Club. You don’t talk about Fight Club. We all passed the test and received our first black belt. After the test, friends (non-martial artists)...

Interview: Be bold, stay humble – how cancer helped two people find their life’s work

According to the National Cancer Institute, there were approximately 1,685,210 new cases of cancer in the United States in 2016. In 2014, 15,780 children, ages 0-19 years of age were diagnosed with this common disease. Sadly, it is estimated that 39.6% of the U.S. will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lives (National Cancer Institute, March 14, 2016). Every year, the month of February is recognized as National Cancer Prevention Month. Cancer has affected many lives: those who are battling the disease, those who are survivors and those who are supporting them. We interviewed two of our keynote speakers who have had their own unique experiences with cancer and how it has changed their lives. Jess Ekstrom, founder of Headbands of Hope and Ethan Zohn, winner of the television show, Survivor who, at a high point in his life and career, has hurled into a moment where he had to fight to survive again – this time, for his life.     CS: Tell us more about your company, Headbands of Hope. Jess: Headbands of Hope restores confidence and self-expression in children undergoing cancer treatment through a simple accessory. For every headband sold, one is given to a child with cancer. CS: What made you decide to start a company that revolves around children battling cancer? Jess: During the summer of 2011 when I was in college, I interned at a wish-granting organization for kids with life-threatening illnesses. I saw so many girls migrating towards headbands instead of wigs after hair-loss. Headbands gave them the opportunity to regain their feminine identity without hiding what they’re going through...

How law imitates life (from Life as a Courtroom)

    As I have discovered, practicing law can be an all-encompassing profession. The law literally affects everything around us. It naturally follows, then, that I often use the law to make larger points about life. With the foregoing in mind, here are a few ways that the law imitates life. Passion Makes for a Better Result Passion is defined as “a strong liking or devotion to an activity, cause, or concept.” Individuals find their true power when they find their passion. In the best of circumstances, your power, driven by your passion, and guided by strong principles, will take you to the “promised land” of purpose. At a young age, I learned that I had a passion for communicating. A family member told me very early on that I had the “gift of gab.” I turned that gift into being a published poet by high school, and a stand-up comedian in college. Because of a love for politics and legal issues, I decided early on that I wanted to be a lawyer, which combines two of my favorite things: law and communication. I have found my professional, passionate “sweet spot” in communicating, explaining, and even arguing the law within a court, and behind lecterns at colleges and law schools. Closing an argument in front of a jury with everything on the line is truly my “happy place.” And as a bonus, that passion has intensified as I discovered how to use the law to drastically improve a client’s situation, and thereby their very life. At some point, we should all be able to answer the question, “Why am I...

Farewell, President Obama. Hello, President Trump? Hmm… Are we still having Black History Month?

The 2016 Presidential Election will go down in history as one of the most divisive elections of all time. No matter who won the election, a major portion of the United States population was not going to be happy with the outcome. Like him or not, Donald Trump is the new President of the United States of America. Now, where do we go from here? What does this mean for our country? What does this mean for immigrants and children of immigrants? There’s a multitude of questions and uncertainty that is worrying students, faculty, and the general public. This is addressed in my newest keynote, where I will help assuage concern and redirect focus on unity and encouraging our youth to work together to repair this fractured country. A major bone of contention throughout the Presidential Election was the controversial Black Lives Matter movement. The Black Lives Matter movement started off in a positive manner, aimed at reducing the epidemic of homicidal police violence against African-American men. As the movement grew, it became perverted by extremists and now has come to stand for something it is not. This is another important part of my keynote. I will discuss the origins of the Black Lives Matter movement, what it was intended to be and what it was not intended to be and what it has become. The keynote will help the audience understand both sides and how to work together to achieve the desired result. The future of the country has many LGBTQ+ individuals nervous about their rights and the country regressing in their acceptance. History repeats itself, in different forms. In the 1960s,...

Top 5 reasons you should attend College Speakers Academy 2017

          College Speakers Academy (CSA) will be in San Juan, Puerto Rico for 2017. Participating in this two-day seminar is an awesome way for new and seasoned speakers alike to learn the ins and outs of building a successful career speaking to college students. If you’re on the fence about attending, consider our Top Five Reasons you should attend CSA 2017: 1. Learn from the experts. It is a rare opportunity to be able to learn from speakers and professionals who devote their professional careers specifically toward college speaking. During CSA, you’ll have full access to CAMPUSPEAK’s experienced faculty and interaction with some of our most experienced keynote speakers. Who better to learn from than the experts themselves? 2. Answer your burning questions. The Higher Education community can be incredibly difficult to break into. So many speakers who want to grow their business in this special market get hung up when trying to learn the language, culture, and trends of the industry. We take the time to address overarching information that everyone needs to hear. With CSA’s intimate setting, all attendees have the opportunity to ask specific questions that relate to their topic of interest. 3. Deepen your understanding. With so many choices for college speakers, it is important to deepen your understanding of who exactly you’re trying to reach and what about yourself sets you apart from the competition. We can help you determine which special niche areas might be the best fit for your area of expertise, and will share ideas for your continued professional development as a speaker. 4. Think differently about marketing. When...

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year?

Ever heard the song, “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” on the radio? Do you think of crazy shoppers and cookies gone wrong rather than what the song is really about it—how it truly can be the most wonderful time of the year? It is so easy to get caught up in the madness that this time of year can bring if we’re not careful. It can be such a pivotal time of year—a season where we experience stress, chaos, and disappointment, or it can be an opportunity to reflect on the splendid little moments of the past 12 months and cherish time with family. The holidays will inevitably come this year (like they do every year) so we can choose to greet them with gratitude or we can wish them away—it’s our choice. Here’s a few ways to enhance your holiday season: Say “yes” to making plans:You don’t have to do everything on your list this year, but encourage yourself to celebrate with friends. Sometimes the hardest part is just getting out the door—once you’re there, you’ll be glad that you participated. And if you’re looking for inspiration? Pinterest has a wealth of ideas to get you out there and enjoying this time of year. Say “no” when it’s too much: This is a good time of year to practice our boundaries. Whether it comes to that third cookie or the 10th holiday party, there are limits to how much you can do. It’s all about balance and no matter how much FOMO creeps on you, you can say no. This has to be a season of...

CAMPUSPEAK Facilitator, Gentry McCreary, Ph.D. receives Association of Fraternity & Sorority Advisor’s (AFA) Sue Kraft Fussell Distinguished Service Award

November 4, 2016, Orlando, FL – Gentry McCreary, Ph.D., co-creator of the Redefining Brotherhood and Redefining Sisterhood Interactive Workshops, was recently named as a recipient of the Sue Kraft Fussell Distinguished Service Award. The award will be presented at the 40th AFA Annual Meeting in Boston, MA on Saturday, December 3. The Sue Kraft Fussell Distinguished Service Award, created in 1985, “recognizes individuals who have exhibited outstanding achievements in one or more of the following areas: service to AFA; programming and/or service which reaches beyond the recipient’s campus/organization; development and research activities; and/or service to the college and fraternity/sorority communities.” Having nearly 15 years of professional experience in higher education, Gentry’s passion for data driven decision-making in advising and program development has led to his ability to assist many organizations and campuses in their efforts to eradicate hazing and sexual assault. He is a trainer and educator on both topics and is well received by students and professionals alike. He is a well sought after speaker, facilitator and consultant, whose work speaks for itself. Gentry has also designed and executed research and assessment that examines the value of membership to undergraduate students. In 2015, he was honored with the Dr. Charles Eberly Oracle Award. “I love the work that I do. It is a piece of who I am, and it is very important to me,” said McCreary. “To be recognized for that work with the Sue Kraft Fussell Distinguished Service Award is an incredible honor.” You can learn more about the Gentry McCreary’s Interactive Workshops by visiting campuspeak.com/redefiningbrotherhood and campuspeak.com/redefiningsisterhood. To bring either of these Interactive Workshops to your campus or...

Lean Into Your Dreams

    Six years ago, in the garage of my old house, I led my very first workshop. There were seven women present who each paid a fee of $59 to attend. This day I gave birth to my first business, bodyheart. When I recently came across the photo (shared below), tears ran down my cheeks. This photo may not look like much, but it is huge to me. When I started, I wasn’t sure what I was doing. I didn’t have a business plan. I’d never taken a business class in my life. I’d never led a workshop, and I was consumed with thoughts like: What if no one shows up? What if they don’t get value out of my content? What if they hate it? What if I suck at facilitating? What if I fail? I had so many fears, and yet, I moved forward anyway, connected to something larger than myself and my negative “what-ifs”. I was attuned to my heart and to my desire to help. I had experienced a powerful healing in my relationship with my body. I went from hating it to loving it, and wanted to share how with anyone who would listen. I had no idea if my offerings would be relevant to others, but I knew I had to try. Fortunately, I discovered that my experience translated. What worked for me, worked for others! From there my confidence grew, I led more workshops, group programs, started speaking and working with people individually. Big things can come from humble beginnings. In my line of work as a life coach and speaker,...

Avoiding Ethical Negligence

If you were walking down the street, and you saw someone lying on the ground in obvious distress that you did not cause, would you help that person?  As an attorney, I am often presented with the question of whether something being contemplated is “legal.” The definition of legal is “something that is permitted by law.” One of the more well-known legal concepts is what we call negligence. When someone is negligent, their conduct falls below a certain reasonable person standard. Legal negligence occurs when (1) someone has a duty to another, (2), there is a breach of the duty owed, (3) the person owed the duty suffers damages, and (4) the breach causes the damage suffered. Legal implications often come into focus with serious campus issues such as hazing and sexual assault.  The legal duties surrounding these issues are certainly important to understand. However, legal standards can have you “just getting by;” i.e., not being technically illegal in one’s actions, but not engaging in the most responsible behavior either. Lawyers are often hammered for not being “ethical,” even when they may be operating legally in a technical sense. In the above example, you may have no legal duty to help someone in distress if you did not put them in that position, but I submit that you do have an ethical duty to help them, which is even more important. I once had a case where a lady with medical training caused an auto accident, and did not help or even call 911 for the person in the other car, who was seriously hurt. The lady causing the...

Class Begins After School

  “After I finish college or graduate school, I am going to attack my first job with the same intensity as school and set short term goals to stay motivated.” This thought seems like the best way for all college students to look at the next phase of their lives, but based on recent statistics, it’s not hard to understand why students might not feel motivated after graduation. According to a Forbes report, sixty percent of U.S. graduates cannot find a job in their chosen profession. The truth is, school remains in session even after graduation, and the first two lessons are as follows: Lesson One: Failure in success Regardless of the field of study, after a college graduate starts applying for jobs, they have to be prepared mentally for a rollercoaster ride. If not, life altering attitude changes can start taking effect as the adjustment to the workforce begins. Anger, frustration, impatience and several other emotions can turn the best graduate into a bitter employee on a first class trip to a lifetime of non-fulfillment. One of the biggest ways to deal with this scenario is to alter the way rejection is perceived. All unexpected events must be considered a lesson. It is easier said than done, of course, but seeing failure as an opportunity to grow is a great way to stay in a productive state of mind. Once this habit is mastered, optimism results in a much more positive life. Most people have rough weeks, but the one who embraces this lesson has a week of unexpected opportunities. Soichiro Honda, who started the billion-dollar car company of...

The #1 most underrated leadership quality & why you need it!

When you think of a leader what do you initially think of? Do you think of a person that is a great delegator, a great communicator and an inspirer? Well one of the most underrated qualities of a great leader is humility. I am sorry that I said the bad “H” word, but it is true. While many leaders are focused on casting a great vision of working more efficiently on building teams and building membership, there are quite a few whom have forgotten to look in the mirror to address one of the greatest leadership qualities known to man. Here are three practical ways to show humility as a leader. Realize that you are not superwoman/superman. I remember when I was President of three campus organizations. For some reason I thought that I had to know all the answers and that I could not really ask for help or else it would show weakness. What is interesting is that leaders all across the country sometimes feel this same way. This can lead to two things, (1) extreme burnout because you are the only one doing all the work or (2) a failed organization because if you are not asking for help, your people are not being utilized effectively and thus they aren’t growing. Admit you make mistakes. As a matter of fact, admit that you make a lot of mistakes. No one likes a person that appears perfect, because we all know that no one is perfect. Think about the last time that you knew someone messed up, but they did not tell you about it. How did it make you feel? If you are like me, you lost a little bit of trust with that person. That feeling is...

We all have a vice. This was mine.

  We all know that student. The one that has so much potential, they could probably change the world if they would only stop letting it all go to waste. Instead of studying, they’re playing video games. Instead of networking, they’re binge watching Netflix. Instead of going to the gym, they’re eating at McDonalds, again. We all know that student. Many of us are that student. I was. My situation got so bad that I actually dropped out of high school. I never graduated, never went to college and struggled with depression for many years. Eventually my situation got so out of control that I wrote a suicide note. Thankfully, I didn’t follow through and I’m writing to you right now. I realized that I had to make a change in my life. That change had to do with the way I interacted with my vice: video games. We all have a vice, something in our life, a habit, that keeps us from being our best. Today I’m going to share with you the story behind mine, and how the insights I’ve had about it can help you with yours, whatever it is. After I wrote the suicide note I knew I needed to get professional help. I no longer felt safe with myself, and the whole experience scared me. But I was also committed to living my life differently. If I wasn’t going to die, then I had to do the complete opposite — live my life to the fullest. I realized I had a second chance at this whole life thing, and I wanted to see what I could...

#Blacklivesmatter: So what are you doing about it?

What a significant time to be a friend, mentor, supervisor and/or parent. The past few weeks have been a very eye-opening time in the United States. I hope that if you identify as one the things I listed above you have not turned a blind eye to it. Race relations and systematic oppression are still a prevalent issue in the land of the free and home of the brave. The two most recent injustices, the tragic loss of the lives of Terence Crutcher and Keith Scott at the hands of law enforcement, showcase the work that still needs to be done. I remember a couple of years ago, around the time that Mike Brown and Eric Garner needlessly loss their lives, a relative of mine at Thanksgiving dinner asked me if I was ever nervous about the impact that putting my views on the internet about high-profile social matters could effect my business. I was a little taken aback by the inquiry, but trust he had my best interest in mind.  My answer, paraphrased, was: no, because I want to serve as a role model for standing up for what one believes to be right. Furthermore, if I am going to address the importance of being authentic to student leaders and professionals, then I better be practicing what I am preaching, respectfully at the appropriate time and place, regardless of fear of being challenged, disliked or losing business. I am not interested in stunting my morals to placate the masses. I AM interested in standing up for what I believe in through educated dialogue. I AM interested in challenging...

5 Secrets of a Go-Getter Girl

  As we look forward to ushering in 2017, several goals and aspirations are in the rearview mirror. Some fulfilled dreams, some unfulfilled. Some exceeded goals, some not so much. Some incredible highs, some backbreaking lows. The go-getter girl in us reflects on the happenings of the past year, and she feels rejuvenated and incredibly hopeful about the gifts 2017 may bring. A go-getter girl is one of a kind, so let us explore her top five most closely guarded secrets to discover what makes her who she is today.   1. She believes that her story will be one of the greatest stories ever written. Confidence, a very high self-esteem, or pride in her abilities, whatever you may call it, a go-getter girl truly and seriously believes that her story will be one of the greatest stories ever written in this world. There’s a very fine balance, because on one hand, as go-getter girls, we don’t want to be perceived as arrogant or brash. But on the other hand, a healthy dose of self-confidence is exactly that-healthy. Feel free to call us self-obsessed, but provided that our confidence is matched with intense labor and dedication to our dreams, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with identifying as a go-getter girl of the ME generation.   2. She puts herself first in order to be of service and value to those around her. Let’s be honest: Putting ourselves first is looked down upon. It makes us appear selfish. But, the alternative to this is the idea that if we really take the time to invest in ourselves, our work ethic, abilities,...

Build a purpose-driven career

   Adam (Smiley) Poswolsky is the author of The Quarter-Life Breakthrough, a bestseller and #1 top-rated job-hunting book on Amazon. His next book will be published by Perigee (Penguin Random House) in 2016. He has inspired young professionals and entrepreneurs to find fulfilling work as director of community engagement for the Hive Global Leaders Program, and previously as director at The Bold Academy. Smiley is a mentor for the StartingBloc Institute for Social Innovation, and a teacher for General Assembly and The Passion Co. Smiley has spoken about finding meaningful work at Fortune 500 companies, international conferences, leadership development programs, universities, and graduate schools. Smiley writes stories about purpose-driven millennials who are making a positive impact in their communities. His writing has been published in The Washington Post, Fast Company, Forbes, and GOOD, among others. He previously worked as the special assistant to the director of global operations at the U.S. Peace Corps. He is a proud graduate of Wesleyan University, and can usually be found dancing in San Francisco, California. Learn more about Smiley and his story...

What’s in your fishbowl?

Two fish were swimming along one day. Fish 1 said to Fish 2, “Wow, this water is great! The temperature is just right… the current is going our way… I just love this water!” Fish 2 replied, “What the heck is water?” Fish can’t see water anymore than you or I can see the air around us. Of course we know it’s there, but it’s so close to us that we look right through it without noticing. The same is true for the water in a fishbowl: the fish contained within simply can’t see its own environment due to its vantage point, which is within the environment. For humans too, an outside perspective is sometimes needed. Perhaps that’s what brought you to CAMPUSPEAK today. Think of an organization you belong to, a team you’re on, or a social group you spend time with. Do you laugh often with them? Share any particular vocabulary? Do you greet them with hugs, handshakes, or high fives? Each group or “fishbowl” we inhabit, such as schools, clubs, families, friend circles, etc., has its own rules and considerations, so ingrained we don’t think about them on a daily basis. My fellow CAMPUSPEAKers and I spend our professional lives gallivanting from campus to campus around the US, sharing our personal stories and perspective with anyone who will listen. We get to meet and work with all manner of wonderful students, professors, campus advisors, etc., and get somewhat acquainted with the programs and resources they offer. We get to sample fishbowl after fishbowl after fishbowl on a regular basis. Eventually patterns emerge. The single most limiting...

The DNA of Extraordinary Leadership: An interview with Dr. Kevin Snyder

Whether he’s speaking to college students or corporate executives, Kevin Snyder engages and entertains audiences by sharing powerful lessons of leadership inspiring them to think bigger, overcome adversity and work together to achieve common goals. Kevin has presented over 1,150 programs in all 50 states and has been with CAMPUSPEAK for nearly a decade. He’s also a former Dean of Students, author and professional speaker with a wealth of unique expertise both in Student Affairs and in corporate America. We sat down with him to ask a few questions about leadership, motivation, his TEDx talk and what he’s learned from speaking to so many different campuses and organizations over the years. His nuggets of wisdom below are ideal to share with your student peers and organizational leaders. Question: Reading your bio, you have an interesting background. How did you get started in Student Affairs? Kevin:  As a new student in college, I struggled pretty bad at first socially. I made a 4.0 my first year, but was miserable. I tried dropping out on numerous occasions but someone always stepped in to convince me to not to. During my second year I decided to give it one final shot and get more involved on campus by joining a few student organizations including my fraternity. Getting more engaged changed everything. I went from near drop out to Homecoming King and Greek Man of the Year. Although I was studying Marine Biology, I knew when I graduated that I wanted to work at a college campus so I could help and support other students like people did for me. Question: So how...

Living as Your Authentic Self

Once I transitioned from female-to-male eight years ago, I was able to live life as my true authentic self. I am embracing the change and progress I have witnessed, not only in who I am, but also in the world around me. I grew up thinking that I was the only one who felt out of place in my own body. Now, I see the transgender community becoming a part of scripted and reality-based TV shows, movies and social media outlets.  Transgender issues are frequently talked about and/or addressed in the media, politics and public policies. While the progress we’re making sometimes feels slow, I look back and remind myself how much has really changed. I was able to transition publicly with community support, to speak up, to be visible and to be an advocate for more acceptance and inclusion. It amazes me that I can now freely reflect on the outside who I truly am inside  and that the transgender community’s allies are growing every day. Each time I speak on campuses across the US, I’m always reminded of how important communication and honest conversation is. Having a dialogue about issues we may not understand is a perfect place to start. Credit // Author: Jeremy Wallace Jeremy L. Wallace is an author, professional speaker, and entrepreneur. His book,Taking The Scenic Route To Manhood, chronicles his extraordinary journey as a transgender man. Combining his expertise as an entrepreneurial business owner and a transgender person, Jeremy speaks to corporations, organizations and groups of any size about embracing change, becoming our true selves, and living up to our full potential. Learn more...

CAMPUSPEAK to Partner with HazingPrevention.Org during National Hazing Prevention Week

September 1, 2016, Orlando, FL – CAMPUSPEAK, in partnership with HazingPrevention.Org, to help lead educational discussions about how hazing creates devastating outcomes for the victims and their communities during National Hazing Prevention Week September 19-23. HazingPrevention.Org will host a series of college pre-screenings of the movie GOAT, followed by thought provoking conversations, to promote and empower students to stand up against hazing activities on their campuses. Starring Nick Jonas, Ben Schnetzer and James Franco, and based on the memoir by Brad Land, GOAT tells the story of two brothers who become embroiled in hazing at a college fraternity. What occurs in the name of “brotherhood,” tests both the boys and their relationship; in brutal ways. “HazingPrevention.Org and CAMPUSPEAK have collaborated on hazing outreach initiatives since the very beginning,” said Luke Davis, Executive Director and CEO of CAMPUSPEAK. “We are excited to partner to help spark conversations about a topic that is so relevant to today’s students and campuses.” “We could not have selected a better partner than CAMPUSPEAK,” said Emily Pualwan, Executive Director of HazingPrevention.Org. “We hope these conversations will allow campuses to empower their entire community to take part in hazing prevention.” The program coincides with the organization’s National Hazing Prevention Week, that runs from September 19 – 23. Screening locations and facilitation will include: University of Maryland – September 19 The College of William & Mary – September 20 University of Arizona – September 21 University of Central Florida – September 22 University of California at Berkeley – September 23 About HazingPrevention.Org HazingPrevention.Org is a national organization dedicated to empowering people to prevent hazing, by providing education and...

Discovering Your Social Entrepreneurial “Aha” Moment

It’s as if it were just yesterday. I was sitting in my hotel room in Patna, the state capital of Bihar, a state in East India, bordering Nepal. I had been visiting for a week while on assignment as a documentary photographer for a girl’s literacy nonprofit based in Delhi. I had just settled in after my last day of documenting at an impoverished all-girls school just on the outskirts of the city. I imported the photos from the week onto my laptop and started to browse through my shots. Over the course of the days spent in Bihar I was told countless stories of girls dropping out of school because they were forced into marriage, sometimes even at the tender age of 8. I had learned that the state of Bihar had the highest rates of child marriage in the world; up to 69%. I was in the child marriage capital of the world. These girls were at the mercy of their environment, where they were seen as economic burdens and instead were treated as a ticket for collecting a marriage dowry. Despite their oppression, all I saw were smiling faces staring back through my laptop. I had never seen children so eager to learn, so hopeful. It was then, tears streaming down my face, that I had my social entrepreneurial “aha” moment. Today, I am the proud owner of a philanthropic wedding photography business, Love Conquers Photography, in which 10% of all of commissions are donated to two nonprofits fighting to end child marriage in some of the most patriarchally saturated societies in the world. More than just...

We’re asking the wrong question!

Over the years, I’ve found members are more likely to ask me questions like “is this hazing” or “can we do this with new members”? I understand that often times legal-speak can be wordy and feel complex but is it really that complex to be kind, inclusive, and supportive? No. However, for too many years, anti-hazing efforts looked like the DARE program “just say no” and prevention included scare tactics like “do X or you’ll be closed”. What we know about hazing and prevention tactics has continued to evolve yet too many are stuck… still using some outdated phrases to define hazing. Ring! Ring! The 1980’s called and want their risk reduction methods back!!!! We must disconnect with… the idea that if an activity has a purpose or perceived benefit it is not hazing. Purpose is not the only qualifier. the idea if individuals agree to go along it is not hazing. “Willing participation” does not make it okay. the idea that if everyone is doing it is not hazing OR if it is a requirement of just the new members it is hazing. trying to list all prohibited activities or events which may be considered hazing. This is not an effective prevention strategy. It makes everything hazing. We haven’t spent enough time educating on what is RIGHT and the result has been students more often asking questions to stay out of trouble than necessarily how to have an effective new member program and positive membership experience. What if we asked… Is everyone earning their letters every day? If not, what processes and procedures do you have in place...

WARNING: Being a Grown Up is Bad For Your Health

College is the place where we’re educating ourselves so that we can be happy and successful “Grown Ups” right? But just what is it that we’re preparing for? The world is changing fast and what many people understand as being a Grown Up is not actually working in the real world. Here are three myths of what it means to be a Grown Up: 1. Being a Grown Up Means You Can Do It All Yourself. In our grown up world there is a lot of pressure to be totally self-sufficient. Individual success and prosperity seems to be the goal for many people. Moreover, our society’s current relationship with technology allows us to be fully functional in the world without ever having to leave our own homes. Yet, it has been reported that 1 out of every 3 adults feels lonely. Also, leading experts in innovation all point to collaboration as a crucial element in innovative thought. Whatever happened to “two heads are better than one?” 2. Being a Grown Up Means You Have To Be the Best Get good grades, to get into a good school, to get a good job, to get a promotion, etc… We’re always striving to get to the next step, and always competing with others to do it! As a “Grown Up” many really take that to heart and because of it expect themselves to be the best at everything they try. There is very little room for mistakes, if any, nor is there room for asking questions and revealing that you don’t know something. But is it a realistic expectation to know...

What are you doing to make a first impression?

I can still remember what I wore the first day of freshman year of college. I was dead set on wearing an adorable fall outfit and I ignored the 90-something degree weather to sport my new flare jeans and long-sleeve top. I was sure that this super-cute outfit would impress everyone I met and make a great first impression – especially because I felt like I needed to cover up my body to make that impression. My day started like most – I had my hair and makeup perfectly done and felt great leaving my dorm room. Within seconds, I was hit with the worst humidity I’ve ever felt. Immediately, my hair was a frizzy mess, my makeup melting, and sweat was dripping down my back. By the end of the day, I was so hot and uncomfortable that I could have cared less about the impression I was making on everyone – I just wanted to jump in a pool of ice water. We’ve all had these experiences – the ones where we go over the top to impress others. The beginning of the school year can drum up a whole slew of feelings. Fear of not fitting in, feeling like we have something to prove, and insecurity are just a few. When these feelings arise, it’s easy to overcompensate. We often worry so much about making a great impression on others that we forget to take care of ourselves first. My first day of freshman year was all about other people – it had nothing to do with myself. I let my insecurities take over and dictate...

Do This, Not That:
How to Change Thoughts on
Sexual Assault Prevention Education

For a while, there were popular books phrased along the lines of “Eat This, Not That.” Although this oversimplifies their concepts and these books have arguably not aged well, the general concept of “This, Not That” is an easy one to consider when grasping some complex issues. In life there are things we can do that are better for, our causes, community, or issues and then there are things we can do that might detract from our mission. A decisive and debated topic that can benefit from this is the basics of sexual assault prevention programming. In regards to educating our communities, building stronger support networks, and certainly preventing assaults, there are a few pieces of information crucial to remember. And there are a few things that can be removed because they end up unintentionally working against prevention rather than aiding it. With semesters starting and any campuses working to provide mandatory education on the topic of sexual assault prevention, the following pieces are important to remember.   Do This, Not That: How to Change Thoughts on Sexual Assault Prevention Education Do Offer People the Chance to Opt Out The first one is the easiest. So often, campuses have mandatory programming on sexual violence prevention. The problem is you never know what someone’s experiences are and what was meant to be positive might end up causing unintentional harm. Regardless of the education you require or offer, provide people a reasonable out they can take whether this is another type of programming or a more individualized version of programming. Best case scenario is you provide a resource catering to their...

How will YOU define success during your first year in college?

Many first year students come to college excited, nervous and a little afraid. They are excited to leave high school and embark on a new journey in life. They are nervous because often times it’s their first time away from home. Will they meet new friends? “Will I meet new friends?” they asked themselves. Or “What if I don’t know where my classes are?” I know this all too well, because it’s was how I felt as a first-time college student. My parents had me at 15 and 17. My mother graduated from high school but my father doesn’t have past a 9th-grade education. I knew college was my ticket to personal and professional success. Education is the only thing no one can ever take away from you. It was in my second year of college that I knew it was my duty and responsibility to help others navigate and successfully champion the transition from high school to college. I enjoy speaking to first year and first generation students because I can give them advice on how to get a head start in their college career based on my own experiences as a campus leader, resident assistant, and first generation college student. College is more than just heading to class and going to parties. You discover who you are and how you want to make your mark on the world! It is important to get involved on campus, obtain a leadership position and try a few different types of classes to confirm your major! College was the best 4 years of my life and I am dedicated and determined...

What is Limitless Leadership?

Limitless Leadership is a concept that I developed over the course of a decade working with young leaders. I’ve had the opportunity to research leadership, study successful leaders, draw from my own leadership experiences, and personally observe leadership from awful to amazing. One of the most crucial lessons I’ve learned is that everyone has an unbelievable amount of potential inside of them, but it is often never brought out of them. Limitless Leadership is about every young leader having the ability to thrive in everything that they do, so that they are able to improve themselves, those around them, and everything in which they are involved. Limitless Leadership – accepting that you are a leader, determining what drives you, and having a willingness to thrive rather than just survive because we all have extraordinary potential inside us. Accept that you are a leader: It may sound obvious, but you can’t be a leader until you embrace being one.  Leadership can seem intimidating, but it really isn’t. Anyone can do it at a high level and there is nothing wrong with “learning on the fly.” If you have integrity and work hard, you are well on your way, but you need to first embrace being a leader. Determine what drives you:  We each have passions for certain things, the quicker you can connect to what those passions are the more powerful you will be. You should constantly be trying to determine what you are passionate about, what problems you want to solve, who you want to help, and how you can add value to people’s lives, causes, and organizations. We are...

Brotherhood and Sisterhood, Simply Isn’t Enough.

The most impactful, longest lasting benefit of fraternal membership are the close bonds formed, but… What do you DO with brotherhood and sisterhood once created? Seriously, do we just sit around and enjoy it? Is that really why fraternities and sororities exist? Shouldn’t we ask how do these relationships advance your members’ lives? Does creating sisterhood in and of itself, actually achieve our mission? Yes, there is value in the support system created through sisterhood and brotherhood. And, we have all heard, and are inspired, by the extraordinary stories that display unconditional care and concern. Stories of tragedies overcome by the support of sisters and brothers who are so much more than friends. Just like you, I love reading these stories. They re-kindle that spark of love for mankind in me too. But, I don’t think our founders created us to simply “be there” in case of these emergencies. Often I’ve said we would pick a brother up from a broken down car in the middle of the night and so much more. We are like AAA but for everything else! But, as I reflect more about the founding of our organizations, I feel like we are failing our founders. Let’s be honest… a support network is important, but I don’t think it alone is worth all this effort! The focus on brotherhood & sisterhood as our an ultimate goal has distracted too many of our chapters. Our true mission is to make men better men and women better women… THROUGH brotherhood and sisterhood.  I don’t believe our founders intended brotherhood to be the end, but rather the means....

The $40,000 Mistake

I’ve been running my own business for eight years. On paper, that sounds great: I must be doing something right to have kept things going this long. And that may be true. But to get it right, I first had to get it wrong—a lot. I talk about my own failures often in my talks: How 45 of my 60 employees quit on me at once; how I infringed on a trademark and had to throw away thousands of dollars of marketing materials and equipment; how I hired a huge team of people, thinking I had a major contract and plenty of work for them, when it turned out I really didn’t. Whoops. But one of the biggest failures of my business happened when I let someone else fail. A couple years after I started my business, I hired an intern named Rachel who wanted HR experience. I decided to have her take over our payroll, knowing that doing payroll for an entire company would look pretty friggin’ good on her resume. I taught her everything she needed to know about payroll, and when I had complete confidence in her, I told her she was ready to do it on her own. A couple days after Rachel did her first payroll solo, I got a phone call from an employee in the middle of the night. I answered with a sleepy, “Hello?” and he said, “Uh, did I get a raise? I was supposed to get paid about $200, but instead, there’s about $2,000 in my account.” I shot out of bed. Oh no. I figured out what had happened almost immediately:...

The Shame of Hazing

Shame  (SHām/) noun. A painful feeling of humiliation or distress caused by the consciousness of wrong or foolish behavior. We rarely talk about that of which we are ashamed; dealing with the, painful realities of life is something very few of us can stomach. The practice of hazing is on of those very things. The harmful psychological effects of hazing are becoming harder and harder to deny. More often than not, perpetrators and victims alike–many fall into both categories since hazing is a repetitive cycle–justify, gloss over, or even idealize their experiences. As if personal experience wasn’t enough, shame researchers like Brene Brown and others, are demonstrating just how destructive shame can be. David Hawkins, PhD and ND, categorized levels of human consciousness using the science of kinesiology; shame ranked at the very bottom of the scale–20 out of 1000. “Shame is used as a tool of cruelty,” he said in his book Transcending the Levels of Consciousness, “and its victims often become cruel. Shamed children are cruel to animals and each other. The behavior of people whose consciousness is only in the 20s is dangerous.” (2006, p. 33) Hawkins work demonstrates that individuals whose consciousness is below a certain level are prone to use force as a means of getting their way, while those above 200 (the level of courage) exert power in a more benevolent manner. Some of the emotional states that fall below 200 are shame, guilt, apathy, fear, anger, and pride. Shame is used as a tool in hazing in a variety of ways, a few of which are listed below: Demeaning nicknames for the...

What I learned when I proposed

When I was preparing to offer someone a full-time position at my company for the first time, I felt like I was planning a marriage proposal. First, I’d take her to her favorite place for breakfast. Over pancakes, I’d tell her how valuable she is to the company and how happy I am to have her. Then, we’d head to the nail salon for mani-pedis. After that, we’d wander around the county fair, killing time before I took her to a really nice restaurant and, two courses in to a four-course meal, I’d pop the question. With all that flattery and pampering, I figured I’d be able to seal the deal before dessert. But I wasn’t so lucky. I was incredibly nervous the whole day. The person I was “proposing” to, Elaina, had no idea what was going on, but she could tell something was up because I was acting so weird. Not to mention that it was strange that her boss had planned this whole day with uninterrupted one-on-one time out of the blue. Creepy much? The biggest deviation from my plan happened during our fancy, four-course meal that night. When I asked Elaina if she wanted to work full-time for my company, Student Maid, where she’d been working part-time for about a year, she turned me down. She said she really liked her job and she was grateful for the opportunity, but she had three semesters left in college, and she wanted to use that time to figure out what she really wanted to do with her life. Plus, she had an internship with an extraordinarily fancy...

When do you ask for help?

I’m half Irish, half Italian, and my mother’s son, so if I’m not stubborn I don’t know what I am. I am not good at paying attention to my body when it tells me to slow down, and I’m even worse at listening to people when they tell me to do the same. If I vehemently believe something, good luck trying to convince me otherwise. Being stubborn is not the worse quality in the world, but it does tend to get in the way of one of life’s biggest community builders–asking for help. Last year, I designed and helped run a powerful developmental weekend for 25 men in their twenties. We talked about the weight they carry around every day in the shape of responsibilities and fears. During the weekend one of the participants, Cuyler, asked of my co-facilitator: “How do you get better at asking for help?” I don’t completely know why, but that question through me for a loop.  Maybe it’s because his question was a little trippy since he was asking for help on how to ask for help. I think it’s more, though, that I am not good at asking for help and never really thought about how or why I should be better at it. I am not sure what impedes my ability to ask for help more.  My first guess is stubbornness or pride, but that seems too easy.  I think the main reason is because I do not think I deserve it.  I know how valuable time is in my life and therefore I do not think I am deserving of using...

CAMPUSPEAK Stands with Orlando

CAMPUSPEAK Friends, Over the past few days, each of us have grieved the loss of 49 lives and the injury of over 50 more in the horrific Pulse Night Club massacre. We want to express our sorrow and extend our sympathy to the victims, their family, friends, and loved ones, and to all LGBTQ+ individuals in every corner of our world. On a weekend that was full of events celebrating Pride Month and the LGBTQ+ community, we had a grim reminder of how much work there is left to do. At this time, the facts seem to clearly indicate that this was a violent, deranged act of terrorism and a direct and deliberant hate crime to the LGBTQ+ community and their allies. In the wake of an atrocity such as this, we are reminded of the importance of our role as educators, supporters, and allies. Being an educator means having a sacred responsibility to our students to continue to stand and fight for social justice and to end discrimination. We have the privilege to provide a beacon of steady light in times as dark as this. In order to help you fulfill your duties as an educator as best as possible, we partnered with the GLBT Resource Center at Texas A&M University to provide you with straightforward, pragmatic techniques and tools. We hope these points are useful for you for engaging in conversation and fulfilling your roles of support around this topic for your LGBTQ+ students, colleagues, family members, and friends: 1) Reach out. Engage with your LGBTQ+ students, colleagues, family members, and friends, and just listen. When folks...

Ask a Second Question

“How are you?” “Good.” “How are you?” “Tired.” “How are you?” “Busy.” Sound like a familiar conversation? “How are you?” Has become a throwaway question and a space filler in seemingly meaningless interactions. It’s casually tossed out when passing someone in the building and it is asked flippantly in the beginning of meetings. We ask it when we want to say more than hello and pretend like we care. But rarely do we register the answer and sometimes we secretly don’t even want people to answer it with a longer, more honest, response. The most precious value we have in life is time. We are all a little selfish and get caught up in our own lives – and that’s ok. We just need to start recognizing how often we put on our blinders and what impact doing so has on communication and connections. If you are a leader in your organization or community, I especially need you to own this. One way to get better is by asking the question “How are you?” less superficially. There’s another easy way for leaders to show they care. In doing it we can build stronger, more compassionate, and trusting organizations. Here it is: Ask a second question. That means that after you intentionally ask someone how they are doing and they respond, you then ask a second question about their response. Learning that someone is “good, tired, or busy,” tells you nothing. Those are throwaway answers people give because they do not think we really care (or they don’t think their feelings are worth other’s time…but that’s a longer post for...

Live Your Life

  When Jon Blais was 33, he was diagnosed with ALS and given 2-3 years to live. Devastatingly, he had to give up his teaching job along with his passion for teaching children with learning disabilities. Though his future was grim, Jon made the choice to “live fully” and dedicated his life to raising awareness about ALS. Jon had competed in triathlons for 20 years, and had always wanted to do an Ironman. On October 15, 2005, Jon went to Hawaii and became the only person with ALS to ever compete in an Ironman race. He crossed the finish line by log-rolling over it. Since then, the “log-roll” has been done by countless other athletes as a symbol of hope and persistence. For two short, but fully lived years Jon became a powerful voice for ALS, raising awareness, hope, and money to find a cure for the disease. Jon died May 27, 2007, but his spirit and the lessons he taught us live on. Here is an excerpt from one of his writings: “It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for. It doesn’t interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dreams, for the adventure of being alive. Unleash yourself upon the world and go places. Go now. Giggle, laugh, and bark at the moon like the wild dog that you are. Understand that this is not a dress rehearsal. This is it. Your life. Face your fears and live your dreams.” Like Jon, you...

Need to use up end of the year funds?

This time of year, many of our customers scramble to find valuable uses for extra funds left over in their budget. We invite you to invest those funds in your community through CAMPUSPEAK programming! Whether you are looking to bring a keynote speaker to campus, an interactive workshop, online program, or custom program, we are excited to help you make it happen! We have two risk-free options: 1. Current Programs: If you or someone on your campus has already booked programming with CAMPUSPEAK for the fall, you can pre-pay for that upcoming event, in part or in full. 2. Future Programs: You can deposit funds, in any amount, for future use. These funds are 100% refundable, no questions asked, and our team will check in with you periodically to remind you of the funds awaiting use and assist you with choosing a great event for your campus. As a thank you for your continued loyalty, we’d love to treat you to lunch! Let us know if you prefer Chipotle, Panera or Starbucks and we will gladly send you a gift card when we receive your pre-payment by Monday, July 11, 2016. CAMPUSPEAK remains the absolute best educational programming organization in Higher Education because of our proven commitment to be low-maintenance while providing friendly customer service and transformative educational experiences. We can’t wait to partner with you for the next academic year, and hope you’ll think of us for any of your upcoming programming needs. Best wishes for a happy start to the summer months! P.S. Know a friend or colleague who still needs an event for the fall? We’d love to help! Refer a friend to us and we’ll treat you to...

You can learn a lot from your mistakes
when you aren’t too busy denying them.

Millennials are said to have thin skin; they can’t take critical feedback. This may be true, but it’s not less true for older generations as well. Regardless if this is a trait millennials possess in greater numbers, we ALL can learn how to better receive critical feedback. It could be from a boss, organizational leader, friend, significant other… it doesn’t matter. Use these tips to remove the discomfort and help you genuinely make the most of all critical feedback! 1. Listen -Don’t just wait to speak or prepare arguments against what they are saying, really listen to what they say and what they mean. The better you are at listening, the better you can really understand someone’s feedback, both through what they are saying, and what they may not be explicitly saying, but really mean. 2. Avoid Defensiveness – If you walk into a conversation with humility and even start with the assumption that they might actually be right, you can avoid defensiveness that can degrade the relationship, your credibility as a leader, and your ability to actually learn and grow. Defensiveness is a very natural response to criticism, however it is recognizably unhelpful and can be effectively done away with so long as we don’t focus on that feeling. 3. Appreciate Their Effort -Many people run from difficult conversations. They are scary; they require strength,emotional openness, and personal responsibility that many people find challenging to channel at will. If someone cares enough about you that they push past that fear in order to provide you with helpful feedback, it is an absolute gift! They deserve appreciation for simply trying to help you even if...

CAMPUSPEAK Joins the Association of Fraternity & Sorority Advisors Foundation’s Road to Boston Campaign

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE March 31, 2016 Contact: Aimee Ash, Director of Fraternal Fundraising & Development Association of Fraternity/Sorority Advisors and the AFA Foundation Fort Collins, CO 317-682-0542 [email protected] CAMPUSPEAK Joins the Foundation’s Road to Boston Campaign CAMPUSPEAK, a long-time corporate partner of the Association of Fraternity/Sorority Advisors and supporter of the Association of Fraternity/Sorority Advisors Foundation, has made a gift to the Foundation and becomes the first corporate partner to support the Road to Boston Campaign. CAMPUSPEAK’s gift to the AFA Foundation supports our scholarship program and has been earmarked to assist in funding a professional scholarship for AFA’s Annual Meeting. Luke Davis, CEO, said, “CAMPUSPEAK is proud to support AFA and the AFA Foundation as we all strive to provide resources to campus-based professionals and fraternity/sorority headquarters that aid in the personal development of college students nationwide.” The Road to Boston Campaign seeks to secure more than $250,000 to celebrate AFA’s 40th Anniversary in 2016 and to provide resources continuing the exceptional programs and services for fraternity/sorority advisors who serve more than 800 campus communities.  The Association of Fraternity/Sorority Advisors Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization with the mission to secure, invest, and distribute the necessary resources to support the educational objectives of AFA and other relevant research, scholarship and educational programming that furthers the fraternity/sorority advising profession. Since 1999, CAMPUSPEAK has provided transformative learning experiences through its keynote speakers, interactive workshops, consulting, online education, and custom programs. Partnering with campuses and higher education organizations across the country, CAMPUSPEAK offers programming to educate and inspire students for success in their college years and beyond. Learn more at campuspeak.com....

How Good Can You Stand It?

I shared exciting news last week on Instagram. If you missed it, you can see it here. In essence, I took the advice I shared in my last blog, and decided to stop waiting, and order my dream car: a Tesla. As thrilling as this moment was, it was also terrifying. I was saying “yes” to a bigger version of myself—to a bigger vision for my life. I’m not usually emotional about cars—as long as it gets me from point A to point B safely, I don’t really care. I’ve been driving a Honda Civic for the last three years. And, yet, there was something about this car. I lit up inside when I saw it or read about it (I signed up for Tesla’s email list a year ago)! A part of me assumed that that car, and the life I imagined came with it, was above me. A girl from a single-parent home in Charleston, WV, did not belong in that car. Yet, here I was, about to buy it, and step into another life! I woke up the next morning looking like this: I felt sick as a dog. I went from elated to deflated overnight. What the heck happened? The good news is I knew, because I had experienced this before. The last time was right after I hired my life coach at a rate of $30K per year. I woke up the next morning with a sore throat and runny nose. So, what’s the deal? It’s what Gay Hendricks, author of The Big Leap, calls hitting an “Upper Limit”. According to him, we have...

Redefining Brother & Redefining Sisterhood:
Recruitment Edition

When I have a chance to speak with students about brotherhood and sisterhood, I always ask them whether or not, when they were going through the recruitment process, they chose the chapter that they eventually joined, at least in part, because of their perception of its brother/sisterhood. Inevitably, almost every hand in the room goes up when this question is asked. I then ask what it was they saw in that group – what was it about the brotherhood or sisterhood that attracted them to the organization. The answers to that question are usually the same: “I saw a group of people who love each other and always have fun together.” “I saw a group of people who are there for one another.” “I saw a group of people who you could tell just really enjoyed being around one another.” My research partner, Dr. Josh Schutts, coined the phrase “currency of fraternity” to describe this phenomenon. Brotherhood and sisterhood are the currency of fraternities and sororities. Chapters are selling it, and new members are buying it. If you think of a fraternity or sorority as a business, then I would argue that brother/sisterhood is our product. Potential members are consumers of brotherhood and sisterhood. And today’s consumers of brotherhood and sisterhood are the most informed consumers we have ever seen. When I joined Alpha Gamma Rho in the Fall of 1997 at the University of Tennessee, I knew very little about Greek life. My older sister had joined a sorority at East Tennessee State University, but didn’t really enjoy it and dropped out after the first year. My parents...

I Play the Tuba. And I Still Win at Life

There’s nothing valuable about being normal. “Normal” is easy. Normal can be found everywhere. If you could find a diamond just by walking down the street, it wouldn’t be worth nearly as much. The same principle applies to people. Sometimes we have to face the difficult reality that, at some point, we’re all just trying to fit in. We’re asleep at the wheel. Success comes first to those who wake themselves up. In life, if you want to live like others can’t, you have to do what others won’t. For me, one of those things was playing the Tuba. If your first thought after reading that was that I’m a geek, a loser, or a fat kid with pimples, that’s OK. I’m writing this, you’re reading this, and I’m winning. I played the tuba at the request of my teacher who needed someone to fill in for a year. I said “Yes” because I loved music. The only reason I would have said “No” is for fear of being made fun of. Yet, this tuba was responsible for this first­ generation college graduate. College wasn’t even in my sights until November of my senior year of high school. One last minute trip to my first Ohio State football game and the next moment I’m painting lines in my backyard, driving 400 miles a week for practice, and trying out against hundreds of other people born and bred to be there. Four years later, I was “dotting the ‘i’” at the 2003 BCS National Championship game in Tempe, Arizona. Kevin Smith, “dotting the ‘i’” in Script Ohio at the 2003...

4 Reasons to Complete Your Bucket List Before You’re 25

I hear a lot of people telling me their plans to start a company, but they’re waiting until “X” or “Y” happens first. To me, that’s a mistake. Instead, I believe that waiting for the “perfect time” is a fallacy because the “perfect time” doesn’t exist. Instead, I believe that the moment you’re inspired is the closest you’ll get to the perfect time. When I started my company, Headbands of Hope, at the age of 20, I had no idea that that decision was going to change the rest of my life. I could have waited until I graduated or had more experience or more time, but I didn’t wait. You shouldn’t, either. If you want to something bad enough, whether it’s starting a business or running a marathon or traveling abroad, you should try to get it done as early as possible in your life. Here are some reasons why: 1. If not now, when? I recently had a consulting client who had a full-time job but had been working on a side business for a few years. He asked me when I had known to make the leap from my “real” job to working on my business full-time. The truth is, I never had a real job. I started my company in college, so I never applied for jobs. I never had the experience of a steady salary or benefits, so I never had to make the decision to give these things up. A huge advantage to taking that risk before I was 25 was never having had a security blanket to begin with. The only answer I could give him...

Elephants & Onions Interactive Workshop

It is no secret our differences still divide us. The award-winning curriculum of the Elephants and Onions Interactive Workshop has updated content to address your campus’ need for inclusivity. Students leave with a new level of self-awareness and perspective, benefiting your community and beyond. Credit // Author: CAMPUSPEAK Elephants & Onions motivates students to embrace diversity and peel back the layers of social justice on their campus. Learn more about our diverse offerings of Interactive Workshops at...

Thinking about Women’s History Month

Each year, women’s history month is a time of reflection for me. It allows me time to take inventory on how I’m doing and where I’d like to go. It’s a month where I choose to honor the strong leadership of women who have gone before me. This morning, as I was searching through new articles about powerful women, I was reminded of one of my favorite quotes: “Mother Teresa didn’t walk around complaining about her thighs – she had sh*t to do.” – Sarah Silverman This quote is so good, isn’t it? It reinforces the idea that great leaders refuse to give energy to the things they dislike about themselves; instead they build themselves and others up with positivity. Are you bogging yourself down with the endless list of things you wish you could change about your body? It’s time to change the conversation you have with yourself. To live as your best self, you need to use your energy for all of the amazing things you want to get done – not the things you hate about your body. Small steps will do it. No one expects your list to just vanish after reading this blog. (I wish it worked that way!) Small steps are what work. If you wake up tomorrow and your list that used to be six body-hating items deep, goes down to three items – I’ll take that! It’s a step! Replace the body-bashing comments with some positivity and get to work. This is your time to shine – it’s your time to show the world what you can do as a leader....

You can’t be kinda committed

The year was 2010. I was 21, I had just finished working my butt off to maintain a 3.5 GPA, while getting my finance degree and running my own cleaning business. It was never my intention to start a company in college (especially a cleaning company), but that’s what happened.   Shortly after I graduated I turned down a dream job to continue running my business, Student Maid.  Many criticized me for making that choice, as the finance job would have paid a lot of money. From that point on, I knew I had something big to prove in this world. But before I did that, I had one thing left to do: Throw an EPIC graduation party. I did just that—I had valet parking, a full bar, hired two of my employees to bartend, and invited the rest to the party. All my employees were students like me; my company hires only students so all of my employees were around the same age as I was at the time. I did keg stands while my employees held up my legs. I did shots with the bartenders and later found out that for one of them, that was her first time drinking. Looking back now, I find this story is absolutely horrifying and humiliating. Now in our seventh year, my company has two locations in Florida.  We have ten members on our leadership team, between one hundred and six hundred students on staff depending on the season, and I spend about 80% of my time speaking and consulting. I’m writing a book and helping companies such as JetBlue, and...

Sexual Assault Awareness Campaign

The key to all effective awareness and prevention campaigns is the spread of relevant information. Through his experience speaking across the country on sexual assault, Tim Mousseau has been asked countless times what type of information campuses should be sharing and how they can best reach their various student populations. Tim wrote the following infographic to empower campus professionals and student groups in setting up meaningful prevention campaigns, not just across Sexual Assault Prevention Month but the entire year! Credit // Author: Tim Mousseau Learn more about Tim Mousseau and his keynotes at campuspeak.com/mousseau. You can also follow him on Twitter at...

SPEAK UP Updates

  WE HEARD YOU! Over the past 10 months, we have heard countless Higher Education professionals and Title IX Coordinators insist that current sexual violence prevention programs are falling short. CAMPUSPEAK listened and are now excited to announce the launch of a completely revamped version of SPEAK UP! New program options to expect: Ability to add institutional and local resources Option to customize with your own introductory video and/or branding Customized modules for: Community college and non-traditional students Faculty and Administrators Volunteers What makes our program comprehensive: Facilitation guide to advance the conversation Social media campaign Sexual violence awareness posters Customizable Pre/post assessments Letter to parents Organizational climate survey Why you’ll love working with CAMPUSPEAK: Onboarding and follow-up emails to all participants Real-time participant tracking and data dashboard 24/7 tech support CAMPUSPEAK partnered with LaunchPoint Solutions to create SPEAK UP, alongside survivors of sexual violence and industry experts. SPEAK UP addresses consent, sexual assault, rape, stalking, domestic and dating violence, risk reduction, bystander intervention, support strategies, secondary survivorship and self-care, pre-college assault, Title IX for faculty/administrators/volunteers, quid pro quo, and fraternity/sorority specific guidance. SPEAK UP promotes participant learning through real stories, told by real people, to create real impact on college campuses. “Research shows that using facts or role-playing activities is not the effective method for this audience,” said David Stollman, CAMPUSPEAK’s president. “That’s why it was so important for us to create SPEAK UP. This innovative program harnesses the power of storytelling so participants connect with real survivors while acquiring the knowledge they need to prevent sexual violence.” Contributors include: Tim Mousseau, Sexual Assault Survivor, V.P. of Consulting...

Safe Spring Breakers Guide

Don’t be a travel n00b. Here are a few quick things every spring breaker can do to ease the headache that traveling can cause. If you are traveling to a U.S. destination, hang up your car keys the minute you arrive. Take Uber or Lyft the entire week. Not only are you ensuring that no one will drink and drive, but you won’t have to worry about safe rides, and you also won’t risk losing your car keys. Take a moment and write down a list of phone numbers – your parents, your friends, your hotel, a local cab company – and put it in your wallet. Someone in your group will break their phone at some point in the week. That someone could be you. Trust me, you’ll be glad to have these numbers should you find yourself stuck somewhere with a broken phone. Also, God forbid something should happen to you, but this list will be very helpful to someone who is in a position to help you (such as the paramedics). If you are traveling out of the country, take a minute and visit the following website: step.state.gov. This is a free program offered by the U.S. Department of State that allows you to register your trip with the closest U.S. embassy. This lets the U.S. embassy know of your arrival, and in the event of an emergency they will be able to assist you. This will also come in handy if your passport gets lost or stolen on your trip. This isn’t Christmas at Macy’s Spring break is an extremely profitable time in the illicit...

Let’s Talk About Sex

As a survivor of sexual assault, it has been important for me to use my unique voice when attempting to influence the prevalence of sexual assault.  I always make sure to come at my conversation with students and professionals alike from a human perspective, candidly and honestly. From my work on campuses, one of the biggest disconnects I see with many prevention programs is this lack of humanization. We talk about prevention tactics, we are cautious (as we should be) of survivors, and we share statistics on the issue. In telling stories about sexual assault, we forget a vital element: The disconnect comes when we are afraid to talk about sex from the human perspective. Many prevention programs forget students are engaging in sexual relationships where assault is the furthest thing from their mind. Many of our students are engaging in relationships where they might still be negotiating their identity or exploring different types of sex, or as we know from colleges, not just because it is cliche, they are experimenting with their sexuality. But often across prevention programs, the language and education don’t empower students to take ownership over their sexual experiences. Instead of ever talking positively about healthy sex, most prevention tells students what not to do and how not to act causing participants to immediately check out. Students need to be taught more about positive sex; education many of us never received. In the best states, our students are trained how to have safe sex. In many states, they are taught that abstinence is the only option, which is okay if that is their choice, but...

Top 5 Biggest Myths of Leadership

Often in life things are repeated so many times we all just assume they are true, even if they are either partially or completely false.  Having worked with thousands of student leaders and listened to many leadership “experts” I’ve continually heard a number of things about leadership that simply are not true.  I’d like to share with you the 5 biggest myths I continually hear about leadership and set the record straight on the truth about each of them: Leadership Myth #1 – “Leadership is a Choice” Imagine you are walking down the street and see a woman and her two children struggling to get out of a burning building; you decide to run over, grab them out and rescue them to safety.  In a moment of crisis, you acted with courage and did the right thing, which would certainly lead to people commending you for your leadership in the situation.  Did you technically have a choice?  Sure you did, but in reality any decent person would certainly have rescued that family.  We are faced with thousands of times in life where we need to be a leader whether we want to be or not, such as with siblings, children, friendships, romantic relationships, internships, organizations we are involved with and countless others.  The bottom line is we are all called upon to be leaders regardless of if we want to or not; it is how you act in those situations that ultimately determine your capabilities as a leader.  Don’t walk through life wondering if you are a leader but rather accept the fact you are a leader whether you...

Etiquette Essentials

Looking for a job, a date, or just some new friends? There are a few things you can do to be sure you’re putting your best foot forward. Let’s face it: life is one long series of interviews and is ripe with challenges and disappointments, so you may not always land the opportunities you seek. With any luck, each step brings forth a new direction, promotion, or change. If this sounds easier than it actually is, remember you’re not alone. Plenty of budding entrepreneurs and famous CEOs have competed for and lost jobs. We all struggle with the age-old question of how to set yourself apart from everyone else. The competition is cutthroat, and if you’re lucky enough to get an interview, you don’t want to blow it. According to USA Today, you have exactly 3 seconds to impress, win over, and connect with a prospective interviewer. It is essential that you make a good first impression. You might be asking yourself, “What can I communicate in 3 seconds?” The answer: so much. Your expression, handshake, and appearance can convey confidence, your ability to fit in, and ultimately your ability to be successful. Whether you seek a job, a date, or just a new challenge in your life, understanding and employing the following behaviors will help ensure a positive outcome: • To beat 85% of your competition, you simply have to show up … on time. It wont hurt to look your best and remember that simple people skills make a big difference. Smile, sit up straight, and listen attentively. A firm handshake and eye contact will establish your...

3 Reasons Why Your WHY MATTERS

Do you know people who wander around on campus not really knowing why they are there? Do you have members who have lost their passion for the organization or have gotten disconnected to the original vision of the organization? Have you encountered people who make horrible decisions over and over and over (you get the point) again? What’s really interesting is that these may be three separate individuals and what is scary is that this may be one person too. Vulnerable Moment: This was me and I was a Fraternity leader, President of 3 Campus organizations, on the SGA Executive Board, and was even the most trusted of them all – a campus tour guide (insert applause here). I actually could have been a better member, a better leader, and gotten more out of my collegiate experience (and maybe better grades) if I really understood the importance of my WHY! In order to help your friends or your friend in the mirror here are 3 reasons why understanding your WHY is excitingly important! Why #1: You Don’t Have Time to Waste Let me not waste your time here and clarify what I mean by WHY. I mean what is the reason you are in school, joined your organization, decided to serve as a leader, or got involved in something? The more you understand your WHY the more you realize that the time you have in school or in your organization is very meaningful. What I do not mean is that you have to spend every waking moment thinking about it (please don’t), but I do mean that your time...

Three Launching Points for the New Year

It’s January, the month of new beginnings well it’s now February of month of love and new beginning 2.0. At the beginning of the year, people often set goals and make resolutions; things like losing weight, reading or exercising more, or maybe even taking better care of themselves. These are admirable goals; I have set some of them for myself. I submit to you that we should also set social justice goals. That is, as we work toward becoming more socially just and inclusive, as a society and as individuals, we have to remember that life is a journey, not a destination. The work requires us to continue to grow and learn, not rest on our laurels for we have not reached our destination. We must refresh ourselves on the basics from time to time. And we need to expose ourselves to new experiences that extend our growth as an agent and ally of social justice. What will your social justice goals or resolutions for 2016 be? I offer these three ideas as launching points: Choose a better word. Remember the old adage sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me? It’s a good theory but, in the lived experience, it is simply a lie. Words do hurt, and they absolutely matter. The complexity with this resolution is that it requires devoted attention, active listening, and vulnerability. Because our nomenclature around issues of equity and inclusion is fluid and dynamic, it is possible to step in the proverbial poo. You could find yourself stumbling between ‘black’ and ‘African American,’ ‘their’ or ‘zir,’ and “disabled” or “differently...

How To Make Your Organization Feel Like A Family

How To Make Your Organization Feel Like A Family In my previous life, before I embarked upon a speaking and coaching career, I was an FBI Special Agent, and I was assigned to the San Francisco Field Office. I investigated terrorism matters of the international variety (think: Al Qaeda, Hezbollah, and Hamas). Heavy stuff, I know. While I was there, I learned a great deal about people and how to bring out the best in them. I learned how good teams become great. I learned a lot about leadership. But well before that, back when I was in my early twenties, whenever the subject of leadership would come up, I would often mentally check out. It wasn’t because I didn’t think leadership was important or anything like that, it’s just that leadership wasn’t something that was on my radar at the time. It was nebulous, distant, esoteric. It was something I’d worry about in, say, 5 or 10 years. “I’ve got more important things to worry about right now,” I thought. 1. AUTHORITY AND LEADERSHIP ARE NOT INTERCHANGEABLE Fast forward about 5 years. Before I joined the FBI, I served as an officer in the U.S. Navy, and I was ultimately put in charge of an 11-person aircrew on a 4-engine combat airplane. My title was “Mission Commander,” and I was in charge of all aspects of the tactical portion of every flight I flew. See, what did I tell you? Now I can worry about leadership. I’m in charge of people now! Wrong. I erroneously thought that just because I was in charge of people, it automatically made...

What matters most in your life?

What matters most in your life? Do you chase after good grades, good looks, popularity, money? These things all matter in life and can get you to successful places. The problem is none of them can make you authentically happy. In fact, you can never get enough of what you don’t need to make you happy. So, you’ll get rich but still may feel lonely. You’ll be fit and good looking but may still struggle to be content. You’ll be on the Dean’s List but still may feel depressed and seeking more. What you really need is a sense of contentment, a few really good friends and a solid character. These things comprise authentic happiness. Corey Ciocchetti will tell you more. Watch Corey’s video – you may not be able to turn it off because your authentic happiness may depend on it! Credit // Author: Corey Ciocchetti Corey Ciocchetti speaks to thousands of students each year on the topic of “authentic success” and living a truly authentic life. Learn more about his keynotes at...

Moving Beyond Mental Health Awareness

Every week I read new studies, reports or articles letting us know what’s wrong with college students. They’re stressed out more than ever. They’re being bullied. They’re killing themselves. They’re not sleeping. They’re abusing prescription medications. They’re overweight. They’re depressed. The list goes on and on. In some ways it’s like society is normalizing these problems for students instead of giving them skills to deal with what’s happening. Students hear that there are problems, but where are the solutions? In response to these studies, an endless amount of mental health, mental illness, and suicide awareness campaigns address these problems. Grassroots organizations use PSAs, websites, and marketing materials to highlight helpful information to reach affected populations with messaging that students should seek help and end stigma. There are more young mental health advocates today than ever before. Students are standing up and giving a voice to these issues to empower others to come forward. Moving Beyond Mental Health Awareness We definitely need to continue the mental health awareness efforts that are being done by amazing organizations. We also need to go further. Most organizations and campuses have been focused on training faculty, parents, and students on what to do when someone has a mental health challenge, but typically the only thing we tell someone who is experiencing a problem is to seek help. In some ways this is like telling everyone what to do when someone has a heart condition without giving the person with the condition any idea of what they can do for themselves. Mental health has to be the only public health issue where we attempt to prepare everyone for a crisis and don’t give the individuals who are...

What is Going Right?

It is so easy to look around our world or our communities and find the things that aren’t working. People hurting each other, abusing drugs or alcohol, losing their lives from violence and other causes, moral disengagement, anti-intellectualism, and more are common staples of headlines today. As a culture, we spend a great deal of time and energy focused on what’s wrong. The evening news is jam-packed with everything terrible that happened all over the world. Even our campus newspapers and other media outlets are all too quick to point out problem areas. Conventional wisdom might say we need to shine a light on a problem in order to fix it, but what if the opposite is true instead? I would like to suggest that focusing on what’s wrong just gets us more of what we don’t want. This might seem strange coming from someone who has become known in higher education circles as the “hazing lady,” but I started an organization focused on hazing PREVENTION. I don’t think hazers are evil. I think they are just continuing to do what was done to them and that perhaps they don’t know what to do differently. My goal is to empower students and alumni to recognize the inherent harms in hazing practices, and to choose something different. My aim is to get organizations and campuses to focus on preventing problems before they start, and engaging the entire community in being part of the solution. Focusing on possibilities instead of problems is the key. This is the time of year when many people set resolutions, and I have to say that...

Female Friendship: It Really Is Worth the Investment

I have been lucky to call Dr. Lori Hart my friend for more than twenty years. We are probably the most unlikely people to have been friends. Lori and I think differently, we approach situations differently, and we just sometimes see the world differently. Our friendship is one of the greatest gifts we have been given because by being different, we have brought out some of the best qualities in one another. Lori and I, like most women who have lifelong female friends, have been through many stages of life together. Some of the highlights of our friendship that immediately come to mind include Lori’s son Brayden being born and becoming an important person in my life, going through doctoral programs together, changes in jobs, participation in service projects together, loss of a parent, Lori’s divorce, and my coming out process. We have also traveled together, watched sunsets, laughed, supported one another, loved, and been loved. I can honestly say I love Lori. We challenge one another, we support one another, but most importantly, we are there for one another. Recently Lori sent me a TED Talk to watch called “Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin: A hilarious celebration of lifelong female friendship”. The email simply said “Haven’t watched this yet but looks like us.” I have watched it! It is hilarious and is like us. It is about women, and how being both supported by and supporting other women makes us stronger, healthier, and more powerful. The moderator of the TED Talk asked several questions that I thought I might challenge us with: 1.What do you look for in...

How to combat body bashing resolutions

The start of a new year always brings the inevitable feeling of a need to create resolutions that will change you! I’m all for goal planning and going for your dreams. However, each New Year I speak with women who have a laundry list of resolutions to change their bodies. It hurts me to watch women beat themselves up as they work to meet the new regulations they’ve put on themselves. This year, why not resolve to do it differently? Here are three steps you can try to combat the body bashing resolutions you might have made and welcome self-love in to your world for 2016! 1. Re-define your relationship with food. There is something so powerful about accepting the foods you like! Me? I’m in LOVE with French fries. I used to make them “my cheat treat” and only allow myself to have them if I had worked out at least three days in a row. Why? Now, I eat a small order of French fries when I feel like it. Stop telling yourself the foods you love are “bad” and only vegetables are “good”. Food is food. When you deprive yourself, you create a scenario where you want that food even more. Then, you beat yourself up if you indulge in it. Re-define food so that it is all good. Eat the foods you love in moderation and free yourself from punishment when you do! 2. Motivate with self-love instead of punishment. Did you just indulge in a brownie ice cream sundae that you were dying to have? Do you now feel terrible? Are you making a...

Being black in white spaces

Being black in predominantly white spaces can be complicated for African Americans at different ages and stages in life. The difficulty of the African American student’s college experience can be a particularly complicated time given the growth, learning, and change that are an embedded in this season of life. Specifically, research has shown that students experience a sense of ‘onlyness’, are often called upon to speak for their entire cultural group, and will suffer anxiety and depression and stereotype threat (Harper, 2012; Steele, 1997; Pieterse, A.L, et. al, 2014). Realistically, everyday indignities or microagressions will continue to manifest in students’ lives. However, there is still good news. This current generation is rising up to take control of their destiny and hold campus officials accountable for their inaction. Below are a few survival tools to help create success for those students who find themselves being “Black in White Spaces”. 1. Find a supportive network of people to walk the journey with you. You may feel alone in your struggle, lonely, and like the only person who is dealing with the oppression. While these feelings are valid, one of the best ways to combat this is to build community to help support you and validate your experience. There is a reason that we have study groups, faith communities, books clubs, knitting circles, and online discussion groups – there is power in being part of a group and knowing you are not alone. Let others who are having similar experiences hold you up. 2. Remember you are in charge of your voice – use it as you wish. Over the years I...

Finding peace, joy, and gratitude

As I have gotten older, my focus in life has changed a bit. I care more now about my family, friends, community, and work than I have in the past. I not only care about my professional success, but about the happiness that success brings to others. In my work I spend a great deal of time visiting with students and professionals. I don’t like to beat around the bush, but to get straight to the point. Some say I am a connector, a person who likes to find solutions instead of going round and round on a topic. I would agree. I like to see the end results as well as appreciate the process. I love house projects and have recently taken on several major projects in our 100-year-old home. What I loved about this project was the care and thought that we put into the process. We chose a great person to install the floors and work with us. We decided on reclaimed wood that had come from a home from the turn of century. Each step of the process was thought out with care. Why tell this story? Because I believe the more care you put into anything you do, the better the results will be. As with our floors, they are beautiful and have brought our home to a new level of warmth. I feel that the wooden floors from one home has given new life to another. Those floors have a story and that story is now continued in a new space. During this holiday season, maybe now is a good time to reflect...

CAMPUSPEAK facilitators Gentry McCreary, Ph.D. and Joshua Schutts receive Charles Eberly Oracle Award

Gentry McCreary, Ph.D. and Joshua Schutts, creators of the Redefining Brotherhood and Redefining Sisterhood workshops, were recently named the first recipients of the Charles Eberly Oracle Award. The award was presented at the Association of Fraternity and Sorority Advisors Annual Meeting awards luncheon on December 4, 2015. McCreary and Schutts were recognized for their outstanding publication in Oracle titled “Toward a Broader Understanding of Fraternity – Developing and Validating a Measure of Fraternal Brotherhood”, as well as their contribution to the advancement of research within the fraternal movement. Through their research on the nature of fraternal brotherhood, McCreary and Schutts uncovered four unique schema of brotherhood, as well as how they relate to issues such as hazing and substance abuse. McCreary and Schutts have expanded their research to the nature of fraternal sisterhood and used this award-winning research to design the Redefining Brotherhood and Redefining Sisterhood workshops, now offered through CAMPUSPEAK. Informed by their research, these workshops provide strategies for improving brotherhood and sisterhood at the chapter level. Campuses also have an option to receive a comprehensive campus report summarizing the responses of the Fraternal Brotherhood and Sisterhood Questionnaires taken by their members. “Students who participate in these workshops walk away with a completely different understanding of what they need to be doing to be more successful as a chapter,” said McCreary. “Issues with retention and member engagement? Maybe you have a belonging problem. Issues with chapter performance? Maybe you have an accountability problem. The workshops give students a new way to understand these problems and helps them develop strategies to fix them.” You can learn more about the...

Ready to bring home your +1?

Nothing says you’ve reached the next step in your relationship like bringing them home with you for the holidays the first time! It doesn’t have to be a stressful situation; in fact, it can be a great environment to introduce an important person in your life to your family. It’s all about making sure everyone is comfortable, and helping him or her to make a good impression. Here are some tips for that first holiday-themed encounter: 1. Are you ready? There’s no one answer to this question, but do you know what bringing them home is going to mean? It may be interpreted as a sign that you are very serious. Expectations and assumptions can be joy killers and meeting the parents can have a certain level of momentousness attached to it. The last thing you want is to bring someone you are casually seeing home for “company” and having to have an awkward post holiday conversation about your status. Food for thought – How long have you been dating? Are you exclusive? Have you told your parents about them already? At the end of the day, trust your gut. 2. Be prepared. So you’ve decided to bring them, awesome! Now it’s time to prepare. Never go in cold, prepare both sides! Let your family know if there are some off limit topics and questions. Also, prepare your guest. Does Aunt Martha have a tendency to ask inappropriate questions? Maybe Uncle Bob has a problem saying no to the fifth glass of egg nog. Let them know what they are getting into so there are no surprises (except pleasant...

Maximize your time during winter break

The holidays are upon us and we know that some well­ deserved rest and relaxation lies ahead. I get it, I really do. You’re tired. You’re done. You’re a car that’s been burning on all cylinders for months on end and thousands of miles. You can smell the bitterness of burning rubber and there’s steam coming off your engine block; you’re road weary. Like most people, you want to end this long trip, park in the garage, and cool down for a bit. And, this is what most people will do. But, since you are reading this, you’re not most people. You’re willing to do what others won’t so you can live like others can’t. While, yes, you absolutely deserve a break and this time to cool off, don’t shut down the systems just yet. Instead, use this time for a tune­up and some planned maintenance so when you hit the road in a month, you’ll be warmed, ready, making gains, and burnin’ hot while others get a cold, clunky start. Successful people get ahead while other people rest. By taking advantage of downtime, they increase their odds of success, clear away distractions, and simply accomplish more with greater efficiency, which means more results with less work. This is why successful people wake up earlier than others, why some of the greatest inventions were created in the middle of the night, and even how some of history’s greatest military victories were accomplished. As a college student, you don’t have to be superhuman or even wake up super early to create an advantage. Simply find key times to work when others...