Every night, before going to bed, Gabrielle Jordan was told by her parents that she needed to “be a leader, not a follower.” So, from a very young age, Gabrielle knew that she held the keys to her future. What her parents did changed her life and now, she delivers that same advice to students all across the country.
For many students, being a leader isn’t their number one priority. Although a few leadership qualities can come naturally, many children and young adults rely on the people in their lives and their experiences to help them develop important leadership qualities. The earlier they learn how to identify, hone, and use these qualities, the better.
The Siegfried Group, a leadership advisory and CPA firm, has spent the last 30 years dedicated to helping its employees and clients become better leaders — both in their professional and their personal lives. In the last few months, however, The Siegfried Group expanded this reach and has started to focus on how it can help the youth in its area begin to develop the leadership qualities they need to have a successful future. Rob Siegfried, the CEO and Founder of The Siegfried Group, calls this innovative initiative Siegfried Youth Leadership Program (SYLP).
“My goal for this program is to help transform the lives of the youth in our community,” said Siegfried. “I’m trying to help people, including myself, be more transformational so they can get more out of their lives. For students, coming here and being able to hear different perspectives in a new environment can be very powerful and can help them commit to reaching further and thinking bigger. I really believe that doing this type of outreach now, while they’re still young, will make a huge difference in the long run.”
At their most recent event, more than 400 students joined Siegfried and Gabrielle for a half-day program that focused on helping students in grades 8 – 12 start, or continue, their journey toward developing strong individual leadership skills. In addition to sessions led by Siegfried and Gabrielle, there was a panel discussion where four student panelists each spent a few minutes discussing a transformational moment that really impacted them and forced them to step up and become a leader in their own lives.