Lessons from the 2019 Circle of Change Leadership Conference at New York
I am still recovering from all the lessons that I received from this leadership conference. It is one of the reasons why I have been motivated to let go of many engagements that are now becoming more of burdens than blessing or even in allowing me to remain a blessing to the people whom I serve.
March 29 and 30, 2019, I attended a leadership conference that impacted me greatly. The experience at the Circle of Change leadership conference that took place at St. John’s University Campus in Queens, New York is one that I will never forget.
As a high-achieving individual, I set high expectations for the kind of information and advice that I receive about my journey and progress. I believe that what people can do for themselves is an insight into how valuable they are to me compared to what they can give me or do for me. Therefore, in all honesty, when I signed up for this conference and walked into the first event room, I was thirsty to meet with people who embodied greatness and with the power to influence the minds of many young people. I was not just seeking to meet with people who could show me that they were at the top but people who were vulnerable enough to tell me how.
Despite being exhausted, I was desperate to learn and longed to remain in the environment of transformation filled with like-minded students, yearning for success and adults who had high expectations of our potentials. Now, you know how big I am about the latter statement. Recently, especially as a result of my personal development from the support that I have received through the adults who mentor me, my perspective on how I expect young people to be perceived has changed. I am consciously refusing to settle for the poor stereotypes that are being projected on the millennials especially. Therefore, I was thrilled to participate in an opportunity organized by an older generation who had a positive outlook for our potential and the possibility of effecting change in the world.
The day-long event was kicked off by Tish Norman whose energy kept our blood flowing as she introduced the first keynote speaker; Joshua Fredenburg.
Joshua Fredenburg is a nationally acclaimed speaker, author of five books, member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc., TEDx Speaker, and President of the ‘Award Winning Circle of Change Leadership Experience that specializes in providing educative support to emerging and seasoned leaders.
Now, here is the part you should pay attention to that could change your life:
Joshua talked to us about the importance of vision as a prerequisite for change and greatness. Starting with a story of how being fired from his job was the best thing that ever happened to him, he revealed how he had no choice but to figure out his future within the three months that he could still financially hold himself together. While he had a job as a teacher which he performed well at, he knew that he had a career as a public speaker and his dwelling and actions on that “authenticity was a requirement for his greatness.” The unexpected change that seemed like a failure to his first sight unraveled to become a preparation for his success. His “rejection was a redirection to greatness” which further revealed to him that “because his job was good for a season did not mean that it was the best of his destiny.” In these three months of transformation, Joshua did three things about his change: “he embraced it, navigated it, and he became the change.” His perspective of change is profound, and it led me to a ha-ha moment about the fact that change and convenience aren’t terrific friends and sometimes, like Joshua said, “we need to get fired to be hungry.”
In the process of self-realization and a transformation of his pursuit, Joshua realized that “without a vision, he was bound to intentionally miss the opportunities that may be beneficial for his future.” He also had to renew his mindset with discipline in many aspects. For him, when it came to fear, he decided “to make his vision so clear that his fears couldn’t see him.” When it came the companions he had, he decided that he had to “be among people who were celebrating him rather than ordinarily tolerating him.” Who he surrounded himself with was vital because he knew that “he was the average and product of his most consistent circle.” This affirmed my value of people who were good enough for themselves to be beneficial to me. Still, on relationships, he had to “set boundaries and let some people go because he came to terms with the fact that “as a person aware of his purpose, he had friends for a reason, for a season and a lifetime.” Now, the friends for a lifetime were key to the fulfillment of his vision. So, he shared it with them and engaged them in it. One vital statement that caught my attention as Joshua aligned the concepts of vision and friendship was “If you can accomplish your destiny by yourself, it is too small.” This to me meant so many things including that I should never insult God’s potential for myself by setting unbearably small goals that do not maximize the presence of purposeful people in my life.
To round up his presentation, Joshua Fredenburg gave five nuggets about creating and establishing one’s vision. He said:
1. Have a vision grounded in purpose –
a. Ask yourself, what is my vision and why?
b. Ask yourself, what do I have and how do I use it?
2. Let some people go: This point reminded me of Steve Harvey’s analogy of the journey to success as one, of a person climbing a mountain but attempting to pull a wheelbarrow full of people along. Of course, as the person is going up, the person will be drawn back down because of the weight of the people in the wheelbarrow who have chosen to be a burden to him/her than to be an asset and help push or pull upward.
a. Ask yourself, who is here for me and are they here for a season, reason or a lifetime?
3. Have the right perspective of your change, knowledge, and transition. Educate yourself about the change that you desire.
a. Ask questions from people who have been through the journey you are about to embark on.
b. Read books and watch videos about people who have attained the success you hope to get.
4. Have a strong support team –
a. Why? Because you are as strong as your inner circle.
5. Have a courageous faith!
a. By having a courageous faith, you are pledging “to not think or talk yourself out of your destiny” by entertaining fears and doubt. Recently I was watching a video about a man with a similar journey as Joshua who said that “people would rather remain in the hell that they were familiar with than jumping into the heaven that they don’t know!” Are you that person missing out of your greatness because you are afraid to go after it?
I am still recovering from all the lessons that I received from this leadership conference. It is one of the reasons why I have been motivated to let go of many engagements that are now becoming more of burdens than blessing or even in allowing me to remain a blessing to the people whom I serve. Like I mentioned in my last blog post, I will keep the momentum of ending one significant responsibility per month while incorporating the demands of what I need to do to attain my personal success. This is a process of transitioning for me, and it gives me something to look forward to about my potential and future aspirations.
You too can imagine how a two-day conference would be if just one hour where Joshua Fredenburg spoke is this much impactful — leaving the first day of the Circle of Change Conference, my desire to become better swelled so big that it could not fit into the doors of my fears, exhaustion, doubt and comfort about failure. It is less than a month since this event, and while I may not publicly share all my achievements on this blog, I can boast of the significant improvement in my confidence about my life’s projection.
This event was indeed a circle of change, and if they ever facilitate another conference in your city or nearby, I’ll urge you to go. People traveled as far as a seven-hour drive to attend this event in New York, and this shows how important and effective it is to change your life.
Here is the link to the Circle of Change Website: http://circleofchangeleadershipconference.com
Disclaimer: I was not paid to write this review, and this is something I have written out of my own total desire to promote this organization.
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© Oyindamola Shoola 2020