Train Up: Be a Nelson


Denice McClure

You are in a classroom. You did your research. You are confident on your subject. The teacher stands. He asks the group the question, “Who would like to present first today?” Crickets. Quick, what are you going to do? What is your best way to respond to this question?

One of my favorite speakers, Simon Sinek, has much to say about this question in his series on Youtube called Be the Last to Speak. According to him, when you cultivate the skill of learning to listen to everyone else before rendering your own opinion by choosing to speak last, you will become a more effective leader. When I think of who I know that best encompasses the leadership skill that Simon is addressing; one name comes up quickly. But before I talk about her, I think that Proverbs 18:4 combined with Sinek is my best way of describing Suyen Stevenson, who is a deep well of knowledge and flows like a brook with great wisdom.

We talked about a Business Coach being a key member of your team when you launch a business. Today, we are going to talk about another key member of the team: your graphic design company. These are two key members overlooked many times because a business is under-capitalized. These two members are worth every dollar they earn if you intend to become wildly successful. And of course I want that for you, so I’m sharing these lessons.

Suyen Stevenson, the owner of Yen Graphics, is on my team as a graphic designer. She has a cool education background. She’s from New York and she lets me talk and actively listens before she speaks! My mind goes so fast as I’m a shiny penny chaser at heart, so between her and my business coach, they get me to slow down and focus on the objective.

The coach is keeping you focused on the vision while the graphic designer focuses on how to tell your story to create your brand. A few years ago, I had an idea, and I wanted to see what Suyen could do with it to make it come to life. After she listened to everyone’s ideas on my team, she came back with a design that blew my mind! The design included members of my teaching team in a way I never saw done. Each member is portrayed as silhouettes in yoga poses that make up a sweat droplet.

The collaboration of a team, her deep knowledge of graphic design and her ability to listen and speak last resulted in a design that will be on mats, towels, spray bottles, and t-shirts that will be sold all over the world and will soon be at a high end all-inclusive resort company that has 25 Caribbean resorts.

Suyen is a small example of why it’s important to cultivate the skill of speaking last. Sinek is right! Speaking last is such a powerful leadership skill. For a bigger example, Google Nelson Mandela to find out why he is one of the greatest leaders across all continents and of all time. He is worth your time to read as much as you can about his life and his effect at changing the word for the better. My holiday wish is for all of us to each be the leaders we were born to be.

Train Up is an article for young entrepreneurs with the intention of making the Biblical verse Proverbs 22:6 come to life. “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.”

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