Motivate Yourself to Lead With the BB&T Leadership Series

Thank you BB&T for sponsoring this post.

Leadership lessons

Know what the most important thing good leaders do? They never stop learning.

That’s why I’m so excited to be working on a special campaign with BB&T. The company offers a complete range of financial services such as banking, lending, insurance, trust, and wealth management solutions. But the company also has put together the BB&T Leadership Series, a collection of videos that were created to show some of today’s best and brightest thought leaders from all types of industries to bring you crucial insights on leadership topics.

The goal?

To motivate leaders.

To motivate people.

To motivate you.

These videos aren’t just motivating, they’re incredibly entertaining. And that’s due to the interviewees that were selected. They’ve each faced some big challenges in their lives and found a way to overcome large odds, keep the positivity flowing, and inspire others to be at their best. Each video tells a different story, yet they all focus on helping you uncover your own personal motivation and purpose.


I watched the 42-minute interview with New York Times best-selling author, international speaker and professional aerialist, Jen Bricker… and all I can say is, WOW! Bricker has flown to some seriously big heights (both literally and figuratively) and faced what anyone else would call insurmountable odds.

Yet she’s one of the most positive, cheerleading, life-loving people I have ever seen. And she’s done it all without legs.

That’s right, Bricker was born without legs, yet that didn’t stop her one bit. As she states in the video itself, anything is possible. The way you go about achieving your goals or dreams may be different or even unconventional, but they are still possible. All you have to do is believe in yourself.

Heck, even someone like me can become a leader…

Embracing Leadership

I’ve lived a pretty normal life so far.

I grew up with a loving family. Did well in school. Graduated college. Got a job. Married my college sweetheart. And now have two amazing teenage boys. That’s gold right there.

But let me tell you, I’ve still faced my share of challenges.

Growing up, I was a very shy person. One of my oldest memories takes me back to my first day of kindergarten. All I recall is walking up the long hallways (which gradually sloped upwards) while somehow clinging to my mother’s legs for dear life. Apparently, that was a common position for me as a kid.

Leadership lessons

Somehow that shy little boy who still remembers his first day at West Nyack Elementary School grew up just fine. In fact, I managed to come out of my shell and head up my own startup company a number of years ago.

How did I go from an entry-level copy editor right after college to a leadership role in my own company? Simple. I had help.

One thing I’ve learned over the years is that a good leader doesn’t just manage. He doesn’t dictate rules or hold an employee’s feet to the fire. Uh-uh. Leading is all about showing a good example and taking a strong stance.

Huh, I guess you could say it’s a lot like being a parent.

There are so many different types of leaders and leadership styles for sure. I’ve always been the kind to give praise and show appreciation often. Be positive and remember that basically, anything is possible.

Challenging My Workload

I think the first big jump for me was after I had worked my way through various careers until I ended up as an executive editor at a national magazine publisher where I was in charge of three different magazines and editorial staffs. It was a lot of work for sure, with some pressure and stress, but the hours were fairly standard and the pay was really good. Plus it was a super short commute.

My friend and I had been running an online business on the side (a coupon site) and it had grown to the point where I was actually making more money on the side job than my day job. We had plans for a new, bigger site too but there was no way I could do that while still keeping my day job. So I needed to make a choice: quit my day job and go full-force into my own company, or stick with the job and slowly chip away.

Leadership lessons

I’ll be honest; it wasn’t an easy decision. I talked to a lot of friends, but ultimately it came down to really just one super important person: my wife. We talked about the pros and cons. It wasn’t just about the money; it was about taking risks and taking chances. Going for that gold ring. Ultimately, I went for it.

It was incredibly challenging at first, getting the new business up and running. There’s just so much that goes into it, but again, my wife was my rock and helped push me through with positivity, creativity, and loads of mental support.

Leadership lessons

Leaders aren’t afraid to ask for advice and a good leader won’t just ask, he’ll listen.

As parents, we’ve certainly had our fair share of challenges just like most. Ryan was born with a fever and had to stay in the NICU for a full week before we could take him home. When he was just 18 months old, we discovered Jason was severely allergic to tree nuts and peanuts. That’s been a major challenge for the bulk of his life so far as we needed to learn ourselves how dangerous this world can be for those with allergies. And we need to make sure Jason understands and is able to protect himself as he grows older.

Leadership. It’s within us all. Some of us just need a little more pushing than others. That’s where the BB&T Leadership Series comes in handy. By hearing others’ inspiring stories, you’ll find yourself gaining inspiration you may never have known you had inside of you.

Watch them. Get motivated. Motivate others.

It’s about paying it forward and believing in yourself. So check back regularly to keep the motivation going. After all, you have nothing to lose and your entire future to gain.

Leadership lessons

 The BB&T Leadership Series

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I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

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