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Bring your best self to the table of life

Life doesn’t get easier because we want it to. “That’s why we have to rise to the demands that life presents to us,” said John Beede, an Everest climber, global adventurer, entrepreneur, author, and humanitarian. “At any moment, you can choose to bring a better self to the table of life. That’s what leadership is.”

Beede, the most recent guest speaker at a Siegfried Youth Leadership Program™ event, gave a compelling presentation to the more than 400 students and their teachers who came to the seventh iteration of this powerful program, which is designed to provide students with the passion and tools they need to strengthen their individual leadership skills.

The importance of angels

Amy Devlin and Kevin Keegan, Leadership team members at The Siegfried Group, kicked off the event, delivering a thoughtful and emotional session that asked students to consider the angels in their lives. “As you’re developing as a leader and you’re developing your character ethic, there are angels all around you. They could be your teachers, parents, coaches, even your siblings,” explained Keegan.

“An angel is a kind, lovable person who provides guiding input that helps you bring, be, and become your best, and who helps clarify your dreams and your path forward. Angels inspire and motivate you,” he continued. “Think about the potential angels in your life. Who are they? And think about how you can be an angel to someone. Because everyone in this room is an angel.”

During his presentation, Beede also spoke to the power of angels. “Do what it takes to help others get to the top. That’s what leaders do. If you see someone who has written down a big goal that you think you can help them get to, true leaders will serve and give of themselves to get that person to the top.”

Keegan and Devlin host a student panel

Get to the big goal in your life

How do you discover that big goal or where you belong in life? Beede has a three-step “Climb On” formula, the first step of which is discovering where you belong in life. To do that, you must understand everything you’re talented at, everything you’re passionate about, and everything that you’re educated in or willing to become educated in.

“The overlap of these three things — your passions, your talents, and your education — that’s where your greatest gift to the world is,” Beede explained to the students. “That’s your big goal, the thing you should be thinking about and visualizing all the time.”

The remaining two steps of the “Climb On” formula are to prepare (practice where you can fail) and to take the “impossible step.”

Creating the opportunity for leadership development

The Siegfried Group has spent more than 30 years helping people transform themselves into better leaders. In 2016, Rob Siegfried, founder and CEO of The Siegfried Group, expanded this reach and created an innovative initiative with young people in mind. This initiative — Siegfried Youth Leadership Program™ — helps youth develop the leadership qualities they need to have a successful future.

“This program was inspired by my daughter and her belief that I could share something with young generations,” said Rob. “I want to impress on this audience the importance of personal leadership to find something inspiring, a personal passion, and use it to lead a purposeful and fulfilling future.”

More than 400 students came together at the University of Delaware for the seventh Siegfried Youth Leadership Program™ event. The program builds with each event, bringing a purposeful cadence to discussing these important topics.

During each half-day program, students focus on starting, or continuing, their journey toward being strong individual leaders. At this event, in addition to sessions led by Devlin, Keegan, and Beede, five students joined a panel discussion to talk about where they wanted to be in 17 years.

Future events

The next Siegfried Youth Leadership Program™ event will be on February 26, 2020, at the University of Delaware in Newark, DE. Click here for more information.


“I loved seeing some of my students take risks and speak up. I feel it's important to offer these opportunities to as many students as possible.”

SYLP Teacher

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