Leaders Create Leaders, a business leadership podcast, just concluded its four part live miniseries, at the Grammy museum in Newark. Podcast production house ABF Creative and Prudential Financial teamed up with the show's creator, Gerard Adams, for four special episodes of Leaders Create Leaders.
“We all have that leader within us. We all can understand struggle, we all come from different stories, we all come from different backgrounds. So for me what’s really special about this podcast is the fact that we're really diverse and we’re bringing in all these different categories. Today is wellness and we had motivation, entrepreneurship, social impact, and its just so many different categories of different leaders from different backgrounds that have gone out there, found their passion, found their purpose, and have been able to persevere and turn it into a real business.”
Adams Co-founded Elite Daily, an online news platform. He cultivated its readership to over 80 million readers per month, and sold the company for about 50 million, all by age 24. He has continued to find extraordinary success as a businessman, but instead of greedily clutching his keys to success, he finds fulfillment in helping others find success too. He likes to call himself the Millennial Mentor, a title he trademarked. And when I talked to him about the origins of Leaders Create Leaders, he revealed just how in touch his business processes are with modern times.
“When I wanted to step up as a role model and as a thought leader, I started thinking about that quote, ‘Leaders create leaders, not followers.’ And we live in a generation where everyone is worried about the likes, everyone is worried about the followers because of social media and everything, but it’s not about that. It’s about creating leaders. So I had that idea from that quote, and I asked my audience. I just put out a poll on my Instagram and I was like ‘Hey guys do you like Leaders Create Leaders or Limitless Leaders?’ The feedback I got was Leaders Create Leaders and I was like alright, I'm running with it. Lets go.”
The final installment of the miniseries was themed around health and wellness. It featured two guest interviewees and a musical performance. Haile Thomas was one of the interviewees. She is an international speaker, vegan lifestyle influencer, a Certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, AND the founder and CEO of the nonprofit HAPPY, which stands for Healthy Active Positive Purposeful Youth. She is seventeen years old.
“Getting to do all of this work for seven going on eight years has been surreal and it’s gone by so fast. Everybody’s like ‘you’re young’ and I feel like I'm so old, everything’s going by so fast!”
Much of her journey began when her father was diagnosed with a chronic illness. His health hinged on a lifestyle change. Among other things, Haile's family had to learn to stop eating the traditional Jamaican food that had been passed through generations. But it has been more than worth it for her.
"I’m worth so much more than flavor. At this point, my dad is sick and we’re just trying to do everything that we can to help him and I feel like a piece of oxtail is not something that is valued more than his own longevity. And so for us that was the turning point. We can’t put food and favor and a five second experience over his health or anyone’s health.”
The other interviewee was Lauren Craig.
“Yes, Lauren Craig: an enigma wrapped in a puzzle and [cashmere]”
Each of the four special episodes hosts at least one business leader based in Newark, and Lauren filled that role for the final episode. The interview focused on her launching EWR water, which honors Newark's history as a city on the river. She is also an author, marketing professional, on air personality, and Newark's official Glambassador. Her latest project is a women's dating movement, inspired by a recent visit to the Wendy Williams Show.
“Yes, so I just went to Wendy to sit in the audience and just be quiet and be cute, that’s all I went to do. But what happened was, they ask you to fill out an ‘ask Wendy’ form for her ‘ask Wendy’ segment and I was like ‘Well if I'm here of course I'm going to ask something a little controversial so I can get on the mic because that’s what I do.’ So my question was ‘I only date wealthy men, I have friends that judge me for that. Should I lower my standards?’ That was basically the question. So she said ‘what do you have to offer?’ so my response was ‘when people ask me what I bring to the table, I say I am the table.’ And so after that I kind of blacked out because I was like ‘wow, I just did that. That was amazing!”
But the reaction afterwards was what made me really want to talk to women about dating and standards and how it’s okay as a woman to have requirements about who you’re going to date, there’s nothing wrong with that. But Wendy wanted me to settle, she definitely wanted me to settle.”
The interviews were punctuated by a musical performance from Felicia Temple, who rose to fame as a competitor on the musical talent competition show, "The Voice". A singer-songwriter whose music is partially inspired by her triumph over cancer, Temple shared her own business advice for aspiring artists:
"Anyone who is looking for a career in music or whatever it is you want to do and is your passion, do not quit your day job"
Temple adds that labels and collaborators tend to only invest in artists who have already invested in themselves. She advises to keep at least a part time job in order to fund the studio time, photoshoots, and music videos that are necessary for establishing a music career. The Leaders Create Leaders episodes derived from these interviews will be available this month on all streaming, platforms.