Kemi Sorinmade sheds light on leadership development


On Tuesday, Feb. 7, the African Student Association hosted speaker Kemi Sorinmade in the Beuth House great room to teach students how to be successful. Sorinmade currently works at The Growth Studio: Leadership Development Training and Coaching.

Kemi Sorinmade was born in America, grew up in Nigeria, and moved back to America when it was time for her to further her education. She attended Northeastern University, where she studied chemical engineering. During her talk, she spoke about how coming back to America was a dramatic culture shock, and how it took some time to get used to her new life.

One of Kemi’s main points was to work your hardest with everything you do. She says, “People are not just smart. Yes, they may be born with smart genes, but these people are smart because they work hard and do something extra. Are you working hard? Asking questions? Burning the midnight oil? What can you do to exceed expectations? If you are the smartest person in the room, then you are in the wrong room.”

Another important point that she emphasizes is that when you are doing what you love, you will be successful because your work won’t feel like work. She says, “Do what you are truly passionate about. You will do a good job when you love what you do.” Sorinmade decided to start her own business. She said, “Just because you major in something, doesn’t mean that is what you will do.” Sorinmade used the acronym “R.E.A.L success” to define the most important aspects of being successful.

The “R” stands for relationships: “You have to be able to network, and you have to love yourself first.”

The “E” stands for empowering others. “When you add value to others when they are down, you then become a leader, but in order to add value to someone else, you have to value them and understand them, while making yourself valuable. If you don’t have anything to add to others, how can you empower them?” says Kemi.

The “A” stands for attitude. “Always have a positive attitude in everything you do. You belong in every single room you step in, so own it. Never have a victim mentality, or others won’t be able to take you seriously. Know your value and don’t compare yourself to others,” emphasized Sorinmade.

The last point, the “L”, stands for leadership. “Have the ability to influence others and drive results. Connect to people and be a person of integrity.

Being a leader is all about vision – if you don’t know where you are going, it is going to be hard to take people with you. Have a purpose, because your purpose will determine your actions.” Watch Kemi Sorinmade’s TEDx talk to learn more about who she is and what she stands for.


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