If you want to see what a quintessential success story actually looks like, you can find it with how Ashley Rhodes-Courter has lived her life thus far. She was born to single teen mother and by the age of 3 she was in Florida’s foster care system.
After being shuttled between 14 homes, she finally found a home at the age of 12. In the face of what some would gladly call a rough start, she found in herself that adversity is what shaped who she is today.
Now, Ashley is a former foster kid, adoptive mom, social worker, non-profit director, and small business owner. So, when she speaks on leadership, resilience, and adversity, it’s best to lean in and listen.
In this article, Ashley answers some questions regarding leadership, adversity, resilience, and power — all traits she’s experienced throughout her life.
But before you move on to Ashley’s insightful answers, watch her video:
Ask The Expert: Ashley Rhodes-Courter
#1. Your life thus far has been defined as the quintessential American success story… With all the experience you’ve gained in life, how would you define leadership for those looking to become better leaders?
A key element to successful leadership is being a person others want to follow. Leaders understand their strengths and weaknesses, and are successful at bringing out the strengths in others. As a leader, you should also be open-minded and be constantly learning and evolving.
#2. What role do you believe resilience and adversity plays in being a great leader like yourself?
Surviving difficult life circumstances does not have to be a setback. It is our differences and adversities that make us much more capable of succeeding. Adversity comes with experiences that can make or break us. Leaders are able to rise above their pain and turn it into power and productivity for themselves and others.
#3. When it comes to leadership, what do you look for in other people as leaders, AND how do you approach being a leader for those who follow you?
For me, being a good leader means practicing what I preach. I am a former foster kid, adoptive mom, social worker, non-profit director, and small business owner. I don’t just talk to audiences about the importance of community, education, giving back, the power of one person, and resiliency–I’m engaged in these areas each day. Staying in tune with the needs of your employees, students, or management is essential.
#4. Your life has been about advocacy, among many others… How do you think your experience with advocacy translates into business?
Being an advocate is more than feeling passionate about a cause. The average person might not fully understand the complexities of running an organization, managing staff or volunteers, or creating strategies to make projects or programs sustainable. Business skills come into play as advocates are seeing to raise funding, marketing knowledge to spread their messages, networking, and day-to-day operations. Whether you’re working with students or executives, being organized, focused, clear, and determined are skills one needs at all levels to be successful.
#5. You have turned your life of pain into power… What role do you believe power plays in leadership?
Power is a complicated word that has different meanings to different people. I think power is the ability to influence or create change in the life of another. And a strong leader acknowledges this responsibility, and uses their influence to bring others together for a greater or collective good.
Takeaways From Ashley
Here are some key takeaways from Ashley’s answers:
- “A key element to successful leadership is being a person others want to follow.”
- “Leaders understand their strengths and weaknesses, and are successful at bringing out the strengths in others.”
- “It is our differences and adversities that make us much more capable of succeeding.”
- “Leaders are able to rise above their pain and turn it into power and productivity for themselves and others.”
- “Whether you’re working with students or executives, being organized, focused, clear, and determined are skills one needs at all levels to be successful.”
- “I think power is the ability to influence or create change in the life of another. “
If you’re interested in booking Ashley for your event, you can contact Platinum Speakers Agency today. Visit Ashley’s website to learn more about her as an internationally best selling author, speaker, advocate, and business owner.