Because I Said I Would
Reece Stallman, Minnesota DECA Vice President of Public Relations
The Central Region Leadership Conference’s first speaker, Alex Sheen, is a four-time TEDxTalk speaker, author and podcast host.
He is most known for his inspirational keynotes where he talks about his journey on keeping promises. Alex Sheen started his “Because I Said I Would” journey in 2012 and has since kept his promise to walk 245 miles across Ohio in honor of three women who were held captive for ten years. He volunteers at 52 nonprofits a year, delivered 100 Disneyland tickets to children with cancer and drove straight through the night to help with disaster relief efforts after Hurricane Sandy. Mr. Sheen also donates 100% of his speaking fees to Because I Said I Would and other charities.
Alex started the conference off on a promising note. You could feel the emotion and intensity in the room throughout the presentation. The audience was able to take away three life lessons.
Why Promises Matter
Alex explained that as young kids, pinky promises mean the world but over time they lose meaning. He believes that this shouldn’t be the case and that promises should only gain more meaning. As we age, we have more opportunities to fulfill our promises and more interest in making a difference in others’ lives. He explained that we should treat promises like goals and work to achieve them for our benefit and the benefit of others.
How to Keep Promises
Not only is it important to keep promises to others, but it’s also important to keep promises to yourself. Alex’s advice on keeping promises started simple. Write it down. Writing down your promises and goals increases the chance that you’ll keep it. To further this point, he passed out ten Because I Said I Would cards to everyone in the audience, challenging them to start making and keeping promises. The second key step to keeping promises is having passion and drive. When you feel passionate about an event you will find a way to complete the project.
How to Build Leadership and Character
Alex felt so strongly about Because I Said I Would after a life-changing event showed him what he was doing was making a lasting impact that he quit his job. The work he was doing changed him and his definition of leadership. He now understands that leaders aren’t the loudest in the room, they’re the biggest problem solvers and best listeners. His piece of advice for students is to be the best advocate for the change you want to see. When we find something we believe, we find our leadership style and start building character.
Alex left the CRLC audience inspired to keep promises to themselves and others. He motivated DECA members to become the best version of themselves and find their path to leadership.