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Creating a Safe Space to Achieve Success through Failure

Leadership is so multifaceted today. In the past, charisma could take you into a leadership role. Now, it's more important than ever to develop a skill set that’s directly correlated to generating results and initiating change.

Through leadership development, The National Society of Leadership and Success (NSLS) teaches skills that are often overlooked in one's regular coursework. These include skills that are useful in a work environment, to create change in your community, or to inspire others in your life, as a parent, mentor, or friend. 

Communication, relationship building, goal setting, time management… the list of vital skills continues. They are all skills that can be learned and developed over time. In this framework, anyone can become a leader.

Shelica Cox has developed these skills through our leadership development program, including the Advanced Leadership Certification and the Executive Leadership Certification as part of our accredited curriculum

A key leadership attribute she mentions that doesn't come up nearly enough is the ability to embrace failure. By creating a safe space to fail, you'll effectively learn from mistakes and open things up to more creative possibilities.

"Know who you are, be a team player, and give others the opportunity to make mistakes." 

On a Mission to Help Others

When you begin with that mindset, you’re immediately setting a positive tone for your team. Shelica doesn't just advise others to learn how to pivot when something fails; she creates an environment where others have the opportunity to fail. With this approach, you create a more innovative environment. 

Based on her expertise, Shelica is a leader worth listening to. She brings her leadership abilities to many different areas in her life, including her work with the Tennessee PTA, which strives to improve the lives of children through strategic advocacy. 

She also leads a prayer group and is a single mother of three, and is already teaching them the tenets of leadership with an emphasis on ensuring they are productive citizens. By practicing what she preaches, she's been recognized as a Memphis Police Ambassador for her own work in the community.

On top of all of this, she is a licensed nurse in Tennessee, Mississippi, Texas, and Georgia, where she has a direct impact helping others using her extensive knowledge and leadership skills. To juggle these leadership roles, she says it begins by rolling up the sleeves.

"Hard work and determination." Other than that, she’s honed a range of skills in her career and through leadership development, including "strategic thinking, planning and delivery, people management, change management, communication, and persuasion and influencing."

That last skill can often be seen as a negative, but it goes hand in hand with great communication. Influencing others is about communicating your passions effectively. From there, others will follow your lead and your values. 

Shelica's Advice for Future Leaders

Besides providing a safe space to fail and grow, Shelica tells us that she loves the saying, "When life throws you lemons, make lemonade with extra sugar." This iteration of a well-known phrase exemplifies what leadership is all about—going the extra mile

To her, leadership ultimately comes down to serving others and utilizing the skills you learn to make a better world. In this way, she is living our mission at the NSLS

"Leadership is working in the community, feeding the homeless, and making sure your city has better schools for the next generation." 

She's playing an integral role in this leadership pursuit, with the goal of getting into politics herself. "I'm a community leader in the great city of Memphis. My next goal is to become a politician. I want to run for school board." 

She already has some experience in this field, having met with Dr. Jill Biden on a visit to Memphis, where she showed the First Lady of the United States around the city she loves so much. 

Samuel Beckett is attributed with coining the phrase, "Fail better." It has stood the test of time because great leaders all have one thing in common: they failed first. Hear more about how failure and rejection can lead to success.