Adeymius Vasquez, from the University of Phoenix chapter, overcame profound challenges and adversity to become the leader he is today. His story demonstrates the importance of being self-motivated and strategic when approaching any new partnership, project, or challenge.
Adeymius leaned into entrepreneurship to overcome homelessness by developing RWTC Media Group, which includes both an editorial website and a lifestyle magazine. After cataloging that content with the Library of Congress, he and his team undertook a massive international distribution campaign, making sure thousands of magazine issues reached readers in Japan, Argentina, and the United States.
Smart leaders know how to leverage past successes to achieve future goals, and Adeymius did just that. He recently launched Tabblerific, which he describes as “a business directory that has no reviews or comments, [only] straight business facts.” As the site continues to be built out, users will be able to search for businesses by keywords in a number of categories.
Result pages for each listed business include only verifiable, factual information such as the business’s address, hours of operation, services and amenities, and a short biographical statement the business may provide. For Adeymius, it's about combating our review-saturated times: "No opinions or bias to persuade a potential customer from trying them out, allowing people to make their own decisions."
Though his situation seemed insurmountable at one point, he was never deterred, and he understood that success doesn't happen overnight.
"I've always been very self-motivated, strategic, and intuitive when doing something and dealing with people. Writing is something that's always been a passion of mine, and I knew that someday having my own magazine… was something to look forward to, but learning the skills and where to begin took some time."
Understanding the Importance of Communication in Global Business
Adeymius had long wanted to explore the world of radio and print publishing, but says the prospect of such a career seemed farfetched. “I grew up in an area where dreams like mine were almost impossible to achieve.”
When he was old enough to secure part-time work, he began exploring the newspaper industry from the bottom by delivering papers to neighbors on his bicycle.
He then sought other jobs in the industry to learn as much as he could about the process of producing and publishing a newspaper, including how to operate a small press. “I took the initiative to learn everything I could about journalism, interviews, and investigative journalism.” That included what schools and course work he needed to round out his education so he could achieve his goals in the mass media world.
Studying communications and writing were the clear choice for his future. Global communication skills help foster and build relationships across disciplines and cultures. As Adeymius’s chosen projects demonstrate, he recognizes the importance of communication skills and is continually working to improve his own writing and skill set. With hopes of earning a PhD in communications, it's clear he's dedicated to continually honing his craft.
Adeymius’s Advice for Future Leaders
Adeymius’s story powerfully illustrates that while it’s tempting to adopt the old maxim “Believe in yourself and the rest will fall into place,” reality can require more of us. As a practical matter, he says it’s imperative to accept a hard truth: “It's going to get hard and some people are going to try and stop you or bring you down somehow.” He advises future leaders to use these experiences as fuel to keep moving forward. “Use it as stepping stones to be better, and push harder for success.”
The methods you use to set goals are crucial to your success, as Adeymius’s experience demonstrates. “All these accomplishments had some level of difficulty, but I made short-term goals to see through to my long-term goals which eventually led me to see my dreams come through. What was it that needed to be done first, how much money is needed for this first step and can I handle it alone? Or, do I even need money to start off with?”
Great leaders help to inspire others, and Adeymius agrees that excellence in leadership means leading by example. "Leadership to me can be a way of life because it isn't something to do here and there or in a group, or at work, it's a way to learn more about yourself and others, and how to evolve into something bigger and better. But at the same time, how else can I teach others to become great leaders? What tools can I pass on to help create a better way of thinking?"
He embodies what it means to have a growth mindset and strives to improve every single day. “Be better than yesterday, have an open mind, and don't be so quick to judge someone, and … always lead by example wherever you are,” an important tenet of transformational leadership.
A key aspect of having a growth mindset is always seeking learning opportunities, which he found at The National Society of Leadership and Success (NSLS). "I've always been a strong leader, but learning through the activities and interaction with the NSLS has opened my eyes to other facets I didn't know about. The NSLS has also supported this by… my recent credentialing with them that I have accomplished."
Finally, Adeymius stresses that no one who reaches difficult goals should expect to do it alone, but rather should work towards building a team of advocates who can advise and assist when necessary. “Having a good support system is vital. Without it, it becomes very difficult and almost impossible to do anything. As human beings, we learn from each other and help each other to grow, learn, and succeed. It became tough but I became much more patient, realizing that any sudden jump without careful thought would result in my dreams staying just that, dreams.”
Adeymius’s experience demonstrates in part an evolving transformational leadership style. Other leadership styles might be more naturally aligned to your skills and personality traits. We’ve outlined seven leadership styles, together with their particular challenges and benefits, that can help you find the paradigm that best matches your needs.