by Andrew Samtoy
It seems like every few years someone else comes out with a study showing that there is a leadership vacuum in government/business/America/the world, and that new leaders are needed. This appears to be a constant, consistent problem, and nobody knows, really, what to do it.
Something that is continually inspiring to me is that we’ve had the opportunity to help people in each community develop their leadership ability by organizing Cash Mobs. I was part of a Cash Mob last week organized by Heather Diana Vaselaney here in Cleveland. Heather just graduated from college a few years ago and is now selling jewelry that she designs and makes. She was really nervous about organizing a Cash Mob; she was worried that nobody would show up, that they wouldn’t be into it, that she wouldn’t be able to talk to people, etc.
When I first arrived, I was nervous, too – it was me, her and her boyfriend outside of the store. But then a few people drove up, and a few more, and a few more, and suddenly there was a growing crowd on the sidewalk. She put it off as long as possible, but finally she called everyone into a circle and gave a little speech; she thanked everyone for coming, described the store that we were going to, and then…well, we mobbed.
She was beaming for the rest of the night. I don’t know if she recognized it, but she had a sort of glow surrounding her; it was as if she’d overcome a huge hurdle. Dale Carnegie describes the sort of emotional high that you get from leadership and public speaking in his books, and she had it. It was great to see it happen to someone, though, especially when her mother showed up to meet everyone and see what her wayward daughter was getting up to.
That’s all, really. It was great to see first-hand the sort of effect that Cash Mobs can have on a store, of course; StarPop got a ton of business, with a store full of people spending $40 or more each. But it was even better to see Heather smile because she had done something great for the community, and herself.