The chief executive optimist

Talia Leman was 10 years old in 2005 when she heard about the damage caused by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. She decided to do something.

Soon she was on the “Today” show talking about her plans to ask for contributions on Halloween night. The governor held a press conference to promote her efforts. A grocery store printed 8.5 million trick-or-treat bags with Leman’s message.

“I was the CEO—which stood for chief executive optimist,” Leman said. “My goal was to raise $1 million.”

Hundreds of trick-or-treaters raised $10 million to help the hurricane victims.

Leman now serves as CEO of RandomKid, a nonprofit that helps children across the world find ways to make the world a better place. She also has written a book A Random Book about the Power of Anyone. It offers young people techniques and tools for making changes.

How can we do something greater than we can do?

Leman advises:
• Make room for the plan that you didn’t have. It’s flexibility that makes things happen.
• Just get started and head in the right direction. Luck is waiting for you to try something new.
• Remember that everything begins with nothing.

I heard Leman speak recently at the Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas 2013 Women of Distinction Luncheon.

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