Life Leadership strives to make an impact for the next generation. After all, leadership is influence and who better to influence than the future leaders of the world – our youth. Recently, an article was posted on this blog of testimonies from kids who have parents that are involved with Life Leadership. It was cool to see how a parent’s decision to learn and apply leadership principles into their own lives has impacted their children.
Today’s story features a teenager of Life Leadership who went from learning leadership alongside his parents, Life Members Marty and Dora Hysen, to applying the principles into his own life and now leading and paying it forward to other youth.
Charles Hysen is a 14-year-old leadership speaker and Founder of Lead On! Youth Leadership (LLC) – Equipping and Empowering Youth to Lead a Successful Purpose Driven Life – from Holland, Michigan. He has a passion for leadership and his goal is for Lead On! to become a systematic and duplicatable program for developing youth leaders around the world. So, what qualifies Charles to teach about leadership to other youth? First, he has been listening to Life Leadership audios and reading books for as long as he can remember. Second, he has been attending Life Leadership seminars since he was 12 years-old. Lastly, he has been applying what he’s learned by taking action, and he’s getting results–both personally and professionally.
“Charles is always in his room reading a book. He probably reads circles around most adults – he has 8 or 10 bookshelves loaded with leadership books that he has read, including separate piles of books that he needs to read and is currently reading.” -Marty Hysen (Father of Charles Hysen)
It is because of Charles’ hunger to start his own youth leadership platform and his tenacity to make a difference for the next generation that his story is being featured today. Check out Charles Hysen’s full interview below!
How long have you been learning about leadership and applying the principles into your life?
My parents (Marty and Dora Hysen) have been involved with Orrin Woodward and Chris Brady for 13 years–almost since I was born. So I have always been immersed in the learning side of the company. I really started caring about leadership and wanting to learn and apply what they were learning at the age of 12 when I could start attending seminars. At first the seminars freaked me out because I had such low self-confidence and I was terrified of people, so being in that environment wasn’t comfortable for me. I could totally relate to Life Founder, Dan Hawkins, being shy and not wanting to talk to people–because that’s how I was. But I knew if he could do it, so could I.
If there was one book and audio you would recommend to every young person, what would it be and why?
The one book I would recommend every young person read is PAiLs by Chris Brady. I believe it is so important for the younger generation because it helps you really discover your purpose and figure out what you should be doing with your life.
The one audio I would recommend to every young person is EDGE 4 Self-talk – by Orrin Woodward and Chris Brady. I believe everything is based on self-talk–attitude, confidence, believing in yourself, etc. A lot of teenagers have problems because of low-self esteem and negative self-talk and this audio really helps with that.
Who inspired you to pursue your dream of becoming a youth leadership speaker?
The two people who have helped me the most and have inspired me are Orrin Woodward and Chris Brady. They have changed my life in so many ways and every day I aspire to be more like them as an example.
What is Lead On! Leadership and how did you come up with the idea?
A couple of years ago I was terrified of talking to people. I couldn’t even talk to my parents. I was very introverted and right when I was about to turn 12, I knew I could start attending Life Leadership seminars. I thought that if I started attending the events I could break out of my shell. I really didn’t have any friends up to that point. Along the way I started learning about people skills and leadership and it helped boost my confidence to start talking to people. I have learned so many other skills along the way that Life Leadership teaches about. Attending the events totally turned my life around. Now I am a public speaker and at the time I never would have thought I wanted to do this, my goal was just to be able to say “Hi” to someone without panicking. It really changed my life and I realized that there are a lot of young people who need this information. I thought I could use my own story to inspire other young people to learn what I have been learning.
How many youth are currently tied into Lead On! Leadership and what is your vision to expand the company?
We are growing really fast in the Michigan area–our main product is our events that we hold on a monthly basis. Attendees pay $10–where they can register online or pay at the door. I totally believe in positive association. There is nothing else out there like this for youth. Parents love it for their kids and the kids love it too. There is such a need for this out in the market.
How has Life Leadership influenced your passion for teaching leadership to the next generation?
The information has completely changed my life and it has inspired me to help others. I just want to pay it forward and to teach other teens and youth how powerful these leadership principles are and how it can help them too.
What is your long-term goal and mission?
My long-term goal would be to help Life Leadership launch a youth leadership program, like Lead On! I want to be able to change millions of youth lives around the world through Life Leadership with the EDGE series and our events. I see it being so big that schools everywhere know about it and are duplicating it in their environment. We are going to make a difference on a very large scale. There is a huge need for youth leadership within the Life Leadership community.
Is there anything else you would like to share with the readers?
First and foremost I give all of the glory to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
I also want to say thank you to my parents for getting me exposed to Life Leadership and for leading the way and being great examples for me. I also want to thank my sister who has also been helping me run Lead On!
Lastly, thank you to Life Leadership and everyone involved because if it weren’t for Life Leadership none of this would have been possible. I would still be extremely introverted and afraid of people and I wouldn’t have been able to start Lead On! and become a public speaker.
“Success comes in many different forms! Charles is a great example of why we would never get away from the Life Leadership community. The information and association has influenced our family in such positive ways that we are seeing the results in our children’s lives as well. We are so proud of Charles and the man he is becoming through Life Leadership!!” -Marty Hysen
Currently, Charles has already been influential in speaking to local outside organizations about youth leadership, including, but not limited to: the Holland, MI Police Department, the mayor of Holland, MI, various nonprofits that work with troubled teens, multiple martial arts studios, multiple church youth groups and various schools. Charles will also be featured live on-air by a local West-Michigan Christian radio station.
Charles is a great example for all who aspire to chase and achieve their dreams. The Life Leadership community is very proud of you, Charles, for all that you are doing to influence the next generation!