ALANA week: Tish Norman delivers keynote address on Monday

Tish Norman is the founder of Transforming Leaders Now Inc., a consulting company that helps promote leadership and personal development. She visited Oswego State on Sept. 24 to give advice to students on how to improve the way they make decisions in each aspect of their lives.

She presented five main points she said helped her to get where she is, and which she felt could benefit students. These five points all started with the letters of the word “shock”, coinciding with this year’s ALANA conference theme, Culture S.H.O.C.K.

The first point, “S”, is for select your nouns strategically. She stressed the point that, if a person chooses the people they are with, the places they go and the things they have around them to purposefully make them better, they will be better. She also stressed the value of choosing friends who will support the person they want to be.

“Show me your friends, and I’ll show you your future,” Norman said. She continued to say that a person will only end up as good as the people they surround themselves with.

The second point, the “H” of S.H.O.C.K., stood for help. She used this word in two ways. She said that a person shouldn’t be afraid to ask for help and should be open to giving help. When a situation arises in which someone can help another to become better, they shouldn’t be ashamed to ask for help. Once they have been able to that, giving help should make them feel honored because they are helping people who are in the situation they were once in. Both ends of this spectrum can help a person to become better.

Third, for the “O”, Norman used “Onward and Upward,” which is the slogan of her alma mater, Kentucky State University. Before she began the presentation, she had quotes play through on a slideshow in the screen behind her; one was, “Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail,” which was said by Ralph Waldo Emerson. She stressed that a person should know where they want to end up and then do whatever they can to get there.

The fourth point was “C” for connect with a mentor. She said it is important for people to find someone who is where they want to be, personally or professionally, and make a relationship with them. She said it doesn’t have to be a close relationship, just one in which the mentee can ask them how to get where they are, and ask them for advice on how to get there themselves. She said she has done this in many cases and has found it to be very helpful.

Finally, the “K” is for knowledge of self. She said she has found that people are taught to suppress their individuality and their heritage, even though those are actually things that could help them in future endeavors. Norman said people should celebrate their culture and use it to help advance their lies, rather than view it as an anchor holding them back.

“Tish Norman was very inspiring,” sophomore Megan Schmieder said. ALANA Week wraps up with a banquet and reception Friday.