Leadership Experience Day: An Event to Develop Leaders in Brazil

         Two years ago there was a large influx of Brazilian college students who came to the US to study for just one year. SIU’s College of Engineering received a proportionate number of these students and a handful of them found their way into the LDP. Little did I know then that two years later these students would be on a personal journey to transform their country.

L-R: Felipe Rodrigues, Bruce DeRuntz, Jean Carvahlo, and Diogo Seixas

           These students developed a deep passion for leadership when they saw how it can be learned in the LDP and how it transformed their lives. They took this knowledge and passion back to Brazil and began teaching leadership to both college students and business. Nicolas Giffoni founded IEEP to teach and develop management and leadership skills to Brazilian organizations through active learning in order to improve the company’s results.  Diogo Seixas, Felipe Rodrigues, and Jean Carvalho are the founders of Journey Movement, a Brazilian startup whose mission is to teach students about how to lead yourself to follow your dream and make an impact in the world.

They took the knowledge and passion, obtained in the LDP, back to Brazil and began teaching leadership to both college students and business. Nicolas Giffoni founded IEEP to teach and develop management and leadership skills to Brazilian organizations through active learning in order to improve the company’s results.  Diogo Seixas, Felipe Rodrigues, and Jean Carvalho are the founders of Journey Movement, a Brazilian startup whose mission is to teach students about how to lead yourself to follow your dream and make an impact in the world.

On February 7th 2017, IEEP and Journey Movement organized an event called Leadership Experience Day or LED in order to develop leaders and create a leadership culture in Brazil. It took place in Juiz de Fora Federal University (UFJF) located in the city of Juiz de Fora, in the southeastern part of Brazil.  I was fortunate enough to be invited to deliver a keynote presentation for a leadership workshop organized by these students.

         Diogo’s presentation topic was Self Leadership, exploring the importance of leading yourself first and showing how to do so; Nicolas’s presentation was about the science of great teams, showing important discoveries about how great teams perform. My presentation was about the process to become a leader, demonstrating the importance of followership, teamship and then leadership.

Diogo Seixas leading the audience through an activity.

          The workshop attracted enough interest to sell-out UFJF’s 210 seat university auditorium during the middle of their summer break. It not only attracted students, but also some of the largest employers in the area who desired to learn more about leadership. However, I was most impressed to see how my fledgling students have blossomed into articulate and engaging presenters who inspired the entire audience to see and believe how each of them can become the leader they always dreamed of. Even though the presentations were in Portuguese, I could easily read their body language and see how the audience was locked on their every word and almost pushed each other out of the way to participate.

         Having the honor of sitting in the front row to watch them perform, I humbly knew that the teacher was now learning from his students. Special thanks to Nicolas Giffoni for his contributions to this article.