Global Voice of Leadership and Work-Life Harmony
The most recurring question addressed to Andre Young is – How did he become an International Speaker, Author and Leadership Trainer? His answer – “Through the pain and privilege of being on both sides of a lot of things.”
The equivalent of world’s best employee at one point, Andre has also been burnt-out at a job and been the worst employee at another; he’s been promoted to the position of manager without knowing how to lead; and has been a leader, played sports at every level, and been a Mental Health Therapist for 19 years. The blending of all these life experiences has allowed the multi-faceted Andre to be of value and impact for organizations, their leaders, employees, and teams; leading to an unbridled professional and personal evolution.
Recalling the moment his life changed as he lay dying on the floor on February 13, 2013, he says, “While drifting in and out of consciousness, there were only two thoughts in my mind – Does my wife know how much I love her? and, Did I teach my kids enough that if I die right now and they’d be OK? Sad, but OK. If that’s what I was thinking in death, then that is how I must live daily after surviving a perforated ulcer!”
Blessed with a free-thinking creative spirit, what Andre really desired was the freedom ‘not to do’ what everyone else was doing… and to be able to make an impact on the world, in businesses, and in the lives of leaders, employees, and people overall. After working as a mental health specialist for more than a decade, he took a courageous plunge and founded – You Evolving Now (YEN), LLC, in September 2011.
The BIG idea behind YEN is to enhance Leadership and Work-Life Harmony for leaders, employees, teams, and organizations. “Work affects home and vice versa… it’s true now more than ever, with the increased amount of hybrid and remote work. I break leadership into two parts – Personal Leadership: how we choose to show up at work, our lives, and our relationships, in a way that makes others want to follow us; and second: Daily Leadership Skills it takes to effectively lead a team.”
Regarding Work-Life Harmony, he suggests ‘balance’ is overrated: “Even if you could obtain perfect balance… it’s impossible to maintain! However, we can all have harmony in all the roles we play by knowing what you need, what you want to give, and being curious of what those receiving your effort truly need most from you right now; and marrying the two within reason. Being consistent in this regard leads to enhanced Leadership and Work-Life Harmony.”
Through the global reach of YEN, Andre has taken his popular programs – The Leader’s 7, Evolve & Lead Program, his podcast, and 1-on-1 growth sessions – to millions of people with great success. His passion for connection and impact helps him forge a powerful bond in seconds.
Connection matters and it leads to impact; enhancing not only your Leadership and Work-Life Harmony, but also that of those you’re leading. “It never ceases to amaze me how much more people will do with you, for you, because of you, and forgive about you and organization change and even momentary dysfunction, when they have a better connection with you… Be Mindful!”
Andre’s wisdom stems from the challenges he’s encountered through the years. Early on in his business journey, the two biggest challenges he faced were – figuring out exactly what his business was, and the urge not to hoard it from the world.
For instance, many who start a business, attempt to sell X. Then clients want different things and you create something that satisfies everyone and brings in revenue. This tends to become a struggle as your product or service is not for ‘everyone’ and you drive yourself crazy and your business into bankruptcy attempting it.
Fortunately for Andre, he was able to find and enjoy his sweet spot (his niche)… and his desired clientele. “My business and my speaking ability also began to evolve when I decided not to hoard my knowledge. Instead, I decided to give it away by making and posting videos and writing weekly… providing the world with impactful content and myself with invaluable speaking practice to hone my skill and voice.”
Interestingly, Andre does not credit his achievements to hard work or luck, but instead, consistency and evolution. Explaining this, he says, “I don’t believe in luck; I believe someone recognized and seized an opportunity and something fortuitous happened. I also believe hard work is great, but sometimes overvalued. Someone can work hard doing all the wrong things. I’ve seen hard-workers work hard all day for 30 years and come home miserable to their significant other and children. Some people work hard in a talent area that isn’t their passion and their success means nothing to them. Therefore, I value being aware of your vision, knowing your Vision Factors… the 3-5 things that when you do consistently, the vision (your dream) have to come true. When we do this, it may look like hard work to those around you, but feels like fun and an honor for you.”
Most people work towards finding joy in their desired lifestyle, both personally and professionally. Andre says the same is easily achievable, if only you can ‘Be Yourself’ – Refine yourself, educate yourself, and be curious regarding the needs of others. If you marry what you want to do and give people what they need most from you right now – impact, success, and true winning (relationally, financially, spiritually, etc.) happens and compounds over time!
This is the premise that Andre stands for and speaks about. In addition, he’s the author of four books, with the latest ‘The Leader’s Toolbox: Tools to EVOLVE your Leadership… and that of those you’re leading’, due out in December 2022. A much sought after Leadership Trainer, we ask Andre to define leadership for us, to which he replies, “My definition of leadership are five short, yet powerful words… As a leader, can you be of INFLUENCE, IMPACT, DECIDE, PROTECT, and Set & Maintain EXPECTATIONS?”
Taking the discussion deeper and sharing how Leaders vs Follwers is a great conversation, he sums up: “It’s best when a leader creates both, leaders and followers. The truth is, everyone can be a leader when they choose to apply the definition I shared above. However, not everyone wants to be, and those employees or individuals will greatly benefit from having a leader to follow. Therefore, a leader can be recognized for creating other leaders that either help him/her lead and evolve the mission or branch off to create their own. A leader can also be recognized for creating awesome followers that maintain the vision, the day-to-day consistency, and the proactive processes it takes to achieve the set mission. I’m honored to share The 5 Types of Employees; who they are and what they need most from leadership in my Trainings, and all types are valuable and necessary to an organization!”