Prior to the Good Life Philanthropic Youth Foundation’s recent annual fundraiser, the company’s executive director and founder, Hasan Stephens ’00, sat down with the Syracuse Post Standard to discuss his views on leadership.
In the discussion, Stephens laid out a five-step process for someone who aspires to a leadership role.
“First thing is surround yourself with the best, smartest people. You need mentors. Second, seek knowledge, learn. Third, be introspective. Emotional intelligence is a key for any leader because you have to know how to deal with people and interact with people. Four, build your network — who you surround yourself with is everything. If you hang out with the best, you’re going to be the best. Five, if you want to be a leader, never be complacent, never get comfortable. A leader needs to be an innovator,” he said.
Stephens established the Good Life Foundation to help prevent youth recidivism, violence, poverty and incarceration. The Foundation is dedicated to improving the quality of life for at-risk youth by providing a range of services and programs with the purpose of encouraging successful and productive careers and life strategies.
An educator and co-contributor of the book, “Rebel Music: Resistance Through Hip-Hop and Punk,” Stephens serves as a professor of Africana studies and hip-hop at The State University of New York College at Cortland, teaching the course, “Evolution of Hip-Hop Culture.” He also is a member of the County Juvenile Detention Alternative Initiative Steering Committee, the Central New York State Regional Youth Justice Team, the County Racial and Ethnic Disparities Work Group and the School-Arrest Diversion Workgroup for Onondaga County. In addition, Stephens is a leadership consultant for the Central New York Community Foundation, Inc., and New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services.
Before establishing the Good Life Foundation, Stephens was a disc jockey with Clear Channel Communications (Power 106.9 FM and Hot 107.9 FM) and an Emmy Award nominated TV commentator with News Channel 9’s “Coming Together for a Safer Syracuse.” Currently, he is the official DJ for Syracuse University basketball and athletics programs. Stephens has worked with MTV and has made national appearances as a guest host on BET’s Rap City.
At HWS, Stephens was a member of WEOS-FM and Phi Beta Sigma.
The full article can be found here.