The National Society of Leadership and Success
Building leaders who make a better world
In this Issue: 

 Letter from the President | Monthly Motivation | Awards & Scholarships | What's Happening | Society Spotlight

Letter From the President: 
Dear Society Members,
Yesterday was April Fools’ Day, making today the perfect opportunity to discuss the importance of humor in both leadership and success.
While it is vitally important that we take our goals seriously and work toward them with the proper drive and dedication, we should also remember to enjoy our path in life. Success requires humor just as much as ambition and hard work; without it, every little obstacle or challenge throws us off course. The ability to share a good laugh with others, even if sometimes at the expense of ourselves, makes our failures in life much smaller and our triumphs much greater. And besides, we never look sillier than when we take ourselves too seriously.
On a practical level, the use of humor can improve any conversation you have, from an interview to an argument. It is a great icebreaker, which can be used to smooth over any situation that might otherwise be awkward or unpleasant. Think of laughter as a bonding agent, you can use it to bring people together regardless of how different they are.
Successful people use humor to show how comfortable they are in their own skin and have nothing to prove. Leaders use it to demonstrate that the focus is on the shared goal instead of themselves. A little laughter can go a long way toward making the people around you feel more comfortable and trusting.
So next time you are in an SNT, an orientation, induction, or any social setting, do not be afraid to be a little lighthearted. It is the hallmark of a true leader.  
Best wishes to everyone,

Charles Knippen
The National Society of Leadership and Success

Success Corner: 


Humor: What’s Holding You Back?

By Karyn Buxman
As I chatted with Brett in his office, several of his staff walked by the door and giggled. One of the young women leaned into the doorway and said, “Don’t be late for your appointment!” and winked.
He waved at her and laughed, saying, “Don’t worry. I’m not backing out!” 
He looked at me and laughed. “It’s not what you’re probably thinking! A couple months ago I told my staff that if they could go an entire month without an injury or a safety violation, I’d shave my head! At first I was just joking around. I said it more out of exasperation than seriousness. But the staff pounced on the idea. Before you know it, for the first time in ages, they hit the target. As soon as that happened, they came to me and set up a date to ceremoniously shave my head! Between you and me, my first thought was ‘Oh crap! I’m going to look like a dork!’ 
“But then I realized I achieved two things: Most importantly, we met an important safety target. That’s huge. But the thing that I hadn’t expected was that this silly challenge brought my staff together in a way that I never could’ve anticipated. I may look like a goofball, but you know what? I’ll definitely do it again—once my hair grows back!”
As leaders, we’re not looking for opportunities to look foolish in front of those we lead. But as Einstein once said, to do the same thing over and over again and expect different results is insanity. We’re often called to step out of our comfort zone to achieve our desired outcomes.
When Brett took a risk and allowed himself to appear silly, he achieved his goal—and more! As a leader, it’s important to be able to stretch out of your comfort zone to achieve different and better results. Humor is a safe way to do just that. And the more you do it, the easier it becomes.
So stretch beyond your comfort zone today and try something a little silly. Maybe a little air guitar in the cafeteria? A rendition of Monty Python’s Silly Walk across the parking lot? Former President George Bush Sr. wears goofy socks. Sam Walton was willing to dance down Wall Street in a hula skirt. He and his company laughed all the way to the bank.
Leadership involves calculated risks. Humor, when practiced without purpose, can involve a degree of risk. But when used strategically, humor will help you achieve incredible results.


 Pace University Leadership Conference

The Society Chapter at Pace University sponsored the school's 8th annual Leadership Conference on February 21st. Society President Charles Knippen was the keynote speaker, and Chief Enthusiasm Officer Kenya Rutland held a workshop on DiSC assessment. Chapter Support Manager Matt Sarlo, pictured far left, also attended the conference.

See more images from this event on our Flickr

Society Intern Retreat

A training was held at the National Office for new Society Interns hired to start chapters on their campuses. There are several retreats held each semester.  We wish our interns the best of luck in their endeavors!
See more images from this event on our Flickr
Debbi Fields Speaker Broadcast

Debbi Fields was our broadcast speaker on February 24th. She was very dynamic and engaging. Here Debbi is pictured with Michael Gewirtzman, Executive Broadcast Producer, as he presented her with an honorary membership to the Society.

See more images from this event on our Flickr

ACPA Tampa 2015 Leadership Conference

Each year the Society showcases its leadership program at various higher education conferences around the country. The ACPA (American College Personnel Association) conference was held March 5th - 8th, in Tampa, Florida.

See more images from this event on our Flickr.

SNHU Leadership Conference

On Saturday, March 7th, Southern New Hampshire University held an excellent leadership conference with Keynote Speaker Robert Freese and Society President Charles Knippen. 

See more images from this event on our Flickr

Monthly Motivation: 

"A sense of humor is part of the art of leadership, of getting along with people, of getting things done."

- Dwight D. Eisenhower

Scholarships and Awards: 


This year, the Society will award over $150,000 in need-based and merit-based scholarships and awards. Don't miss out on your chance to have your dream supported!

Spring 2015 submission period ends Friday, April 10.


For more information, click here.

For a full list of our scholarships, awards and grants and to apply, click here.

To see 2014's winners click here, and to read interviews with some of them visit our blog.

Order of Sigma honoree!

The Order of Sigma award is the Society's highest honor in our pillar program, reserved for those who successfully complete all 10 pillars in the administration of their chapters. Congratulations!

Spring 2015 honoree: DeVry University - Sherman Oaks

Founder's List honorees!

The Founder's List award is given to Society Chapters that successfully complete eight out of 10 pillars. Congratulations!

The Spring 2015 honorees are:

Georgia State University University of Connecticut
MidAmerica Nazarene University University of North Carolina - Charlotte
North Central Texas University University of South Carolina - Aiken
University of Cincinnati


What's Happening: 


The Society Chapter at UC-Davis hosted a live speaker event on Tuesday, February 17th. This was the first such event the chapter produced. The inaugural guest speaker was Jim Sochor—former NCAA football player with San Francisco State University. Sochor led SFSU to three league championships, then eventually became the head football coach at UC-Davis, which he led to 18 straight conference titles! He later worked as UC-Davis' Athletic Director from 1989 to 1991, and was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as a coach in 1999.

Read more on our blog.


The Executive Board members from the Society Chapters at Kent State University and the University of Akron held a joint conference in which they exchanged ideas regarding the running of their respective chapters and networked to form closer ties with one another.

Read more on our blog


The University of Nevada, Las Vegas' DASH volunteer program stands for “Delivering and Serving Hope.” Society chapter members participated by making PB&J sandwiches, along with sacked lunches of crackers and fruit, to hand out at the Las Vegas Rescue Mission to the homeless.

Read more on our blog.


The Society Chapter at UHCL worked with a volunteer team from the HOBY youth foundation to host a 5k run on their campus on Sunday, Feb. 22. The fundraiser helped send high school sophomores in the Texas Gulf Coast region to an upcoming four-day leadership institute.

Read more on our blog.


On February 27th, 2015, California State University (CSU) - Monterey Bay’s Society Chapter had the honor of hosting renowned speaker, author and Millennial expert Jamie Borromeo. The author of Young, Educated & Broke: An Introduction to America’s New Poor, Jamie delivered an inspiring three-hour event that dove into the topics of student life, leadership, and business.

Read more on our blog.


I grew up in a suburb outside Rochester, N.Y., and I can’t believe Parks & Recreation is really over. (editor’s note 1; Parks & Rec takes place in Indiana. Mike just really loved the show). In the 2012 Summer Olympics I rooted for Ryan Lochte, because his name wasn’t Michael Phelps.

To learn more about Mike visit our blog.

Our members are leading and inspiring individuals on their campuses and in their communities across the country every day, and we want to help tell those stories! Articles and other content for upcoming newsletters can be submitted anytime to Please include photos from your event, and let us know what you were doing, who participated and how it impacted your members and community. So many chapters are making a difference every day.

Keep up the good work!