Sheryl Tuchman knows a good leadership program when she sees one. She is founder and CEO of Tools 2 Succeed Inc. in the Los Angeles area, a company that does leadership, employee development and sexual harassment prevention training at employers’ sites and through e-learning (online instruction).
Tuchman discovered the leadership lessons of the SUCCESS for Teens program through articles in SUCCESS magazine. (The program centers on the SUCCESS for Teens book, which is provided free to qualifying schools and nonprofit programs through contributions to the SUCCESS Foundation.)
“I think that leadership training in general is just such an important topic for anyone at any age,” she says. “My favorite saying is ‘People don’t leave companies. They leave bosses.’ ”
Tuchman was so taken with SUCCESS for Teens that she began donating a portion of the proceeds from Tools 2 Succeed. For every e-learning purchase, she donates $5 to the SUCCESS Foundation. As of mid-2013, those contributions totaled more than $12,300, money that provides the book and program to about 12,300 teens. She explains her support for the foundation this way: “I thought that the SUCCESS for Teens message had a natural fit with my business.…
“If you learn at a young age how to really manage your own life as well as help other people, then it’ll make your work life so much easier—to be able to communicate with people, to build a team, to really motivate people.” Tuchman knows the SUCCESS for Teens program lays the foundation for managing your life: taking personal responsibility, setting goals, looking at the big picture.
At the beginning of her career, she was a hands-on information technology professional working to set up internal networks for a telecom company. Quickly promoted, Tuchman had to hire others—which was her introduction to management—and then supervise them. “I always tell people I learned the hard way, and I think I did a pretty good job overall.
“At Tools 2 Succeed, so much of what I do is help organizations to succeed and help management teams succeed.” Tuchman remembers some of her lessons coming from seeing “what people shouldn’t do.” In her position, she lacked the authority to make improvements outside IT; now her company is able to help other people and companies sidestep the problems she saw and wanted so badly to fix.
Tuchman also believes her corporate jobs would have been easier if she had received leadership instruction. “It would have been so nice to have the kind of training that I do and that the SUCCESS Foundation does…. Learning the hard way is really difficult, and you make many mistakes that don’t have to be made.”