Thanks to one of his cousins, Nahom Hagos has gone through two life-changing experiences over the past year, courtesy of the African Leadership Group’s Public Speaking Class and Leadership Africa program.
His cousin had taken the renowned public speaking course, and urged Nahom to give it a try. Nahom says he has always been a person to keep mostly to himself, so enrolling in public speaking Cohort 12 was a big step. The result?
“Oh my God, there were so many lightbulbs going off in my head in terms of being able to articulate what I’m thinking,” Nahom said. “It was a wonderful, wonderful experience. Very empowering.”
Nahom was born and raised in the Tigray region of Ethiopia. He came to the U.S. in 1991. He is an entrepreneur, running two cleaning businesses and a business services company, as well as working at Denver International Airport for Southwest Airlines. “I’m an entrepreneur,” he said. “I have my hands in a lot of different things.”
The public speaking experience was so transformative that Nahom said he would like to enroll in the class again. But first, he has taken the next logical step, following again in his cousin’s footsteps and taking part in the nine-month Leadership Africa program.
If public speaking was an eye-opener, Leadership Africa has been a mind-blower. Nahom said it has changed the way he thinks about himself and how he relates to the world around him.
“It has been nothing short of an amazing experience,” he said. “Learning about myself, and why I shy away from certain things and why I excel in certain areas.” He said he found especially helpful delving deeply into the Enneagram, a system of personality typing that describes patterns in how people interpret the world and manage their emotions.
Leadership Africa overall is “a life-changing experience that helps you recognize where you’re missing the awareness that you need to add more tools to be able to grow as an individual, as well to be able to add to your relationships, whether personal or business,” Nahom said.
Leadership Africa wraps up in November, and Nahom said he is sad about it coming to an end. “It is a bittersweet feeling. I have made so many lifelong friends, but we won’t be together in that way anymore.”