Show up and do the damn thing

If you know me, you know that I’m an avid indoor cyclist. And if you really know me, you know that if it weren’t for my profound love for all things science, I’d most likely be rockin’ it on the podium of a SoulCycle studio.

Call it what you will—silly, over-priced, a fad—but it is something I very much enjoy, both physically and mentally. One concept that I love is its policy regarding missed classes: if you forget to cancel by 5:00 p.m. the previous day and miss your class, too bad—there goes your money, simple as that.
Some might abhor this idea of “oversleep, lose your seat” (and money), but for me, it provides for accountability. I’ve taken several classes that were waitlisted—meaning more people wanted to ride than seats allowed—and the instructor was disappointed to see anywhere from five to ten seats vacant once class began.
I might have led you down one avenue, but let me set it straight. No, I’m not looking to drop out of Stevens to become a SoulCycle instructor, however enticing that sounds; nonetheless, this past Sunday was the third-annual LeadHERship conference, co-sponsored by the Office of Graduate Student Affairs, Lore-El Programs, and Diversity Education, and I was shocked to see a large number of name tags remaining on the registration table towards the end of the day-long event.
I’m not here to crucify people for not showing up: it was Saturday morning, we’re adults, things happen, etcetera. But like anyone who skips the cardiac-arrest-inducing yet stress-relieving experience of a SoulCycle class, the LeadHERship no-shows missed out on more than ten dollar’s worth of conference material.
The speakers were carefully selected with Stevens women in mind: Maurice Shirley, a Ph.D. candidate from New York University presented on Imposter Syndrome, ‘She Negotiates’ consultant Jamie Lee led a negotiating workshop and helped attendees draft “superpower” value proposition statements, and the Gospel-singing, public speaking, master-strategizing Managing Director of Morgan Stanley Carla Harris served as the keynote speaker, offering several of her “pearls of wisdom” from her 20 plus years of experience on Wall Street. The list does not end here, but my column does shortly, so I’ll move on.
Each year, this conference improves upon itself and it is only because of the hard work of the offices and programs I mentioned above. I know how much time the LeadHERship conference planning committee members put into this, and I can only imagine their feelings of disappointment looking at the lonely name tags left unclaimed.
So for those that didn’t show up, here is a solution: find someone who did and ask about it. Read a recap of the event, peruse the photos that will be posted, follow HobokenGirl on Instagram—oh yeah, did I mention the founder gave opening remarks?—and Google search Carla Harris to see what an engaging and inspiring leader she is in her industry.
Next year, when the fourth-annual LeadHERship conference is planned and advertised, mark your calendar. Plan ahead—make sure nothing gets in the way. And as one of my favorite SoulCycle instructors always says: Show up and do the damn thing.