Nancy’s amazing expertise in entrepreneurship and business management has enabled her to become successful in handling businesses and non-profit organizations. Her years of working in the business industry has developed her into becoming an excellent business manager today. In fact, this is proven by the number of awards that Nancy has received, such as being named as the Woman of the Year by the New York City Commission, and being included in the list of the Young Global Leaders by the prestigious World Economic Forum.
Gifted with a heart to serve and inspire others to serve other people, Nancy uses whatever she has to help the next generation become successful in their field of work so that they in turn can become productive and helpful members of their communities. This is proven when she founded Dress for Success, an organization that gives career development training to women, provides them with interview suits, and bolsters their confidence by backing them with the information they need to succeed in modern society.
One of the things that made Nancy successful in her career as the CEO of DoSomething.org is her innovative style of building around the things that youths care for and not simply ordering them around. For Nancy, it is more effective to help young people realize for themselves what is truly valuable by showing them whether the things they prioritize is beneficial for them or not, rather than building a fence around what we think is bad for them.
As Nancy says in an interview:
“There are several weapons in a general arsenal—guilt, bribery, shame, etc. They start to sound like the seven deadly sins, right? We prefer to use fun, humor, authenticity, etc. I sometimes say, 'We don’t ever want to be the organization that takes away their tater tots.' Those little potato nuggets might not be healthy, but they love ‘em. We don’t think of ourselves as teaching kids or pushing them, as we are listening to them and helping them organize around things they care about.”
Speaking of innovation, Nancy knows that to build a strong organization, it is important to make sure that the foundation is not built and centered on one person alone, but takes people with different abilities and skills to perform efficiently in what they are assigned to do. Nancy also understands that in the process of innovating, failure is inevitable; but it is not the failure that is important—it is the person’s attitude towards failure that would successfully allow him or her to innovate ideas. Nancy says:
“Innovation requires questioning, failing and change. The best thing any organization can do to encourage this is hire and promote engineers and scientists. These people are used to building things that break or are outdated in 3 months. Failure is a normal part of their everyday existence!”
Having worked as a leader for so many years and becoming effective in it, Nancy knows that leadership is one of the most important qualities that a person should have in order to become successful in life. But compared to a lot of people who think that leadership is a trait that is reserved for some, Nancy believes that leadership is something that comes with courage, an attitude that is possessed by everyone. As she says in an interview:
“Leadership doesn’t always come from the top or from a title or from age or even from experience. It comes from courage—and nobody has cornered the market on courage.”
Finally, one of the factors that greatly contributed to the success of the organizations that Nancy run is their wise choice of celebrities to approach to endorse their campaign. Oftentimes, non-profit organizations try to woo the most famous actors, not realizing that their busy schedule might impede their efficiency in promoting an organizations campaign. For Nancy, it is not so much the fame or popularity of the person; rather, it is the willingness and passion that the celebrity has for the cause being promoted by the organization.
Nancy says in an interview:
“Nonprofits always like to reach for the shiniest star. I think that’s a mistake because everybody’s going after the shiniest star. The shiny stars are all really busy and over committed and may not even have a passion for your cause. It’s far more important to have someone who genuinely cares about your cause and is really going to work.”
The Beginnings of a Managing Genius
Nancy Lublin was born in 1973. Nancy grew up in a fairly well to do family, which in a way afforded her the luxuries that a young person should enjoy. Aside from this, Nancy’s parents were loving and caring, and showered the young Nancy with all the support they can provide, always encouraging her to aim for the top in everything she did.
As a young student, Nancy excelled in her classes, which caused her teachers to often praise her. A friendly and outgoing person, Nancy had a lot of friends throughout her school years, which greatly developed her people skills as she matured in age. During her high school years at the Kingswood-Oxford School, Nancy impressed her teachers with her amazing intellect and active participation in various school charities. By the time she graduated, Nancy was among the top students of her class.
Originally, Nancy was interested in having a career as a lawyer. After graduating from high school, Nancy attended the Brown University to study law; she graduated in 1993 and earned her bachelor’s degree. Afterwards, Nancy enrolled at Oxford University with a Marshall Scholarship to continue pursuing her law degree. She completed her studies at the New York University School of Law.
Changing Course: Going Into Philanthropy
Although she did excel in her studies, Nancy felt that there was still something missing in her life. In a way, she felt miserable because on the inside, she knew that there was more that she could do. In 1996, however, it all changed when Nancy received a five–thousand–dollar inheritance from her great-grandfather. Right at that moment when she received the money, Nancy had the idea of starting her own organization—and so, Dress for Success was born.
In an interview made with her years later, Nancy described the events that turned her from a law student to a philanthropist:
“In 1996, I was a full-time law student … and I was miserable. Out of the blue, I received a $5,000 inheritance from my great-grandfather. I hadn’t earned that money. It didn’t feel like it was mine. It was a very strange feeling—and so, standing there in my building lobby with the check in my hands, I had the idea to give it back. I had the idea for Dress for Success.”
From that moment on, Nancy found what she really wanted to do for the rest of her life. After finishing college, Nancy poured out her energy and resources on Dress for Success, transforming it into a global organization with over seventy affiliates, helping thousands of women in more than twelve countries in a span of seven years. Through the career development trainings provided by Dress for Success, Nancy became key in the empowerment of women, enabling them to become all that they were created to be. In fact, Nancy was named Woman of the Year by the NYC Women’s Commission in 2000 in recognition of her success.
With all of the success that Nancy experienced with Dress for Success, she eventually felt that there was something more she could do. Feeling a bit bored on doing something over and over again, Nancy started to look for more opportunities where she could use the skills she acquired from over seven years of managing Dress for Success.
DoSomething.org: a New Challenge
The answer came in 2003, when Nancy received a phone call from Andrew Shue (a very well-known actor who starred in Nancy’s favorite television show Melrose Place), asking her to be a part of his organization, DoSomething.org. There was a bit of a challenge though when she received the call—at that time, DoSomething was in a very tight spot. The organization had just laid off more than 20 of its employees and had hundreds of thousands of debt. Nancy said in an interview regarding her first encounter with DoSomething.org:
“One day my phone rang and a voice said ‘This is Andrew Shue and I’d like to talk to you about DoSomething.’ I had been a fan of Melrose Place, so I giggled my way through that phone call. A few months later, I took over the reins of DoSomething. They had just laid off 21 or 22 people, it was strapped with 250k debt, and there was no physical office… but the challenge of a turnaround excited me!”
From Zero To Hero: How Nancy Turned DoSomething.org into One of America’s Largest Organizations
In spite of this seemingly insurmountable challenge, Nancy took the call and became the new chief executive officer of the organization. Utilizing the potential of the then growing social media sites, Nancy literally revived DoSomething.org and transformed it into one of the most powerful organizations for the youth in the United States, with offices in numerous cities nationwide. Because of her amazing efforts in saving DoSomething.org from bankruptcy and changing it radically, Nancy was named one of the Most Influential Young Leaders by the World Economic Forum in 2007.
Through Nancy’s wisdom and leadership, DoSomething.org has been able to successfully reach the young people of America and encourage them to take action in changing their communities. Through the smart affiliation with certain celebrities, Nancy has been able to bring the youths to greater heights, enabling them to become productive members of their society.
Today, DoSomething.org has numerous affiliates and supporters from all across the United States and even abroad, thanks to the remarkable efforts of Nancy. The success attained by DoSomething.org under Nancy’s leadership inspired her to share her success with others; aside from being a successful organization manager, Nancy also became a successful writer. She has written around four books, all of which were well received by the public. Currently, she writes a monthly column for the website Fast Company titled “Do Something.”
Happily Married to Jason Diaz
Nancy’s personal life has greatly attributed to her success as a manager. She is married to Jason Diaz, a successful entrepreneur. Nancy bore Jason two daughters: Sydney (which was named after the city in Australia) and Houston. When Nancy was interviewed how being a parent has helped her at her job as the leader of DoSomething.org, she replied:
“I think having kids has made me more balanced. I am better at time management, setting priorities, analyzing a tricky situation, etc. My thinking is sharper and my sixth sense is real.”
The road to helping others never stops for Nancy. Today, she still actively leads DoSomething.org and continues to improve its services for those who are in need. Nancy’s life is an inspiration for many of us who want to do something but might be afraid because the task may seem too daunting. Her story teaches us to never back down from taking risks, because at the right moment, we will always have the opportunity and resources to do our part in changing society.
Organizations and Programmes Supported
- Dress for Success
- 25,000 Women Campaign
Awards and Achievements
- 2000: Named as the NYC Commission Woman of the Year
- 2002: Received the Fast 50 Award from Fast Company
- 2006: Included in the Women of Worth List by Glamour Magazine
- 2007: Included in the list of the Young Global Leaders by the World Economic Forum
- Received the Trailblazer Award from Forbes Magazine
- Included in the list of Feminists for the 20th Century
Wikipedia (Nancy Lublin)
DoSomething.org (Our Team)
The Huffington Post (Nancy Lublin)
ClaudiaChan.com (Interview: Nancy Lublin)
CEO.com (CEO to CEO With Josh James)
Contact Any Celebrity (Nancy Lublin: Insider Interview)