Name: David Leeks
Profession: Business Manager
One Word That Describes You: Idealist
What does being one of the BEMM 100 Men of Distinction mean to you?
To be chosen as a BE Modern Man of Distinction means to me that faith is real and that goals can be accomplished. So to be recognized for it is an honor.
What are some examples of how you turned struggle into success? I turned struggle into success by being proactive. As an undergraduate at Morehouse College, I became a college events promoter. I knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur within the fields of business and marketing. My frustration of just wanting to get my foot in the door led me to realize that even if you have the formal education and the college degree, you still have to network and have the persistence and grit to manifest your dreams.
What is an important quality you look for in your relationships with others?
In my relationships with others I look for loyalty, trust, authenticity and passion; without those things success can’t happen.
What are some immediate projects you are working on?
Immediate projects right now include working with my partners on the everyday business that is Street Execs Management and supporting our roster of artists. Right now, 2 Chainz “ColleGrove” is doing phenomenal so we want to keep that momentum going. We have the BET Experience coming up where 2 Chainz and Lil Wayne will be performing. Also I’m helping to create different festivals and developing various real-estate projects, as well as doing tour management for a number of your favorite hip-hop and R&B artists.
What is the best advice you ever received?
The best advice I’ve ever received was my mom telling me that, ‘To whom much is given much is required,’ which is why my partners and I always strive to give back to the community, and we do that through charitable organizations including the Tru Foundation. Other good advice is, ‘patience provides profitability’ and ‘loyalty is royalty.’ Those sayings have coexisted in my life and have proven to be wise and true.
What is some advice you have for other men who want to make a difference?
The advice I would give to other men is that to make a difference, to make a meaningful impact— whether it’s for yourself or your community— you have to just start. Goals and plans are nothing without actions.
How do you prep for an important business meeting and/or event?
To prep for business meetings and events I research the topics that will be discussed, do an overview of social media stats, and talk with my partners and publicist Lynda Hasberry [to] basically strategize just to have an idea about what business will be tackled for the day. And I always want to have a winning mind, I’ll usually watch sports or listen to music to put me in a zone; give me the mind and feeling of a champion.
As a busy Modern Man, how do you unwind on vacation?
I unwind by just being present and appreciating the ‘now moments’ with family and friends. I travel so much that those have become my best vacations. Talking and watching sports during the holidays and being with old classmates. The things we took so serious then we can laugh at now. But anytime I travel out of the country with an artist, I’m humbled because it reminds me of my blessings and that dreams really can manifest into a reality.
If you could travel and stay anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
If I could go anywhere it would be India. Just to experience the culture, the sights and sounds. Mahatma Ghandhi is someone I’ve always admired for his peace and teachings, so India is somewhere I would love to go.
Anything else you’d like to say?
Success is not hard. It’s actually easy if you stay consistent and motivate yourself, even in tough times. Keep people around you that are loyal and have the same focus and desire to achieve.
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