Chris Thomas is a senior at San Diego State University (SDSU) where he’s the President of the Associated Students (AS). He is pursuing a Fitness Specialist degree with a double minor in Industrial/Organizational Psychology and Leadership. His vision for his role as AS President has always been to listen to his heart and help other students.
Find out how Chris follows his passion on the Find Your Passion Career Podcast!
On the Podcast, Chris shares how he found AS to be the perfect opportunity to make an impact at SDSU and so he got involved with different positions early in his college career. He remembers attending an event where the AS President was giving a speech and leaning over to his mom to say “Mom that’s going to be me one day.”
He decided to chase this dream and run for president. At the same time as he held his previous position and made the decision to run, his mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. A self-proclaimed ‘momma’s boy’, Chris explains how his mom has been his inspiration ever since he was a little boy and how she taught him to love everyone equally.
A week after he was elected AS president, his mother passed away. Now Chris puts his mother’s lesson at the center of his leadership on campus. His vision for his office is to be a servant leader in being a resource for students at SDSU. “It has been one of the most formative experiences because it really drives home this idea of creating family and having the ability to have this support system at Associated Students but really provide that to other students,” said Chris.
He also came across the book The Heart Led Leader by Tommy Spaulding and connected to the idea that at our foundation all people have a beating heart and wanted to put this at the focus of his leadership vision. “I want to leave my mark here at San Diego state, and leave it better than when I found it.”
Acting as a Servant Leader
As AS President Chris meets with university administrators and fellow students and considers listening to student’s concerns the most important aspect of his position. He asks his fellow student leaders how they envision their heart print. And also asks how AS can help them achieve that goal. “This atmosphere of care and love and being able to create impact on campus and truly leave this idea of leaving your heart print on this campus is really the day to day.”
Chris explains if he can just help one more person by being a resource or someone to listen—that is his heart print. His heart print is found in being a servant leader, someone who listens to understand rather than simply respond.
“I never did it for the title. It was about the impact I could leave. It was about this idea of being there for students when they need help, when they need a resource, when they need just someone to talk to. Sometimes those students don’t have that. And if I can provide that for one more student, then I’ve accomplished a lot.”
Following His Passion Career
This passion for creating environments of love and respect is something he hopes to purse in his career path. Chris sees graduate school on the horizon and then plans on working on cultural development within companies and brining with him the idea of a heart-led leader.
Chris inspires others to leave their own heart print by following their passion and connecting with others. “The biggest thing is finding that passion and being able to build relationships with it and open those doors because those relationships with people is the biggest thing you have and really the most important thing of how you learn to become the person that you want to be.”
Are you ready to determine your heart print? Learn from Chris, and identify how you can be a heart-led leader in your life.
Once you’re inspired by Chris’s story we would love to read your review. Thanks so much!