Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything. Just do it.
These were the words emblazoned on the image of Colin Kapernick in 2018 when Nike launched one of the most iconic ad campaigns in history.
Listening to Shenin Lebrun, who worked at Nike for 18 years (most recently as Marketplace Development Director EMEA), it’s immediately obvious the words - just do it - aren’t just words to her; they are a mantra to live life by.
She was the star of Episode 4 of The WFM Show and wowed the audience as she described her potent blend of heart and hustle - the secrets, she says, that sit behind her success.
She mentors women in business. She helps corporations with programming and activating their employee resource group networks. She’s the founder of an audiovisual production company whose mission is to create inclusive content. Shenin dreams big and, with her heart, hustle and drive, she turns her dreams into a reality.
1. Combine hustle and heart
Shenin says her success at Nike came from creating a culture of hustling and hiring people - from store athletes through to the CEO - who believe in that mentality.
“Sometimes when people think about hustling they still think about manipulative schemers who are out to take advantage of others,” she says. “But, for me, hustling is about being agile, thinking on your feet, seizing opportunities, and making things happen.”
At Nike, this mentality and culture meant internal success was always shared - even if it wasn’t perfect. Shenin says, by doing this, and showing guts in the decisions you take or when things aren’t perfect, the hustle mentality is constantly strengthened.
Shenin’s trick is ensuring the hustle mentality and work life balance go in harmony together. She says if you combine the heart with the hustle, be successful at your own pace, and do things smarter and better, you’ll be happier and more successful.
She adds: “Good things come to those who hustle because they always want the best results and won’t accept anything less.”
2. Life isn’t always fair
Shenin learnt to find balance in one of the hardest ways possible.
Her father, who she was incredibly close to, passed away unexpectedly in 2012. She’d been so busy at work the week he passed that she hadn’t spoken to him. It was the hardest lesson she will ever learn and she swore to never make the mistake of letting work take over her life again.
“What happened with my Dad was a tough lesson but an invaluable learning experience.,” she says. “Life isn’t always fair but with the right mindset - and the hustle mentality - is the gateway to success and happiness.
“Life can take unexpected turns. Knowing that is one thing, acting on it is another. Through experiencing it, it gave me the courage to take action and follow my dreams.”
3. Embrace emotion
Retail has been one of the industries hardest hit by the pandemic. And while it’s lead to a widespread acceleration of digital transformation across the industry, Shenin says the most businesses who thrive are those who truly connect with their employees.
“Consumer engagement is the key to getting the edge over the competition and people work for Nike because they love the brand,” she says. “Yet Nike does an incredible job of engaging emotionally and caring for the people behind the store. They are given ownership to connect with consumers, create manifestos and build communities."
“And from a technical perspective, they are given the right tools to serve consumers in the best way and connect their store to other stores.”
When people have vitality, purpose and a work life balance then, according to Shenin, their potential is unlocked. And from a business perspective, revenue comes from having staff who feel vital and agile.
For more insight, stories and inspiration, you can watch the full episode and hear the remarkable Shenin Lebrun speak for yourself here and, if you missed out on previous episodes, you can catch them all here.