Feb. 24, 2022
We can learn a lot about a person in a few sentences, but then there’s that one thing we can only discover when we spend time with them. The thing that shows up in everything they are and everything they do.
As for Chekelah Betts, she is a mother, club manager, cancer survivor. She enjoys spending time with her husband and two daughters, going to concerts, reading, having fun and being around people. But that thing beyond those sentences is her passion for mentoring and developing others. In fact, along with other female club managers in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, Chekelah began a mentoring circle for women in 2019 called Ladies in Leadership.
Chekelah’s passion for helping people be the best version of themselves picked up steam when she started working at Sam’s Club at the age of 22. At the time, there weren’t a lot of club managers that looked like her as an African American or as a woman. There weren’t a whole lot of people she could relate to at that level of leadership. But she had great mentors at her side whose guidance and support led her to become a club manager.
"Someone saw in me potential and really invested in me, and I just wanted to do the same thing," she said about helping other women in her shoes. "I want to be able to tell them stories of things I’ve been through as a female leader that they may be wondering [like] being a mom…I think that’s what really fueled me as I grew through the ranks to be pretty passionate about making sure I develop people…I vowed that if I ever got into this position—in a position to where I can impact the lives of others and really help develop future talent—then I wanted to do that."
And it was this drive that led to the mentoring circle, which consists of a diverse group of roughly 20 female club associates in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, all in different stages in their personal and professional life. So, whether their kid just graduated high school or they just started kindergarten, there would be someone in the group they could relate to.
"We would bring presenters, talk about networking. We talked about dress code, we talked about being a mom, being professional," Chekelah said. "I mean, just different topics."
Seeing these women promote to higher levels of leadership at their clubs as she did has been Chekelah’s pride and joy. And during the pandemic, when it was harder to get together, Chekelah still reached out to the female leaders in her area. She still has people she mentors both formally and informally.
As a cancer survivor, Chekelah has been able to support people going through cancer and chemo or who know someone who is. And as a club manager, her mentees would call her about different things going on in their club, and she’s able to speak to them from the eyes of their club manager.
I feel like sometimes things are not for us. We go through things for other people.
"I’ve learned so much throughout the years, and I want to share that. I’m not the type of person that just keeps things to myself—We go through things for other people—And if we can help people with lessons we’ve had, then I’m going to do that."
When asked what advice she would give to people who want to help others, Chekelah’s response was simple. "Just do it," she said. "You’re never going to have this extra time. You just have to do it." Oh yeah, "And be genuine about it," she added. "Don’t just try to do it because you think that’s what people think you should be doing. Be genuine about it…Because people see through it when you’re not."