Melahni Ake Helps Others Grow Personally and Professionally
Writer / Melissa Gibson
It doesn’t matter to Melahni Qualls Ake if you’re the CEO of a Fortune 500 company or the secretary at a small nonprofit. She believes each one of us can grow in our leadership capacity.
The founder and CEO of Everyday Leaders, based in Indianapolis, works with individuals and companies to strategize, set clear goals, and develop plans for their personal and professional growth.
“I work with people and companies that say, ‘I want and need it to be different, but I don’t know how to get there,’” Ake says. “I work with them to create the pathway and strategy.”
This sought-after leadership training coach offers workshops, Facebook groups, corporate training, leadership programs, live events, and services as a keynote speaker, emcee or host.
Ake’s credentials are many. She’s certified as an Indiana Youth Institute speaker; a member of the Maxwell Leadership Certified Team as a coach, speaker and trainer; certified with eSpeakers; co-founder of SCALE for Women LLP; co-program development director for Top Floor Women (on Indy’s southside); vice president of program development for the Association of Women Business Owners; board member of Perry Township Religious Education Association; legacy leader with the Pass the Torch for Women Foundation; and founder of Daily Morning Leadership Devotional Studies, just to name a few.
Ake comes from a long line of relatives who dedicated their lives to helping others. Her great-grandfather, Elwood P. Qualls, established the Evangelistic Center on Shelby Street in Indianapolis, which became the first documented nursing home in Indiana. The center had a school, clinic and worship facility, and was all about community leadership.
Her father passed away when Ake was 5, presenting the opportunity to travel with her song-evangelist grandparents every summer, attending church camps across the country.
“You don’t know what your circumstances will be,” Ake says. “Because of my beliefs, I never feared life. Having an abundance mindset equipped me to focus on everything that was good in my life.”
As she entered the corporate world, this ingrained mindset followed her into adulthood.
“I never came into a work environment with expectations,” Ake says. “I believed that I was there to learn. It was a mindset of appreciation and gratitude for the opportunity. Practicing humility is never about having an ego. Humility is about serving and that was most important to me. It led me to do some amazing things in my career.”
With a background in journalism and experience in fundraising and sales, Ake excelled in sales and sales training, as well as people development positions – teaching sales reps how to succeed. She regularly traveled to Europe to teach strategy and development to staff across the globe, and made a name for herself among other leaders.
“The John Maxwell team contacted me and asked if I had ever thought about adding a personal development leadership certification to my resume,” she says. “In 2016 I joined the team and attended a John Maxwell event, Live2Lead in Atlanta. I met Simon Sinek, the author of “Start With Why,” and shared with him what I was doing. I put my programming together as a corporate sales trainer, using material from his YouTube channel. I knew joining the John Maxwell team was the right step for me.”
As Ake approached 50 years old, she reflected a lot about her grandparents and the impact they made throughout their lives. She wanted to make a bigger impact by helping others become better leaders.
“In January 2018 I started a podcast,” she says. “I wanted to interview people and understand how they see themselves, what they are doing to make an impact and how they influence other people. I named it ‘Everyday Leaders,’ and since my birthday is in the second week of January, I kicked it off on my birthday – 50 shows in 50 weeks.”
By 2019 Ake co-authored her first book, “Mentoring Moments,” and is now a four-time bestselling co-author. Her next book, “Everyday Moments,” will be released in 2022.
Today Ake is speaking at high schools, women’s luncheons, corporate events, and at the Wright Brothers Institute, training the U.S. Air Force. She leads virtual and in-person leadership workshops and programs, throughout Indiana and beyond.
“It starts with leadership,” Ake says. “I create things that don’t exist. I didn’t research how to do a podcast. I didn’t ask how everyone is else doing it. I didn’t care. I knew what I wanted to do. It was important to me and that’s what I help others create.”
At the core, Ake’s goal is to create growth that results in better leaders who can serve each other with more impact in our community.
On October 28 and 29, SCALE for Women, Ake’s newest company, will host 50 women for an exclusive, intensive masterclass experience at the Graduate hotel in Bloomington, to develop professional sales confidence, leadership excellence and personal growth.
After September 23, the cost to attend is $2,497, but Ake is granting an early-bird discount to readers of Towne Post. Use code SCALE2022 to receive a $500 discount.
For more information, visit everydayleaders.com.