It’s time to elect and select “student leaders” for next year. I put the term in quotes because it may or may not lead to actual leadership. That’s a choice each student who serves in a position must make. It’s the choice to be a student worker or a student leader. Simply serving in a position doesn’t make the choice for you.
I’m often asked how we go about finding students who might fill these leadership roles. They wonder what a potential student leader looks like. They want to know that the student that’s selected will make the choice to lead rather than try to do everything all by him or herself (be a student worker).
I stood in line at the Best Buy in Boise, ID on Friday, March 11 to purchase an iPad2. I got in line around 2:30pm (I was #9). By the time they started passing out numbers at 4:30pm, we had around 100 people in line.
I purchased the 64GB, Wifi-only, black iPad2. I’ll explain why I chose the model with the most memory a little later in the post. Taking a quick poll from those around me in line, this was the model most of us were waiting to buy. The other thing I noticed from my line-mates was most of them were iPad1 owners.
Yup. I’m buying an iPad2. In fact, I’m going to go wait in line at Best Buy for the 5pm release on Friday, March 11. I’m excited.
Some of my friends and followers have asked me a simple question when I bring it up: Why?
So here’s a brief rundown of my reasons.
There are a number of versions of you (and me) out there.
In 1955, Joseph Luft and Harry Ingham developed an interpersonal relationship and communication tool known as the Johari Window. This tool placed the various perspectives of “you” into four basic quadrants.
- Open: This is the version of you that everyone (including yourself) can see.
- Hidden: This is the version of you that others can’t see but you are aware of.
- Blind Spot: This is the version of you that you can’t see but others are aware of.
- Unknown: This is the version of you that neither you or others can see.
The Johari Window is useful for personal development, especially as one is involved with leading and guiding a team of people. There are always a number of versions that we perceive of ourselves and others. Those versions are changing, evolving, and developing – both intentionally or not.
The 80/20 Principle (or Rule) means that in anything a few (20 percent) are vital and many (80 percent) are trivial.
The principle is applied in a variety of ways:
- 20% of the people have 80% of the wealth.
- 20% of your workers do 80% of the work.
- 20% of your tasks will result in 80% of your effectiveness.
The principle basically says that out of all the things you do today, only 20% of those things really matter. So the question is…what is your 20%?
“If you’re always chasing the next problem, you don’t see three problems ahead.” – Author Unknown
I love this time of year. Students are stepping up to serve in leadership positions. They’re looking ahead to next year and thinking about all of the ways they can help to make it the best year ever. They have all kinds of fresh ideas. They can see the entire year spread out before them.
Unfortunately, somewhere between the start of school and October, they get caught up in all of the busyness and begin to live from event to event (or problem to problem, as mentioned above).
My students will often ask me to recommend a leadership book to them. I’ll give you my top three…
The Leadership Challenge by Kousez & Posner
Measure Of A Leader by Daniels & Daniels
The 21 Irrefutable Laws Of Leadership by Maxwell
Sometimes I’m able to loan them one of mine. But I always encourage them to buy their own copy so they can mark it up, live with it, and refer back to it. I encourage them to make a financial investment in their leadership because it will pay off in so many other areas.
I’ve lost a few elections in my time. It hurt. It left me feeling out of sync and uncertain. It was an emotional rollercoaster ride.
If you’ve lost an election or some type of selection process, I am writing this post for you. I imagine you sitting across a table from me and you’ve just heard the news that someone else has won…someone else has been selected over you. And you’re starting to equate the fact that you just lost with a sense that it means you’re a loser.
First off, stop right there. The one thing I want to say to you right now is THANK YOU!
Thank you for taking a risk and putting yourself out there as a viable candidate. Thank you for recognizing your strengths and giftedness and your willingness to use those for us. Thank you for giving us a choice, a good choice, for the position being filled. Thank you for wanting to make a difference. Thank you for being the one to step up and stand out when a lot of other people sat back and blended in.