Yesterday I got an exciting opportunity to share my insight about leadership, personal development and the journey to about 100 high school students from a leadership summit. For the most part, it was an engaging, interesting and enjoyable day and I loved it. This is an audience that is involved and are young leaders. It is refreshing to see the youth who are present to make a valuable contribution back to community
I spoke about leadership and asking them what makes a good leader. They had a hard time coming up with people they respect and admire as a leader and that result should send danger signals to us…where are our leaders? I also talked about how you need to have vision, that you should not have limitations and to find the champions who will be on your journey. I also appreciated that when I asked for words that makes one think of leadership, I had an exhaustive list from the audience. Words like – integrity, courage, visionary, encourager, distinct, perseverance, passionate, charismatic, fun, inspiring, optimistic, caring, successful, reflective, responsible, selfless, brave, ambitious, determined, driven, relatedness, open minded, forward thinking, and powerful…so they know the words and have a hard time attaching it to a person. This means we have an idea of what makes up a leader and we have the pieces like a scattered jigsaw puzzle but no frame of reference on what it should look like.
All the while I am presenting and note that there was an engaged audience, in the front was one fellow who sat there with headphones on. Part of the time he slept through what I was saying and other times, just seemed to be more interested in what was playing through his headphones. Part of me wanted to stop my talk and ask for some courtesy, the other part of me thought – well you are old enough and I can not spoon feed someone. They have to want it; however, why were you there then? You are present but you are not present. Physically you are there but mentally and socially you checked out. It is a reminder that some times we need to think about the image we are sending out with what we do and how we act. We may not think much but it sends shock-waves to others. It is ironic that the topic was leadership but one person chose not demonstrate it. My realization is that you will never get 100% of the people who will be interested. No need to dwell on this one person because I had many come up after who said they really appreciated what was shared…but an opportunity lost for one. I don’t ensure success but I am genuine in my intention to share what I have learned as life lessons.
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