Every week, I try to introduce a young person who surprised everyone around them by setting a goal and leading the way in reaching it. Sometimes you just never know what can happen when you meet such a person and invest in them. Back in 1995, a graduate student at Stanford University, Sergey Brin, stumbled upon a younger prospective student, Larry

Earlier this month, I spoke at an event and a student made this statement during a Q&A time: “I know more than my teachers do about technology -- I think I’ll do just fine when I graduate and move into my job.” I paused before responding to his statement. He was self-assured and I didn’t want to rain in on his

Over the last two days, I’ve blogged about an epidemic too few of us are aware of. It will hurt our national and global future if we fail to address it: Youth unemployment. During the last two years, I’ve introduced our readers to a German sociologist, Gunnar Heinsohn, who teaches at the University of Bremen. His research tells us that whenever

In today’s sour economy, there’s an issue most us are missing. Preoccupied with our own jobs, we’re blind to something that may be far more problematic to our future. I’m talking about a global epidemic -- the volume of youth who are unemployed.  When I was a kid growing up in the 1970s, it was normal for 16-year-olds in my community

I remember reading a funny “Far Side” cartoon years ago. A kid raised his hand while sitting in class and said, “Mr. Osborne -- May I be excused? My brain is full.” The fact is, I feel that way right now. I’ve been researching, reading articles, journals, and books to the point that I’m saturated. I need to take a break in a few minutes. It reminded me of two conversations I had recently.

Yesterday, I started a list of ideas adults can use to help teens and young adults grow up. Our society, which used to be part of the solution -- is now part of the problem in why these kids stall and fail to mature until their late twenties. These twenty-somethings have gone through our school systems and come out ill-equipped. Somehow,

I just heard from an admissions staff member at Harvard University. He told me he interviewed a prospective student recently and had an unusual experience. During the interview the student would answer his questions, then look down after each one. The staff member assumed the student was just a bit shy. But, alas, it was something else. He was looking

Why do intelligent, emotionally healthy people need leaders? Wouldn’t you think that a group of 15 reasonably smart people could figure out the best direction to take without someone telling them? On paper, this makes sense. It sounds great. It just doesn’t play out in life. Think about leadership from a philosophical standpoint. People need leaders not because they are stupid. In

Some stuff you need to know as a leader -- you learn quickly. Others, you just learn over the years. As I travel and speak at schools, corporations, non-profit organizations, and churches, I see adults trying too hard to connect with young people. And there is a gap. Teachers and parents become frustrated at the lack of connection and good

Have you noticed a slow trend happening in our culture over the last 30 years? In nearly every area of life, we have attempted to remove discomfort and disappointment from our lives. I suppose I should have seen this coming. We have to work harder at being happy and content -- and pain or disappointment just gets in the way. So

Yesterday, I started a list of 6 ambitions I believe we must build into our kids. They are targets we should aim for as we teach, employ, lead, and parent the next generation of students. The first 3 are: Know yourself, develop your gift and value people. You may notice that these 6 ambitions are relevant for us adults to

Wow. We’ve launched not only a new year, but a new decade. It’s a time for new beginnings. If you are a parent, teacher, coach, youth worker, or employer, you want the best for the kids you lead as you begin a new year. Let me suggest this list of 6 ambitions I’ve tried to build into my kids over