Over the years, educators and researchers have searched for timeless principles that enable an educator or mentor to impact a student and make their training stick. If you are a teacher, a coach, a youth worker or…simply care about connecting with kids, check out the following ideas. Below are six conclusions from leading researchers and authors today. 1. Personal Validation –

Yesterday, I posted Part One of a two-part series called, “Lightning Rods.” I suggested that lightning rods are a picture of healthy leadership—especially when critics attack. You likely know that those rods on top of buildings attract the lightning strike and ground it so it doesn’t damage the building. In the same way, leaders take the hit (criticism) to prevent

I rarely take time to respond to critics. Today, I will. It’s not because I feel the need to defend myself, but because the students we lead are at risk if we bury our heads in the sand. There are some well-intentioned academicians out there who’ve read Generation iY—Our Last Chance to Save Their Future, and thought I was too alarmist.

Last week, I had the chance to speak to three hundred athletes on the campus of Greenville College. Greenville is a small, private Christian college in the town of Greenville, Illinois, population 7,000. What I loved most about the coaches and players at this school is that while they compete to win games, they are about something far bigger than W’s

A few weeks ago, I put out a request for readers to share stories of practical ways we can prepare students for adulthood. I was finishing up the manuscript for my new book, Artifical Maturity, and wanted to include real-life examples from people around the world. The response was absolutely overwhelming! I'm so thankful for everyone who took time to share

Years ago, a pencil company, located next to a university, decided to make a donation to the school. The executives wanted to demonstrate good public relations by providing a pencil to every student enrolled at the college. They chose, however, to give a #3 pencil, not a #2 pencil to the students. They had more of them in stock.  When they gave away the pencils—they discovered the students didn’t like them or use them. Within one day, pencils were found in the garbage cans and on the grounds of the campus. No one seemed to want them. When staff members finally asked the students why they didn’t use them, the response was unanimous: the pencils were too hard. To use a number three pencil, a person must push down on the paper so hard, it was not worth it to even write with them. Students went back to using other means to take notes.  Herein lies a truth for leaders. Whatever it is you are attempting to communicate, people won’t use it if it is too hard. If your message becomes complex or too difficult to understand, the average person will mentally check out—even if they were interested in the beginning.

Have you been watching the news lately? The National Basketball Association (NBA) has gotten stuck. Talks between team owners and players have stalled more than once, because both parties want something the other is unwilling to give. Like a bad marriage or a horrible business partnership—the two groups have dug their heels in and…at least at this point, don’t want

This week, I finished up a 5-part blog series entitled, "Is Technology Good or Bad for Us?" Here's an easy way to check out all the posts: Is Technology Good or Bad for Us? - Part 1 Is Technology Good or Bad for Us? - Part 2 Is Technology Good or Bad for Us? - Part 3 Is Technology Good or Bad for Us? - Part

Each week, through the remaining portion of the year, I plan to blog on some of the great ideas I received from you—the readers—on how parents, teachers, coaches and youth workers can help mature their young people into great adults.  Jeff Nichols sent this story in about something his mom did with him as a boy. "Years ago, my mom, without my

I have contended for three years now that we, humans, have some muscles that have atrophied over recent years. Some of our emotional, spiritual and volitional muscles just don’t get used like they did thirty to forty years ago, and they’ve shrunk. Want an example?  Take commitment.  Long term commitment is rare these days. People are more apt to job hop,

Last week, the annual Catalyst conference was held in Atlanta, GA. I spoke at the Pre-Lab on “Overcoming Artificial Maturity.” On Thursday and Friday, 13,000 leaders filled the Gwinnett Arena for an experience they’ll never forget. I have attended and/or spoken at these Catalyst conferences since their beginning in 2000. This year was spectacular and I’d like to share with you

Sometimes I get misunderstood as a guy who’s against kids. Since publishing my latest book, Generation iY—Our Last Chance to Save Their Future, some think I whine about how this generation of students are undisciplined and feel entitled. Actually, this couldn’t be further from the truth. I love this generation of students. But they’re in trouble. More than you may think. According to

Part 1 of a 5-part blog series As I travel and speak to students, teachers, parents, and corporate leaders, I am asked whether I think technology is good or bad for our culture. My answer? Yes.  Kids today belong to a generation that has never known a world without hand-held and networked devices. According to author Anya Kamenetz, “American children now spend 7.5

Tomorrow, Apple CEO Tim Cook will take Steve Jobs place, announcing the iPhone 5. It will take place in a smaller venue, and probably with fewer people watching than normal. It’s a new day for Apple. A little more than a month ago, we were all shocked to hear that Steve Jobs stepped down as Apple’s CEO. That move sparked a wave