This month, I feel like a politician on a campaign trail. I am doing a total of seventeen speaking events, locally and on the road—speaking to students, teachers, executives and administrators about leading the next generation. It is both exhilarating and exhausting. So far, I’ve done five events…and experienced two flight cancellations, three flight delays and several nights where my sleep feels more like a nap.
It’s easy during months like this to put life on autopilot. Survival can become my ultimate goal—rather than capitalizing on who’s around me. So many fascinating people to meet and places to experience. Frequently, however, I am guilty of missing the discoveries God puts in front of me. I end up with a full day but an empty heart. Consequently, I’m working to keep my antennas up for life lessons and leadership lessons along the way.
I just finished two days in Florida. I spoke to a home school network and thoroughly enjoyed the teachers, parents and students there. In addition, however, I met with leaders from three schools in the area, all who were part of their school’s athletic department—University of Central Florida; Lakeland High School and Southeastern University. These AD leaders each shared a vision for building men and women inside their student athletes, not just better players on the field. In fact, all three of these leaders were exceptional in this way…
1. Each had a heart for maturing boys into men; girls into women.
2. Each was driven by student’s needs not personal success.
3. Each shared a personal faith that was important to them.
4. Each possessed a passion to grow leaders not just performers.
5. Each asked: what do students need?, not merely: what do I have to offer?
6. All of them are moved to improve results—they are moved by creativity not curriculum.
I believe there is a growing cadre of folks in education who share these qualities. They are different than their counterparts. I want to find them and fan into flame their vision to develop young leaders; to resources their dream to connect with and mentor students today. They are everywhere. I loved meeting some this week.