By: Tim Elmore     I see a problem today more often than I’ve seen it in the past. It is a collision between mindsets, both of which are essential. They‘re illustrated in the following story. Several faculty and staff members were asked to participate in a special project at their school. They were to plan a celebration of the decrease in COVID-19 infections on

Generation Z, the youngest population social scientists are studying today, was born about the same time as Reality TV. You might remember the precursor to popular reality television was a 1998 Jim Carrey movie called, “The Truman Show.” It was a film about an unsuspecting man living in an average U.S. town whose entire life was monitored by television viewers,

By: Tim Elmore I remember feeling tangible peer pressure in high school. Friends pushed me to smoke cigarettes and marijuana, drink beer, and be sexually active. This was not uncommon in the 1970s. Culture was morphing from traditional to rebellious as baby boomers and Gen Xers pushed boundaries and listened to their peers over their parents.  While I dabbled a bit in

You may remember the tragic story from last April. A sixth-grader found his dad's 9mm handgun, loaded it with a magazine of bullets, and walked onto his campus at Plymouth Middle School outside of Minneapolis. He positioned himself in a hallway, shot the gun toward the ceiling, and watched fellow students run and scream in terror. His goal was to

By: Tim Elmore The postponed Olympics Games held in Tokyo are now history. As always, there were highs and lows for competing athletes, but I’d like to focus on some insights we gain as we watched this year’s young athletes perform.  The major difference for me in these Olympic games was the topic of mental health.  Among the biggest stories from Tokyo was

By: Tim Elmore Did you hear how Columbia University handled their graduation ceremonies? No, I’m not referring to mask-wearing or social distancing. I’m talking about the administration’s decision to host six separate graduation ceremonies, based on the graduates’ income level, race, ethnicities, and gender preferences. My concern has nothing to do with the pandemic, as each ceremony was a virtual one.

By: Tim Elmore One decade ago, I began to hypothesize about a trait I observed in high school and college students. I continued to be baffled by how much they knew yet how little they’d experienced. I researched the reasons for this and came up with a term, which became the title of a book: artificial maturity.  Artificial maturity may sound like

By: Tim Elmore It’s been over a year since students all over the world were sent home from school and instantly had to learn how to learn from home. Teachers tried to maintain academic standards as students transformed their bedrooms, dens, and kitchens into classrooms to try to meet those standards.  Some call these middle school and high school students quaranteens.  They’re now

By: Tim Elmore For years, younger generations have been the brunt of jokes by older generations who felt they were immature, lazy slackers who moved back home after college. A Twitter hashtag called, #HowToConfuseAMillennial even went viral, as social media posts often do. Some samples are: Show them a phone book. #HowToConfuseAMillennial Turn off their autocorrect. #HowToConfuseAMillennial Hand them a job

By: Tim Elmore The year started well, with our work and our money Our weather was warming, and our spring became sunny. Our life was quite normal, and resources were plenty. And it might have continued…if it weren’t 2020. As the spring unfolded, we got new direction, We were told to go home to avoid an infection. It was COVID-19 and it spread through the nations. No one

Most of us have mourned what the COVID-19 quarantine has stolen from our teens. Less class time, more screen time, more boredom, and both students and teachers who are uncomfortable with the new normal. Many traditions were removed like sports games, recitals, school plays, proms, and marching bands on Friday nights. But I’d like to focus for a few minutes on

We have coined a term: “The Pandemic Population.” It represents a portion of Generation Z, high school and college students who have no memories of the 20th century as the Millennials do. They’ve grown up in the 21st century when the world was different, and they’re now coming of age in the midst of a pandemic. While Millennials were marked

We’ve actually heard some good news from European countries like Denmark, Germany, Austria, and Norway. These nations have figured out ways to reopen their schools, some as early as mid-April and early May, without seeing significant increases in COVID-19 cases. And, according to the New York Times, “Experts are cautiously optimistic that sending children back to school may be relatively safe.”  The

A few years ago, my extended family gathered for a reunion. My sisters and I reminisced about our childhoods, including vacations, past girlfriends and boyfriends, squabbles we had, you name it. What struck me that day was, while we all remembered significant occasions, we all recalled different details, smaller occasions and we even retained different stories. Behavioral scientists have gathered a

I recently met with a group of teachers and parents to talk about the “Black Lives Matter” protests. Within this group, there were caring adults on both sides of the issue: some that were completely affirming of the protests (even the damage to property) and those who were against the protests, believing they’re not the best way to accomplish the

Our world today is in combat over language. Two sides of any issue vie for the best words that make any opposing view seem, well…wrong. Everywhere we look we see mantras, slogans, and mottos that draw readers in and make them want to side with their cause without even really understanding the deeper ramifications. Because we have short attention spans,

I love remembering the story of two young men who both contracted the deadly disease, Polio, almost a hundred years ago. One man became understandably bitter over his prognosis. He would be confined to a wheelchair and never get to do what most young men do at his age. He decided to give up on his dreams and languished for

At Growing Leaders, we have the privilege of interacting with lots of school administrators, athletic directors, and department heads. Obviously, with such a strange spring semester behind us, these leaders are planning for a new normal this fall.  No one I have spoken with plans for life to go completely back to how it was in 2019.  One high school principal put

As the founder and CEO of Growing Leaders, I look at the world through a leadership lens. I believe leadership matters. Moments of crisis amplify the need for good leadership. I also believe leadership is a dance between the leader, followers and the situation. A fundamental question leaders need to ask is: “What is the best way to gain positive

In light of our sad and emotionally charged world right now, I felt it would be good for us to "push pause” and post a timely piece on today’s protests to George Floyd’s murder at the hands of police. This issue will not go away—and it shouldn’t go away—until we lead our world into a better place. Our kids deserve

Dear Readers, Today, I plan to write to you personally, in a letter instead of an article. After all that’s happened regarding the George Floyd murder (and for that matter, Ahmaud Arbery’s murder while on a jog in Georgia or for Breonna Taylor, when police raided her Louisville home), I am grieving. I can’t believe we are still in this mess. I

During the last several weeks, we all heard the term, “essential workers.” Our government asked each of us to shelter in place—except those people with essential jobs like medical workers, grocery store clerks, shipping services and deliveries, gas station staff, and the like. We couldn’t even go get a haircut or eat out at a restaurant. Only the bare minimum.  The

Members of our team at Growing Leaders went and asked students how they’re handling the quarantine. One group of high school seniors offered the most telling insights on their final year of school: “It’s definitely not how I’ve pictured it all these years. I’m missing my senior track season, probably prom, maybe graduation, and the last couple weeks, I’ve missed school.

Most Americans reluctantly returned home several weeks ago in obedience to our government’s “shelter in place” order. Tens of millions began working from home to stay safe from COVID-19. As we continue, our fear of the unknown progresses.    One of the issues leaders need to consider is what it will look like once we return to public life. Already some