During the 2012-2013 school year, we assessed 8,500 students who attend 29 public high schools. We discovered several realities, including their low view of morality, their assumptions about leadership, and how much their aspirations and goals played a role in graduation rate and their life after high school. One discovery I made after a year of examining the results of our

Dr. Kerry Priest is a faculty member at Kansas State University. She’s also one of our speakers at Growing Leaders. She teaches in the school of leadership studies. I asked her to blog about what she and her department are doing in Manhattan. Enjoy… Recently I asked a small group of first-year college students in my introductory leadership class, "What did

You may have read the story several days ago. Another tornado ripped through Alabama, injuring and even killing people. Ironically, it was almost three years after the deadly tornado hit Tuscaloosa, killing over 50 people. It makes recovery hard. News reports covered the tragedy thoroughly—but rarely the ordinary people who become heroes amidst the tragedy. This time, a student arose as

Every year, educators talk about budget cuts and their school's inability to do what's necessary to equip students for life after graduation. As I have frequently stated, teachers are heroes, and I recognize there's never quite enough money to do what's necessary to prepare our emerging adults. Preparedness actually costs quite a bit.   There is a form of preparedness, however, that

Research done with people both young and old reveals very interesting conclusions on the role of gratitude. Author and researcher, Dr. Robert Emmons, from the University of California Davis, believes he knows what gives life meaning: pure and simple gratitude. Emmons’ team found that people who view life as a gift and consciously acquire an “attitude of gratitude” experience multiple advantages.

A recent argument has emerged again on university campuses revolving around “trigger warnings.” Some schools have been accused by parents that they don’t provide warnings about disturbing content or sensitive material in courses. The debate is another illustration of how much adults are finding it difficult to navigate their children’s maturation process. How much is too much exposure? How early

I just read two reports about the changing marketplace. Both of them mentioned the fact that parents are increasingly involved in the job interviews and work of their adult children. One report said, “In the New World Work Order, the parents of Millennial workers apparently are factors that cannot be ignored. In fact, PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi told Fortune Magazine

Here’s a great story with an incredible lesson in it for those of us who lead students. A fourteen-year old student named Suvir Mirchandani, came up with a science project that got the attention of CNN and other investigative reporters. What began as a middle school project could actually save the Federal government millions of dollars each year—and all it would

Recently, I was privileged to speak to the faculty and administration at Darlington School, an incredible private school in north Georgia full of caring educators. One hot button issue that day concerned perseverance in students. Kevin Ivester, a math teacher at Darlington, blogged about the need for tenacity and good attitudes, based on discoveries made in Singapore students. Yesterday, I

Recently, I was privileged to speak to the faculty and administration at Darlington School, an incredible private school in north Georgia full of caring educators. One hot button issue that day concerned perseverance in students. Kevin Ivester, a math teacher at Darlington, blogged about the need for tenacity and good attitudes, based on discoveries made in Singapore students. I wanted to share

Some month’s ago, I tuned in to ABC’s program 20/20 and heard the stories of two extreme parenting styles. Each represents a different mindset adults hold today. Amber and Trent Johnston The first story was about the Johnston family, from Barnesville, GA. They’re extreme in many ways, being a “big, little family.” Standing no more than four feet tall, they are the

It’s been interesting to watch Megan grow up, from an elementary school student all the way to today, as a college student. I’ve watched her mature through the typical stages a kid goes through—where she seemed to almost change personalities and move between extraversion and introversion—through her teen years. Megan actually inspired the thought I’m sharing in today’s blog. Since 1979,

I wish you could meet Billy Richardson, Vice Principal at Kennesaw Mountain High School. More than that, I wish you could meet the teens that attend there. They experience such an incredible culture on this campus, I just had to share it in a blog. For years, the administration at KMHS has been determined to deepen character and cultivate leadership

You've probably read how American students continue to fall behind their international peers in many academic subjects, especially math. In the most recent Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), U.S. students ranked 26th out of 34 countries in math. Many assume math isn't our students' strong suit. I don't believe it. I simply believe we have not developed them well. Students are Underestimated

For four years now, I’ve written on the second half of Generation Y (aka “Millennials”), the young adults who are just now entering adulthood. Sociologists have attempted to help the rest of us understand this new breed of digital natives who are the first generation to grow up online and not have to adapt to technology. I’ve mentioned a variety

The news these days is filled with stories of students who get stuck in childhood, even though they’re old enough to be responsible for their behavior. More and more university students are saying to their teachers, “I pay your salary, so you should give me what I want.” Think this is strange? Thirty percent of college students polled feel that they

A university faculty member shared a recent conversation she had with a student. After failing an exam, her student approached her to negotiate the grade. This is nothing new. What was new was the student’s complaints: “You didn’t give us enough time. The test was way too long.” “Why didn’t you tell us the exam was comprehensive?” “We didn’t have

Are you keeping track of the protests and demonstrations around the world today? It’s reminiscent of the 1960s, when America was first introduced to “Baby Boomers.” Then, it was the result of a huge population of youth, who—due to their sheer size, their parents, and their confidence—found a voice in culture, which often led to violence. Let’s look at what’s

It seems like everywhere we look in our world today, we’re reminded of tragedy and crisis: the missing Malaysian Airline jet; the mudslide in Washington; turmoil in the Ukraine; our national debt; you name it. Last week, part of our team at Growing Leaders traveled to Egypt—another region that’s recently experienced turmoil—to meet with key educational leaders and to train 450

Trevor was an elementary school student whose days were full, Monday through Friday. When school got out, he went straight to tutoring sessions with Ms. Malcolm, followed by soccer practice, dinner and finally, his community karate class. Trevor enjoyed each of these activities (well, except for the school tutoring), and didn't want to miss out on them because he had

Once students finish school, do you ever wonder: Did we prepare them for a career in the real world…or for more school? Tune in all teachers, coaches, parents and employers. One of America’s most admired companies, Google, recently acknowledged what they look for when they hire a graduate. It actually has nothing to do with GPA or what school they graduated

In a ruling that could revolutionize college athletics, a federal agency ruled Wednesday that college football players at Northwestern University can unionize. The decision by a regional director of the National Labor Relations Board means it agrees football players at the Big Ten school qualify as employees under federal law and therefore can create the nation's first college athlete's union. But

One of my greatest concerns is the poor mental health our teens and young adults experience today. Teenagers in the U.S. endure higher levels of stress than many adults, according to a report by the American Psychological Association. And college students are definitely more "stressed" than students in past generations. While levels of "extreme stress" among teens vary during the year, 34 percent

Ridding Swanson Primary School of playtime rules is having an incredible impact on children who attend the Auckland, New Zealand elementary school. The principal and faculty decided to try something completely counter-intuitive, then assess how the students responded to see the results. I think it's safe to say--most everyone was stunned. Instead of the usual list of "rules" most schools enforce, Principal Bruce

As a senior in high school, Ray quit school to join the army. He fought in two tours of Afghanistan before being injured and returning home to civilian life. He saw a counselor and inquired about what he needed to do to go on a speaking tour and talk about life on the battlefield. He’d heard of other ex-soldiers who

For more than ten years, schools, universities, athletic teams, corporations, youth groups, and non-profit organizations have used Habitudes® to ignite conversations and build leadership skills in the emerging generation. Along the way, we’ve partnered with a company to assess outcomes and discover what is working and what is not. One observation stands out. When the images have produced less than stellar

In case you're wondering how kids today think, new research enables us to answer that question and see how absolutely different they are from their elders. According to a recent Cisco Study, adolescents put technology in the same category as air and water. They feel they need it to live their lives. In fact, they would rather give up their pinky finger than

Today, instead of interpreting statistics on how culture is disabling teens from growing up, I’ve chosen to remind you of a handful of students who “get it” and are already using their time and talent for redemptive purposes.  They’ve added value to the world around them. They’re contributors, not mere consumers. Be encouraged. Paving the Way for Others Here’s a story you

In part one of this series, I provided evidence for an increased sense of entitlement in students today - from K-12 education to college. Students have received praise just for making their bed and awards for just being on the soccer team. In the classroom, students feel they deserve a good grade for simply attending class and doing the readings. They feel

Professors from universities across the U.S. have all told me the same story. Their students are increasingly portraying feelings of entitlement toward good grades, adjusted deadlines, class perks and special treatment. One professor said a student told him, "I pay your salary, so you have to do what I want." In the response section to a 2012 Chronicle of Higher Education article, educators

  Let’s start a conversation about one of the most controversial issues today—at least for coaches, teachers and parents of young performers. First, let me introduce you to Megan. Megan is a gymnast. Or, should I say, was a gymnast. She’s been into gymnastics since she was four years old. Like many who are gifted in the sport, it became her obsession.

I find myself challenging adults to call students back to fundamentals today. It’s not that I’m against progress; technology is not going away and most of us don’t want it to. Our world is growing at a fast pace, and change always comes with growth. But I am concerned we adults are not helping young adults navigate their lives. We