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

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

Much has been written about the self-absorption of high school and college students today. Narcissism and self-esteem is on the rise, with 80 percent of middle-school students scoring higher in self-esteem in 2006 than the average middle-school student in 1988, according to one study (Review of General Psychology, Vol. 14, No. 3). Among college students, subclinical levels of narcissism have

We are at the end of the Sochi Olympics, and as you’ve probably witnessed, there have been an incredible assortment of stories and achievements that have made these games special. One specific story from this past week reminds me of a leadership skill we can instill in students called Small Sprockets. Mikaela Shiffrin was once like any other kid who liked

Recently I had a great conversation with Justin Su'a, Head of Mental Conditioning at IMG Academy. We discussed the current state of student-athletes and ways we can help them (as well as any student) become mentally tough. Through many conversations with athletic personnel like Justin, I am seeing the same trends over and over concerning student-athletes. I hope you enjoy

Adjusting the Sails Correcting Our Course in Student Development Several years ago, some team members and I at Growing Leaders were training students and youth workers in Cairo, Egypt. While there, we had the privilege of hopping in a small boat and sailing on the Nile River. It was surreal. Up one direction was a Chili’s restaurant and toward the other, the

Results are in from a new study by Jive/Harris on the most annoying smart phone behaviors at work. You may not be surprised by what they discovered. The most annoying habits in order are: Having loud private conversations: 65 percent Not silencing the phone: 59 percent Checking the phone during a conversation: 52 percent Checking the phone in a meeting: 38 percent Why do those surveyed say

From time to time, I like to remind our blog readers that Generation iY contains some incredibly innovative and disciplined individuals. When I meet them or read about them, my hope for the future is refreshed. Some of their inventions are wild and some are deeply practical— but all of them are encouraging. Since 1996, T3 magazine has been awarding

Earlier this month, I posted a series of blogs on the power of teaching with images. The research is what’s behind our creation of Habitudes—Images That Form Leadership Habits and Attitudes, as many students today learn best through images and visuals. It’s their world. Yet even though we know the students we lead are different from each other, we tend to

I spoke to an audience of university students recently about balancing the art of staying focused and the art of leading change. Afterwards, several students talked about how difficult that is. The topic quickly swerved to New Year’s Resolutions—which incidentally are all about both focus and change. In essence, we ask ourselves: * “What changes must I make in my life

I just came across some stats that are concerning. Police departments nationwide are struggling with staff shortages due to the economy, reduced budgets, cutbacks in benefits, and layoffs. According to Police Chief Magazine, “Such difficulties spurred 7,272 applications to the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Hiring Program, requesting $8.3 billion to support more than 39,000 sworn-officer positions. Altogether, both the supply

A new study by the Southern Education Foundation has revealed that the number of low-income students enrolled in schools across the United States has surged in recent years to new astronomical numbers. According to the study, 17 of the 50 states in the country can say that at least half of their students come from households with incomes at or below

I just met another unemployed graduate. He was likeable and even employable, but after multiple interviews, he remained jobless. The reason? The jobs were beneath him. The jobs that paid what he wanted, well… he didn’t have the skills for them. Graduating career-ready students continues to be a hot button issue among employers today. The challenge is not just limited to

You probably heard about entertainer Miley Cyrus’ latest escapade in Las Vegas. Just prior to the holidays, she got up on stage with Brittney Spears’ dancers and began passionately kissing one of them, then grinding against another. The act had network news commentators asking what would drive her to do this, noting what a change it was from the Miley Cyrus we

Each year, I post a list of the best books I read the past year. Here’s my list from 2013: Focus, Daniel Goleman The author who put “emotional intelligence” on the map for every one of us has written a book on the profound impact focus has on a leader’s success. The ability to focus one’s attention for extended periods of time

John Maxwell is a writer of over seventy leadership books (several of which were New York Times best sellers), the founder of four different leadership companies, a friend of Growing Leaders, and a personal mentor to me. Click Here to Listen Why did you choose to focus on leader development? I’ve often said that if you want to add, develop yourself; if you

Yesterday, I began a two-part blog series in which I unpacked the six skills I believe students must master before they finish school. The first three are: Know Yourself. Develop Your Gift. Find Your Passion. Today, allow me to start a conversation on three others: 4. Value People Along the way, you must discover that people aren’t a means to an end—they are the end. Adding

I spoke to a faculty member recently about last year’s graduating class. We focused on two students in particular because they represented such a contrast. While both graduated with honors, only one was ready for the career that awaited her. The other…not so much. Although he carried a 3.7 GPA, he was ill-prepared for life after school. In fact, he

Have you evaluated your parenting skills lately?  I believe our report card has changed during our lifetime. While we pride ourselves in giving our children more advantages than ever before, the numbers tells us it may not be helping. What’s happened to us? Let’s take a walk down memory lane. A century ago, parenting looked different. On average, families were much larger,

Some journalists are using a term when speaking about parents and the problems they have raising their kids today. It’s called “affluenza.” At the court hearing for a tragic auto accident in Texas, where teenager Eric Couch hit and killed four people with his truck, the defense attorneys cited “affluenza” (when one is raised with wealth and never given limits)

Over a period of five days, I’ve been blogging about the research and history behind the idea of teaching with pictures. It’s actually quite fascinating, and sets up our release of three Habitudes® resources this month. Below is some newly released research that reveals how art—or images—actually foster skills and qualities that most educators are longing to see in students

Over a period of five days, I plan to blog about the research and history behind the idea of teaching with pictures. It’s actually quite fascinating, and sets up our release of three Habitudes® resources this month. First, we took a brief look at history and how the human race engaged their culture with images. In the next two posts, we