With Thanksgiving upon us—I’d love to tell you about something I am thankful for.  The story below fills me with both pride and hope. Paoli High School is one of the schools The Growing Leaders Initiative collaborates with. We’ve granted Habitudes® resources, to help them learn leadership as teenagers. (The Growing Leaders Initiative is the philanthropic arm of our mission that gifts

Every year I post a list. It’s a list I think leaders like you will appreciate and benefit from. I’ve posted lists of my favorite leadership books, my favorite leadership movies and even my favorite leadership examples—and many of them are students! Today, I’d like to share with you some of my favorite leadership quotes. After serving with John C. Maxwell

When I asked student athletes recently what the number one change was that they’d like to make in their life—their response surprised me. Very insightfully, most of them agreed: “I need to be less impulsive in my decisions.” We live in a day where everything seems to be moving faster and faster. Additionally, we tend to be impulsive in our reactions, thanks

Sometimes, I don’t know whether to laugh or to cry when I read some news stories today. Our world is more educated, more sophisticated, more modernized and more industrialized than ever before—but in our race to make progress, we often leave one important quality behind: common sense. Webster defines common sense as: “the ability to think and behave in a reasonable way

I recently led a workshop for administrators at a university. Attendees were college deans, vice presidents, heads of schools and high school principals. When I placed them in small discussion groups and posed the question, “What changes do you plan to make this year?” I overheard one administrator say to his colleagues: “I’m just biding my time until I retire in

I’m not sure if you caught it, but actor Geoffrey Owens recently appeared on ABC’s “Good Morning America” after an incident that took place in New York. You might remember Owens as the actor known for his comedic role as Elvin Tibideaux on The Cosby Show, between 1985 and 1992. But recently, Owens was “job shamed.” Photos of Geoffrey, working in a Trader Joe's, were published by The

A new survey was taken among both educators and parents—which revealed that each has different perspectives when it comes to our kids. We gain a fresh perspective when we see life from the classroom as well as the family room. Both teachers and parents, however, agree on one thing for sure: that schools should assess students on both “academic knowledge”

When speaking to high school students recently, I commented on the rising number of teens who experience high levels of stress and anxiety in our culture today. One very sharp senior raised her hand and said, “Wow!  I knew I suffer from anxiety and panic attacks, but I didn’t know so many other students do as well.” This is a picture

Hilariously, everyone I meet across the nation has heard of FOMO: Fear Of Missing Out. Fewer have heard of the other fears students say they have today: FOLO: Fear of Living Off-line. FOMU: Fear of Messing Up. FOJO: Fear of Judgment On-line. FOMIRL: Fear of Meeting in Real Life. All of these fears have apparently surfaced because of our 24/7 connection

Growing Leaders recently hosted a RoundTable for Principals in Atlanta. It was a joy to hear from best-selling author Dan Pink, authors Will Parker and DeeAnn Turner and an educational panel made up of Julie Diaz, Gary Davison and Dorothy Jerrett. One of my favorite learning moments, however, occurred during a break. Renee Hood approached me to talk. Renee serves as high

Sometimes helping students goes far deeper than our usual activities on a typical day. Take Sheila Fedrick’s situation for instance. Sheila is a flight attendant with Alaska Airlines. She’s a fifteen-year veteran and is good at her job. Typically, this means she has a pleasant attitude and serves nice cold drinks to the passengers. Oh, and one more thing. Flight attendants

In June, a movie was released in select theaters across the country: “Won't You Be My Neighbor?” It was a well-done documentary on the life and career of Fred Rogers, the man who hosted the show we came to know as kids—Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood. My entire family enjoyed the inside story of how this person caught his vision to impart

Earlier this year, a firestorm erupted between guardians of “free speech” and those who are trying to safeguard inclusive language. I’d like to hear your thoughts. A handful of students from Syracuse fraternity “Theta Tau” held a private “roast” this past semester. They lambasted others who were not present, in a frolicking party that got recorded and posted on Facebook. Doubtless

I founded Growing Leaders in 2003. From the beginning, our mission has been to partner with schools and organizations to help them develop emerging leaders. Today, I have a confession to make that might sound surprising. For most students, leadership should not be a pursuit. I don’t believe we should send the message that everyone should chase a position of power

Something happened last month that caught my attention, but it went unnoticed by most sports fans in America. Dwayne Casey had a breakout year as the head coach for the Toronto Raptors. The season was a record-breaking season, where he won more games for the Raptors than any other coach in their history; he achieved the best record in the conference

Abraham Lincoln once said, “Give me six hours to chop down a tree—and I will spend the first four sharpening my axe.” President Lincoln understood something that few leaders buy into and even fewer practice today. It’s the art of development. Even in his day, when change happened more slowly than it does today, Lincoln recognized the vital importance of improvement

Recently, I had the privilege of spending a day at the United States Military Academy. You know it as West Point. From the initial formation and flag salute in the morning, to the classes I attended that day—I got to tour an institution that is quite literally an incubator for leaders. All of this, I expected. In fact, my goal on

Not long ago, my teammate, Cody Braun, told me about the strategy the Philadelphia 76ers have used to get to where they are today. Years ago, they began playing for the future—not so much for the moment. They sacrificed wins at the time, losing many games during those seasons to earn a higher pick in the NBA draft. In other

I recently spoke to an employer who hired several recent college graduates. After 90 days, he met with each of the new team members to assess how they were doing. In a meeting with a 23-year-old young man, the employer reviewed his positive qualities, then proceeded to challenge him to shoot for a higher level of excellence. The employee wasn’t

I’m not sure if you’ve heard the rumblings, but people in almost every context are demanding a new kind of leader. I see it in our homes, in our schools, in government, in non-profit work and in the marketplace. In 2001, I began speaking on this “new kind of leader.” I saw it even then, as we marched into the 21st

It’s stunning to remember what the world looked like fifteen years ago. It was in 2003, I launched “Growing Leaders”–a not-for-profit that partners with schools and organizations to resource them in building emerging leaders who are ready for life. Reflect on 2003. The Internet was only about 10 years old and some still wondered if it was a fad. Here is

I recently met with my friend, Zach Thomas, to talk about his story. Not long ago, he released a book called, Leader Farming. He compares good leaders to farmers who constantly cultivate the people under their care as potential leaders. He reminded me that much of what he does he learned at West Point. You see, Zach is a graduate of the

Have you heard the terms, “Finsta” and “Rinsta?” They represent a fresh vocabulary for a new generation that wants more privacy on-line than previous generations: Finsta is a term for fake or friendly Instagram accounts. They allow a teen to have an unreal platform to post but not get caught up in real interaction. Rinsta is a term for real

In recent surveys done by the Barna Group, Americans of all ages are feeling a divide. While millions of us cannot agree on many issues today—we do seem to agree on one issue: the generations are colliding. Many of the colleges and high schools we partner with have four generations on campus: Baby Boomers, Generation X, Millennials and Generation Z.