I was asked to observe student leaders in action on a university campus last spring. My goal was to watch them facilitate a service project and offer helpful feedback afterward. As you can imagine, I watched the students work with great passion. I saw them making attempts to find their own style and rhythm, and I watched them attempt to communicate

With summer upon us, many parents are processing how their kids can best use their time. It’s a difficult balance to strike. Too often, a typical school year consists of mom rushing her kids through a drive-through, grabbing some chicken nuggets and hustling over to a practice or rehearsal. Multiple times a week. What’s missing? Genuine, meaningful conversations. Rest from

Student engagement. It’s a topic every educator thinks about today. How do we get these kids with an eight-second attention span to stay committed to what they said they’d do? How do we get them to pay attention long enough to accomplish something significant? How do we get them to continue when they’re bored? Clayton was a good student, who performed

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

Follow @TimElmore As I travel, I meet leaders who consistently ask about hiring and firing staff. How do we find good members and how do we cultivate their talent? How do we find young staff members who possess a strong work ethic and great attitudes? Great questions. Whether you’re student affairs staff or an HR executive in business, we all face

Follow @TimElmore The claws are out over two parenting styles that are expanding in our world today. We see them in America, but they’re not limited to our country. Helicopter Parents and Snowplow parents are old news. These styles are a reaction to two decades of deficiencies in Baby Boomer parents. My guess is, you’ve heard of the Tiger Mom. She’s extremely

Follow @TimElmore You’ve probably noticed the new breed of students today, who bring with them new and different issues we leaders must face. Research is beginning to show that today’s teens look at money, social media, gender issues, family and careers differently than twenty-somethings do. They’re much more “out of the box” than older Millennials, and not afraid to acknowledge their

Follow @TimElmore OK. Here’s a walk down memory lane. Do you remember when MySpace was the leading edge of social networking? How about when Walkmans were the leading edge of portable music? Do you remember the Palm Pilot or Blackberry? How about Prodigy or CompuServe or AOL? Each of these products or services was on the cutting edge at one time. There is

Follow @TimElmore Today I'm excited to share with you a conversation I recently had with my good friend Zach Thomas. He is an accomplished leader who studied at West Point, served as a Ranger instructor, started his own business, and now leads young people at a Chick-fil-A. We discussed a new approach to leadership called freedom leading and I wanted to share his insights

Follow @TimElmore Years ago, legendary basketball coach John Wooden told people that he didn’t see himself as a coach as much as a teacher. He referred to himself as an educator, and the game of basketball was merely a platform to instruct his athletes about winning in life. He succeeded profoundly. Reflect for a minute on your answer to this question: Are

Follow @TimElmore Yesterday, I posed a question on whether a loaded childhood—chalk full of activities, high stress, and low margins—actually delays healthy adulthood. In other words, if a kid never gets to be a kid when they’re young, they’ll want to be one in their twenties or thirties. I’ve seen it far too many times. Today, I want to share some research

Follow @TimElmore Last Friday, we took our Growing Leaders team to Leadercast, a simulcast event broadcast live to over 100,000 leaders worldwide. The lineup was spectacular — each speaker focused on one element of bravery and its role in effective leadership. From Seth Godin to Peyton Manning to Rudy Giuliani, the day was filled with powerful yet personal ideas on courageous

Follow @TimElmore Uncertainty. No one likes it… but every one of us faces it at one point or another. I believe it’s in times of uncertainty and trouble that leaders earn their keep. The two largest temptations leaders face in times of turbulence and uncertainty surround two paramount elements team members need from them: Their Communication Their Consistency. When situations are uncertain, our human tendency

Follow @TimElmore Taylor just blurted it out: “I don’t want to work full-time for anybody!” “What? Seriously?” I asked. “Yeah,” he said with deep resolve in his voice. “I don’t see myself doing what my dad did for decades. Work in one place, grinding out the work, full-time with no sense of having a life.” He paused and looked at me, saying, “And

Follow @TimElmore I’ve noticed a subtle pattern in college and high school students. I wonder if you’ve seen it too. Over the past year, I’ve marveled at what kids find humorous. At times, I’m startled at the misfortunes — even “fails” — that kids watch on YouTube and find funny. Recently, I formed an informal focus group of twenty-year olds and

Follow @TimElmore In February, I led a workshop at the National “First Year Experience” conference in Dallas. Several university staff spoke to me afterward about how difficult student development has become with college freshmen. One advisor said she was viewed as a “mean and nasty” person because she suggested first-year students needed to improve their people skills or study skills. According to

Developmental psychologists have reminded us for years that people learn in different ways. Students, for instance, may be auditory learners, visual learners or kinesthetic learners—but all have to sit in the same classroom with a teacher who cannot possibly invest the time to specialize in each learning style. In fact, most educators lean toward utilizing the pedagogy they prefer themselves. When

Follow @TimElmore I am asked a form of this question multiple times a week: “What do I do with students’ addiction to technology?” Faculty, coaches, parents, youth workers and employers are often miffed at kids who sit with their heads down, gazing at the screen of a smart phone. Preoccupation with a phone has been proven to be an addiction, a coping mechanism

This week, I’m blogging about the virtue of courage (specifically, how we build courage in students today). Courage has always been challenging to cultivate. We humans tend to shrink from doing what is difficult, unpopular or may garner enemies. However, it’s my belief that our society today makes displaying courage especially hard. (I listed five reasons why our world discourages

Follow @TimElmore We live in a day when adults are pushing kids to discover their strengths and focus their lives. Thanks to the Gallup organization and author Marcus Buckingham, we have learned to concentrate on building strengths and to only play in that space. Not surprisingly, this has caused parents to hone our styles and launch our kids into football, ballet,

All of our lives, we’ve heard stories of people who are “outliers.” Men and women who dropped out of college (or never attended in the first place) and made their mark on the world anyway—people like Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey, Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, Ted Turner, Walt Disney, Wolfgang Puck… and the list goes on and on. The fact is, less

Recently I had the privilege to discuss leadership lessons with Sue Enquist, who holds more National Championships (11) than anyone in the history of softball. She is UCLA Softball’s first athletic scholarship,  All-American, National Champion, and Hall of Famer. Off the softball field, Sue is a dynamic communicator and has gained the reputation as a highly sought after international speaker.

By now, you’ve likely seen the viral video, released by a student at Oklahoma University. It was awful. Two members at Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity were dismissed and sent home. That video, filled with racist remarks, was a wake-up call for these young men. Today, the fraternity on that campus has been shut down, the staff was fired and members

I recently heard three news stories, each a narrative about students “acting out” both on and off the campus. What do these stories have in common? A skateboarder was hit and killed by a train at a railroad crossing when he tried to beat the train while riding across the tracks. Parents of a 19-year old student negotiated with a local community

Follow @TimElmore Check out our new FREE video series, The Missing Piece to Career Readiness, where we discuss why students aren't graduating career ready and how adults can help them prepare before leaving school. Get Free Access Here In 2011, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates gave his final speech at West Point. It was a strong and clear farewell, but one that posed the question: How will

For years, I have advocated something taught by futurist Dr. Leonard Sweet. In his book, The Gospel According to Starbucks, he suggests that youth today make up an EPIC Generation: they are Experiential, Participatory, Image-rich and Connected. I regularly ask faculty members this question: How EPIC is your classroom? I believe the more EPIC we are, the better chances we’ll have

Follow @TimElmore OK—this topic is worth discussion and debate. After reading an article about a new app for parents, teachers, and college students, I felt mixed emotions. Do you remember your college days? How many classes did you skip? If you’re like most university students, it’s more than you can remember. When I think on my years in college, I recall attending