Coach Nick Saban came up with a new way to define mental toughness for his football team. During spring training, 2018, the national champion head coach of the Alabama Crimson Tide told a story to his players. While Saban was weather-proofing his Florida home, storm windows were being chosen and installed. During the decision process, he asked the workers how they

Today’s blog is from Nautrie Jones, a contributing writer for the Growing Leaders Blog. Nautrie is the Director of Teacher Leadership Development at Teach For America where she manages coaches, develops strategy, and designs trainings focused on content, pedagogy, classroom management, racial identity development, culturally responsive teaching, and adaptive coaching. After years of confusion, we finally had an answer. We knew

I know. That’s quite an audacious headline for a blog article, isn’t it? In fact, you may suspect the content would be rated NC17 or X, assuming I’m talking about students’ preoccupation with parties, sex and drinking. But I’m not talking about those topics. I am talking about what’s looming beneath their goofy humor on social media, or the trash talk on

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. Yesterday, we took a brief look at history and how cultures engaged their people with images. Below is part two. Picture Perfect Training Since the

Follow @TimElmore A few short years ago, corporate executives were asked what single word best describes the recent college graduates entering their workplace. The word they selected? Entitled. Interestingly, when recent graduates were asked to guess what descriptive word these executives had chosen that begins with the letter “e,” they guessed: exciting, enterprising, entrepreneurial and energetic. None of them guessed how

As I travel and speak to college students, I’m often asked what are the best books for a young leader to read. Years ago, I created a list of “Must Reads” for established leaders, but below, I list what I consider great reads for emerging leaders—teens and twenty-somethings who aspire to leadership. Hope it’s helpful. 1. Leadership and Self-Deception, by the

When I learned to teach students, it was a different world. Forty years ago, I was much younger and my methods were more about one-way communication. It was all about lecture, drill, memorization and test. Today, students come from a different culture, but teachers are often still about “classroom management.” Students check out mentally; fall asleep and get distracted. And

More and more teachers today make a distinction between student engagement and student empowerment. It makes sense to me. Julie Diaz is the principal of Travis High School near Houston, Texas. She’s building young leaders within that student body—and discovered surprising things happen when educators do this. Two years ago, some of her students told her they felt their school building

  Most coaches I talk to today mourn the struggle they have with their young players taking “ownership” of the team. Why aren’t they more responsible? Why don’t they think for themselves? Why do they need me to confront poor behavior from teammates and not do it themselves? Where are all the leaders? My answer?  We stole it from them. Youth culture today

Ashton just got suspended from his high school for an entire week for cheating. His mother, Jan, was beside herself, because six other students (Ashton’s classmates) got excused for their misconduct, only having to serve one detention period. Jan, obviously, felt it wasn’t fair. Why should her son get a suspension when other boys who had cheated, get a lesser penalty. If

There I stood in front of a crowd of one thousand students and faculty members, at a university in the Midwest. One instructor stood up with a question I get almost everywhere I go, because I teach leadership to students. The person asking usually has an answer already—they just want to hear how I’m going to respond to this question… “Is

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

I met Uduak Afangideh, PhD, at Faulkner University five years ago. We met again this past fall when I spoke on her campus and talked about what we were both learning about engaging college students today. Originally from Nigeria, Dr. Afangideh is the Science Department Chair and Professor of Biology on the campus. She is also a gracious, life-long learner

The numbers were just released by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), and American life expectancy has dropped for the first time since World War I. In fact it’s dropped for the last three years. When I first read this, I was stunned. Seriously? Isn’t science and medicine making advances to increase life expectancy? Absolutely. The trouble is—suicide rates

I just met a mom at a parent conference who approached me afterward asking, “How do parents do it theses days?” When I inquired what she meant, she said: How do moms offer undivided attention to their children and still get everything done? Herein lies the new gauge for today’s parents. We assume that any good parent is able to provide undivided attention

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

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

If you work with students, you already know they have their own language. I suppose my generation did too, when I was a teenager, but language expansion must be on steroids today. Pause and think for a moment about the common phrases a high school or college student may use today: - Netflix and Chill - I Literally Can’t Even - Turn Down

Once in a while, I hear something that stops me in my tracks. I recognize I’ve just heard a life-changing idea. One of them surfaced this year. During a recent Twitter chat I participated in, one of the educator participants asked a question: “Have you heard of design thinking?” The fact is, I had read about “design thinking” in a Stanford education

The fall semester is halfway done, and students are entering midterm exams. Ahhh—there’s nothing like the fall, with high pressure fronts coming in with colder weather, in addition to high pressure expectations among our students. I also believe this time of year is a perfect period to evaluate our leadership. Teachers and parents have experienced several weeks of this school year and

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

A news story broke recently that made its away across the country. At first glance, I couldn’t believe it.  My guess is—many of you heard about it. A Florida teacher was fired for refusing to comply with the school’s “No Zero” policy. This means, the school administration has created a rule that even if a student fails to turn any assignment