In a short time, young people enrolled in Secondary (HIGH) school will begin to return for classes as they start a new year. These are the people who will make our laws, manage our organizations, provide leadership, and make our society the type of place we will want to live and grow. If you had the opportunity to provide a “fireside” chat to this group of young adults, what would you say?
Through the years I have had the opportunity to provide many ‘back to school’ talks and challenges. As I perused some of my memorabilia, I would like to share some of the points I have tried to make to these future leaders:
Have Compassion: Regardless of ethnicity, socioeconomic status, gender, color, or other differing factors, show compassion. When people feel safe around you, when they know they can fail and are not afraid or will not be humiliated or destroyed in front of their peers, you will create an atmosphere of ‘love’, and love is the most powerful of all motivators.
Be determined: The virtue of determination allows you not to give up, not to accept defeat. With determination, you will focus your energy, on the problem or issue at hand with laser-like intensity. Expect difficulties or roadblocks. Be prepared to find a way over, around, or straight through them. It will be the determined person who will achieve success.
Be your best: To be the best, you must look and speak your best. Presentation of self is critical, and you want to always be your best. Do not let fashion dictate that you wear something that is not your best.
Excellence is a habit: Tell yourself you won’t quit; you won’t give up. Don’t let anything stand in your way. Don’t compromise. Don’t procrastinate. Don’t rationalize. Don’t make excuses. Be committed, and stay focused. Strive for excellence in every aspect of your life. Then repeat, repeat, repeat.
Make your bed: Your room in your home is your office. This is the place you must keep organized and free of clutter. If your room is cluttered, your closet cluttered, if clothes are scattered then you will be unorganized, cluttered, and scattered. It all begins by making your bed every day. The pillow is tucked, and the bedspread is evenly placed on the bed. Everything has a place and everything is in its place. Your room reflects WHO you are. Do your best.
These character traits are not something listed in a book or text. They are traits I have tried to live by starting in my early days. I am convinced they are the character traits that will make you successful, that will make you a leader and that will make you live your life with honor