Monday, August 29, 2016

Learning Leadership Through MSLTI

This Sunday we welcomed the 2016-2017 cohort of MSLTI, The Davis Academy's Middle School Leadership Training Institute. This year's cohort is an extraordinary group of 6th through 8th graders who are deeply committed to learning the art of leadership through service to their school and the broader community. Rather than summarize the afternoon's program, here are some leadership ideas that emerged during our time together.

1. Leaders are storytellers who must give a lot of thought to the stories they tell and the morals of those stories.

2. Leadership is a lens that we can put on the view any given situation. We can always ask, "What can I learn about leadership in this moment? What kind of leadership is being exhibited here?"

3. Our life experience is a tremendous source of insight when it comes to developing our own leadership style.

4. "The dog that trots about finds the bone."-- Golda Meir

5. One goal of leadership is to empower others and create empowered communities.

6. You never know the full impact of your action on others.

7. One way to cultivate leadership and personal growth is through self-reflection. Leaders should model self-reflection and encourage it in others.

8. What's possible is a direct outcome of who is in the room.

9. Leadership is "neutral." There are good leaders and bad leaders. There are leaders who make the world better, those that don't, and some that leave the world worse off than before. The most courageous leaders are committed to making the world better.

10. The test of leadership is in the doing.

On a personal note I have to say that I was completely inspired by what transpired during the MSLTI orientation this week and also profoundly grateful to the many MSLTI students that helped my two children have such a wonderful time at this year's Back to School Carnival. They didn't know it at the time, but they helped both my kids learn new skills and grow as people. Not something you can say about every Back to School Carnival!

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