ASB Advisors. Student Council Advisors. Leadership Teacher. At the end of the day our true title is, “Developer of Student Leaders”! That is our business. That is our mission. That is what I truly believe is at the heart of it all! Deep down we all desire to see young people develop into amazing student leaders.
Here are 4 Things to Consider: (Adapted from Trust Me by Hastings and Potter)
- Be an encourager: Encouragement is one of the most powerful tools for leading another person to higher levels of student leadership. The Greek word for encouragement means “coming alongside.” As a “developer of student leaders” it is our job to come alongside our student leaders and help them along the way. One of the greatest ways we can help our student leaders, is by encouraging them with our words and actions.
- Be patient: Successful “developer of student leaders” understand that mentoring requires a good amount of patience. We need to fall in love with the “process” of developing student leaders, just as much as we love the “product.” Developing student leaders is not an over-night phenomenon. It takes many months, if not years! Be patience. Trust the process. Allow for mistakes. Don’t be in a rush to solve every problem. Allow your student leaders room to fail. Guide and direct as needed.
- Be trustworthy: As a “developer of student leaders” one of the best ways to foster student leader development is exhibiting integrity in your own life. Trustworthiness means being reliable, faithful, and unfailing. Trustworthy leaders are honest and transparent, committed, dedicate, and keep promises. They also have the moral courage to do the right thing and to stand up for what they believe even when it is difficult to do so.
- Be an opportunist: A great “developer of student leaders” has to be a person who sees positive opportunities even in the face of great obstacles. Our job is to be a positive force in the lives of our student leaders. Student leaders will develop and thrive in an environment that is bright, positive, and full of opportunities. It’s hard for student leaders to grow in a negative and dark climate.
I challenge you this school year as you mentor the student leaders in your program to be: encouraging, patient, trustworthy, and opportunist. Put more emphasis on developing student leaders than developing the next best rally or dance or activity. Use activities as simply the means to a great end…and that is developing amazing student leaders!