Gratitude....Leaders Serve First
By, Allison Liddle
Last week we had an amazing first Teen Leadership Excellence Day! WOW!
I remember the day Dan Nowak asked me to do a training for their students. I wanted to decline. I didn't really see what I was doing could help youth. I have never done a leadership training for youth. I've always done these things for adults, but not kids.
But, for some reason, I said, "yes." Then I forgot about it for a while. I've been swamped with speaking gigs, masterminds, coaching, running our businesses, since my book, "Life Under Construction: designing a life you love," launched. I anticipated that this training for the youth would be a couple hours and I'd just cover something I've already taught. Easy peasy!
Then I got the email that said that we would have a full day of training for the youth! YIKES! I've conducted many full-day trainings with adults, but that's different from youth. Youth expect it to be fun and engaging the whole...which is kind of my specialty...but I was still nervous. :)
I decided that if I was going to do this right I'd need to get some help. I sent out ONE email to some of my friends that are leaders in their industries. ONE email and I received 6 volunteer trainers for this event! (Funny note:*It did not even have a name at this point...it was a training for youth)
What would the trainers talk about? What was the message for the day? How would we do this? Those questions answered themselves organically. We needed the teens to be leaders. We needed to equip them with everything they needed to lead themselves and others, so that's what we did. Each trainer used their experience and talents to craft something customized for this day. It was phenomenal!
It ended up that we had even more, volunteers step up to help out. We had professional photography and video. The group received a grant to get lunch paid for. The rooms were donated by a local college. It all worked out better than we could have imagined. All things I was so grateful for!
What I'm beyond grateful for are not just the logistics that go on a day like that. It is the hearts of all of the people that served. 38 high school students opened up about things I don't think they've ever shared because they knew they were in a safe environment. One student had been homeless and was grateful to have a roof over their head. Another had an organ transplant and was grateful for the person who died to donate the organ. Many students shared that they lacked confidence. They hadn't thought about themselves as leaders. They shared from their hearts. They gained confidence, friendship, and courage. They learned about the heart of a leader. They realized that leaders serve first. I'm grateful that they learned this important lesson. Imagine if all of the leaders in the world understood this simple, but profound lesson....leaders serve first!