The true test of knowledge is whether you can teach what you’ve learned to another. Dr. Fallon’s Leadership 100 seminar students, Darren Mallot, Cole Cuellar, Trey Kenefake and Aubrey Berger recently had an opportunity to facilitate leadership activities with the 7th and 8th graders at Saint Michael the Archangel Catholic School in Overland Park, KS. For the three young men, it was an opportunity to give back to their alma mater and in the vein of leadership, “pay it forward’.
The 8th grade students were issued pinnies with traits and given a handout with the 14 leadership traits defined. Once divided into groups, students engaged in competition. Among the activities the students participated in were walking in tandem on 2x4 wooden boards, stepping on tennis balls while blindfolded and transferring plastic animals with tongs. What they discovered was it is easy to abandon traits in favor of victory.
The 7th grade students took a stab at landing an ‘airplane’. Not a real one, but a simulated experience in which they could only use verbal commands to guide a student ‘pilot’ (who was blindfolded) safely to the airport. The message they learned is, when you find yourself in a position to lead, you are likely to encounter turbulence, confusion (ambiguity) and noise. It’s important to communicate effectively just as it is to listen carefully.
After each activity, the Saint Thomas Aquinas student leadership team led the 7th and 8th graders through a ‘debriefing’ of the activity, processing ‘the what’, ‘so what’ and ‘now what’ in order to help them make the connections to leadership and the act of leading. In facilitating the activities with the junior high students, the Aquinas students are developing their own leadership skills and style and learning what it takes to lead.
Leadership is a necessary skill in our changing societies, worldwide. Yet, leadership is rare. By developing your leadership potential and gaining an in-depth perspective on the dynamics surrounding leadership, you will be ready to take charge when the moment arises, or when called upon to lead. For questions or interest in leadership training for your students, contact Dr. Fallon at [email protected].