The middle school teen leadership classes have heard from some great speakers this year on what it takes to be a good leader. Their final speaker left them with a lot to think about. Tim Lester, head football coach at Western Michigan University spoke to those 60 students and several other classes on May 14th.
He shared several stories with them, like how billionaires he knows have known a lot of failure, but they don’t stop trying, “Every time you lose you learn,” he told them.
Lester shared many of the same lessons he shares with his players - the important of peer to peer leadership, doing things because you “get to” not because you “have to”, stand for something, “When it comes to leadership, you have to know what you stand for.” He told them to live in the moment, “You are in a room but are you engaged in what’s happening?” he asked.
He challenged students to be a leader to each other. He said peer-to-peer leadership is the hardest thing, because they’re on a level playing field, but leadership itself isn’t difficult, “You're the person willing to say what the head coach has already said. Say the rights things. Be an extension of your teacher.”
He shared a mantra that his team uses, they talk about the “how.”
“What you do does not make you special. How you do it makes you special. If I can get one thing through to you. Think of how you do things. Positive leaders make positive results.”
Lester left a great acronym with them to think about as well - PETS. People love their pets, so it can be easy to remember:
P - say Please
E - make Eye contact
T - say Thank you
S - Smile, and do it often - it’s free.