I am extremely thankful this week because a group of college students have restored my faith in the leadership potential of the next generation. This semester, in partnership with a great company in my hometown called TutoringZone, we offered a special leadership training program called “Let The GATOR Lead” in conjunction with the Warrington College of Business Administration at the University of Florida. Every other week or so, a group of students would get together with a student facilitator and go through a chapter in my book: “Excellence by Design: Leadership – the six key characteristics of outstanding leaders,” and talk about the principles I put forth and what those leadership characteristics meant to them as college students.
Out of the 250+ students that originally signed up – more than 130 wrote essays that were judged by me and several senior executives from Fortune 100 companies in order to choose three winners that received cash scholarships as well as donations to their favorite charity and a small reward for the rest of the people in their discussion group.
All-in-all the essays added up to about 500 pages of reading, and I must say it rivaled the best leadership books I have read in the last few years. The essays were thoughtful, focused, provocative and entertaining – I could not be more thankful for all the wonderful ideas and feedback these amazing students gave to me about how they view leadership and the way they want to lead their generation. Below you will find the top three winners and two honorable mention recipients, I think there’s some wonderful stuff here that you will enjoy great deal – and I have to say that it is a shame I cannot put all the essays here on my blog – the students did an incredible job and I’m very, very thankful for what they taught me! [Read more...]