Happy Friday! I hope you all are enjoying the mild weather. I am currently in Denver, having accompanied 23 Middle School students to the STAMP conference (Students Taking Action and Making Progress). Middle school students from all around the Denver metro area came together this morning to explore issues of diversity and inclusion. After first hearing the keynote speaker, Dr. Eddie Moore, students split up into various workshops with titles such as “Mo’ Money Mo’ Problems,” “Boys Can’t Do That!” and “Two Faces vs. One.” These workshops are led by Upper School students from Denver-area schools who have been meeting weekly to plan their workshops. Upper School Director Jason Mundy has been instrumental in organizing the event.
Keynote speaker Dr. Eddie Moore focused his talk on leadership and what it means to be a leader. He asked the students if they felt that people were born leaders or became leaders, and students unanimously said the latter. Dr. Moore then showed a section from The Lion King, showing an example of a system in which leaders are born. He asked students what it would be like if they were born leaders. Based on what he said later, it was clear that he expected students to talk about the confidence and self-assurance that would come with being a born leader. But interestingly, most students focused on the outside pressures to be perfect. It made me think about how leaders come to be leaders and what skills and attributes they need to take on leadership roles. And of course it brings up the whole nature vs. nurture debate.
So I decided to do a little research, and I came across an interesting study out of the University of Illinois that supports the notion that leaders are made, not born. Not... » read more