Sharing ideas on Education, Leadership and Life

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Back To Basics

“Factual knowledge alone is thus no longer the great differentiator between those who succeed and those who do not. Instead the individuals who are emerging as the new "winners" - the new thrivers-of the twenty-first century are those who possess above average creativity, strong analytical skills, a knack for foresight, and surprise surprise good people skills." From Stephen Covey’s book “The Leader in Me

Last week I used this quote as part of another blog post. The other night I attended the #leadfromwithin chat and the chat focused of things like loyalty, honesty, respect, and other important traits leaders should have. I also attended a class given by @gperl about humility.

All of this got me thinking that we need to go back to basics. We need to teach character development and leadership skills with the same emphasis that we teacher other subjects if not more. I often tell my students that when people meet you on the street they won’t ask you or judge you based on how much of subject “X” you learned but rather they will see and judge you based on what kind of person you are. Here is my partial list of some of those amorphous and less tangible things we need to be teaching:
• Honesty
• Humility
• Trust
• Respect
• Loyalty
• Empathy
• Transparency

How do we teach these skills? I believe these skills need to be modeled and taught by example.
I recently heard the following: You can teach your child about honesty and read about it and give examples from the Bible and other sources and of all that teaching will not mean anything if when the next time you go to the movies and you tell your 13 year old child to tell the cashier that he is 11 to get in at the child price.

If we want to prepare our students for the 21st Century we need to go back to basics and teach them, no show them what it means to be a good person.


  1. Really enjoyed this post. I have a 2 year old son and I have been praying, thinking, and planning for how I will teach him these very things. There is no escaping it. He has to see it modeled in my life. I am the strongest man in his world. If he doesn't see it from me, he won't see it at all.

  2. David,
    Thanks for the comment.
    I too pray ever day to help me raise my children. I have twin teenage girls.

    Thanks again