Leadership Grow, formerly known as Youth Leadership, enables High School Juniors to understand the critical issues facing Palm Beach County while encouraging them to expand their leadership roles and build a foundation for always being involved in their community.
These students spend nine months gaining real-life experience by having unparalleled access to leaders from businesses, government agencies, and civic organizations. The program coordinators encourage students to interact, learn and reflect on their future as community leaders, and build necessary skills, including public speaking and resume-writing to prepare them for future education and employment. Only 48 high school juniors who represent the diversity of Palm Beach County’s school system are accepted. By completing the program, students graduate into a thriving group of alumni who are better prepared for the world ahead of them with the skills to influence the future direction of Palm Beach County and our nation as a whole.
So what advice to give this group, what words of wisdom could I offer in the time allotted?
Basically the importance of building and maintaining relationships. Not just within their class, but with the many people they will meet on their journey.
I have also directed them to this website which contains additional wisdom from some of my closest over achieving friends. I turned to my network of Brothers from my business fraternity, Delta Sigma Pi, whose membership is made up of a bunch of over achieving freaks, and within a few hours i had over 50 quality responses. Someone even suggested we publish the submissions as a fundraiser.
So here is some really good additional advice for over achievers:
Happiness matters. And so do assistants and receptionists, so be nice, always. –Audrey Hungerman
You’re not as smart as you think you are. Natural talent only gets you so far, at some point you have to work harder and harder to achieve your goals. After your first day of college, nobody cares what you did in high school. It will take time to adjust, but if you can, the sky is the limit. –Rene Pena
Don’t Hit Send! –J. Barrett Carter
Don’t jeopardize your integrity (or reputation) for a grade, money, or another person. You can’t ever get that back. –Janene Markuske
Your reputation is everything. Some people don’t realize that until its too late. It is precious and easily tarnished, dented, or destroyed. Handle with care, polish with ethical and honorable behavior and it will strengthen and help you weather the storms which come your way. Guard it well. –Gail P. Baumer
Success is getting what you want. Happiness is wanting what you get. So if you succeed in being happy, no amount of money can equal what you earned. -Steven Canter
Find your grand passion. The sport, activity, organization that you think of every day. And pursue that passion with vigor. You’ll never be bored and you’ll always have a focus. -Noel Niles
Be present. Technology advancement has brought us many great things, but it is ruining our communication skills. Put your phones down and enjoy the company you keep. –Meredith Adams
Live your life as though everything you do will eventually be seen. And with social media it might be. –Jacquie Stephens
What you want to do 20 years from now may be different than what you want to when you graduate. And that’s okay. –Jeanette Buie
Failure is a necessity to success. –Eric Engblom
Live your life for yourself, not the life someone else expects you to live. -Jeanne Levesque
Find a good mentor, one who is willing to give you advice and show you the ropes. Pay that experience forward when the opportunity presents itself. –Sharlene Reyes
Determine what your personal values are and stick to them through everything…education, careers, friendships, and family. Find the words that resonate with you, and remind yourself of them when things start to get stressful… and remember that everyone has different personal values. (Mine are: integrity, responsibility, and stability.) –Emily Cole Brown
Learn to be prudent with money and be vigilant regarding social media. –Victor Calero
Making mistakes is a good thing. Learn the lesson, bury the experience. –Steven Brockman
Don’t let doubters stop you from achieving your dream! –Anuva Banik
Don’t let the little things stress you out. –Emelie Tramm
Do good – it’s the rent you pay for living on Earth. Have fun – make memories to last a lifetime and build relationships with people with similar interests and values. Make money – so you can continue doing good and having fun. 🙂 -Noel Niles
You are not entitled to anything and the world is not going to give you anything. If you want something, you have to get tough and work for it. When you fail, you can complain and make excuses, but that doesn’t get you anywhere. Get back up, stay positive, learn from your mistakes and try a different way. –Mark Wernette
Overachieving is good. Doing work that’s meant for others isn’t. Learn to delegate. It’s okay to give to control to someone else sometimes. -Amber Leigh Rivera
There are several jobs everyone should do for a least a summer or semester before graduating into career jobs…..service job such as waiter/waitress, sales/retail at a store grocery clerk or department store, manual labor painting, lawn service, housekeeper, outdoor work such as lawn service or nursery, indoor office temp or intern, and elder or child care. These jobs provide a variety of insights which will serve you well. –Gail P. Baumer
With excellence comes envy. Those who are jealous or don’t understand why one may be high achieving may try to take you down. Don’t let them. For your success so far is only the beginning. Set your mind up for success and you’ll keep getting it! Surround yourself among the peers that will build you up instead of taking you down. –Jen Huynh
If you approach people and situations with a positive attitude you will be much happier in life – and probably more successful too! –Claire Roberts
Discover what living is. You have had the opportunity to experience success in life thus far. Learn the rhythm of life – focusing on what needs you can solve, and solve them. Living is learning time and time again that all it takes is one spark, one step, one giant leap, to believe in your ability to solve what was once impossible. See what you dream of come to life. That is how we will all have a hope for a future. That is how we will overcome and build legacies that last. –John New
The harder you work, the luckier you get. –Shandy Hassan
You want the job that comes after that little job. You need the little job to learn how to do the big jobs. Don’t forget the small stuff it makes the big stuff. –Leslie Champion Dailey
Always seek to solve problems and answer questions yourself. You may not fully solve the problem or answer the question, but you will have learned so much just from the experience of trying. -Meghan Hill
All that being said, do not ever hesitate to ask for help. Try it first yourself, then seek help or advice from someone who knows.
Always keep your nose clean and do the right thing – it will be recognized in the long term. Stay true to yourself and more important, discover who you are. –Jeff Blanchard
To make great things happen, make better choices. Ask yourself…. What can I do to solve the problem? How can I help? What action can I take to own the situation? Ownership is commitment of the head, heart, and hands to fix the problem and never affix the blame. Believe (in the company, team objective, project) or Leave (get out of the way). –Gail Baumer
Opportunity looks a lot like hard work. –Eric Cruz
Be a person of your word. –Greta N Dunn
You will be starting your career soon. Do not expect to have in the beginning of your career what you see others have in the middle or end of theirs. While in college or grad school, don’t let people tell you, “When you get in the real world, _________.” You ARE in the real world. Your world is being a professional student. Speaking of college, treat it like a job. Plan to study or work on your academics for 50 hours a week and you will enjoy your evenings and weekends much more and much more responsibly. –J. Barrett Carter
Always look for the solution, not the problem. –Mary Miracle
Read How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie and live by those teachings. Do that over and over again. –Cory Stopka
Try not to take everything personally. It will eat you alive. Instead, try to understand where people are coming from and try not to let it affect you or how you feel about yourself! –Payton Perez
Pick your battles. –Audrey Hungerman
Build your life around the things that you enjoy to do rather than only focusing on making everyone around you proud and achieving all the things on their little checklist for you (good grades, great ACT/SAT scores, college with X degree, career). It’s important to have your own identity, pursue your own interests, and you’ll be successful if you work hard. –Lauren Trey
Your actions have consequences. They can lead to good or to bad It is always the “how” you need to question to achieve success. The “when” will come on its own. Let the force be with you as you walk the path of a Jedi!! –Dr. Arturo Perez
If you do what is easy, life will be hard. If you do what is hard, life with be easy. –Jason Kohorst
Enjoy the little things. –Mark Wernette
Read a book, and aim for a book a month. –Gianni Buño
Have a plan for your life and do what you need to obtain it. Don’t do things that won’t help you move forward. Ex. Work for a law firm if you want to be a lawyer don’t work for a vet office! –Joe Delgado
When you’re down, work won’t be there for you. Your friends and family will. Life can seem like a dark hole of impossibilities and failures from external factors. At the end of the day, all you can do is change your attitude. -Taffy Lê
Never give up your dreams. –Sherry Flood
Believe in yourselves. Dream. Try. Do good. –Rene Pena
The world is very small…the person you work for may work for you in the future or the person who reports to you today may be the person you report to in the future. –Gail P. Baumer
Never write what you can say, say what you can nod, or nod what you can wink! –Joe Delgado
Look into Servant Leadership, which is worlds apart from “managing” people. Theory X vs. Theory Y. -Mike Vitale
If you are inspired by our Brotherhood, you can make a tax deductible donation to our 501(c)(3), the Leadership Foundation of Delta Sigma Pi, which I am the former Chairman and President of. Feel free to designate your donation to the Eddie Stephens Leadership Fund if you would like to help pay for leadership training from college students in certain chapters in Florida.