Working on a High School campus has been my good fortune for more than fifteen years. And in about a month I will graduate my 7th class of seniors as a HS principal. And thus May is often filled with reflection and nostalgia and opportunities to try and be wise. Those chances can be inspiring and they can be daunting. And maybe even paralyzing. However, while I often welcome these last few weeks with a myriad of emotions, I also want to be sure that seniors make the most of their remaining days together. The closure associated with High School graduation is powerful. I don’t want them to miss that.
During the senior class meeting a couple weeks ago, I decided to challenge our seniors and how they might want to make the most of their remaining 28 days on campus. We talked about how a school works best when there is a strong student culture. Similar to working with adults, I have learned that paying attention to student culture is equally important.
And after stumbling through some words of inspiration, focusing on the type of legacy they might want to leave behind, I showed them the Lollipop TED Talk by Drew Dudley. You can access the six minute video just below. It’s focused on everyday leadership.
I believe this video is the perfect message to send seniors as they plan to embark on that next adventure. Leadership exists in small moments shared between ordinary people on a day like most any other day. The mistake we commit is that we too often focus on those large moments. And while those certainly can include instances of true leadership, I would join Drew Dudley in his call to action that we recognize the more tiny and simple acts.
National Teacher Appreciation Week is beginning and thus this concept can easily translate to acts of recognition and gratitude. The point is that we allow ourselves to be in the moment with another person and then not miss the chance to simply say thank you. Perhaps it is a hand-written note. Or maybe it’s a group of people enjoying an ice cream sandwich together. Or maybe it’s the exchange of a simple lollipop.
My takeaway for you would be that it doesn’t matter if it is adult to adult, or adult to student. Let’s commit this week, this month, and this year to not miss the lollipop moments that surround us. Who will you offer a lollipop to this week?
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