Wise Judgment: Have Mercy

We just presented at a leadership conference for 500 students in southern Oregon. We had eight of our best presenters working with these students for two full days on leadership and life skills. A good part of the students were respectful, attentive and ready to learn how to get better at life. However, there were certainly a large number of "squeaky wheels" that took our presentation energy and who spent their entire time at the conference being disruptive, disrespectful and, at certain times, just downright mean.

However, I have mercy for those kids. A teenager simply acts in response to their long-term environment. You can take a good kid, put them in a negative environment and, with enough time, they will make poor choices. And the reverse is true, as well. It saddens me as a trainer, speaker, coach and parent to see a young man disrespect a young woman in front of his peers because he simply doesn't know any better. Or to see a kid playing with his cell phone right through a life lesson that could have changed his entire life.

My wish is that every student leadership conference had mandatory attendance from the parents/guardians, as well. I firmly believe we are making a difference in the lives of young people with our Personal Leadership Insight conferences. I believe even more that for some of them, their parents/guardians need it much more.

With all that said, thanks to Asia and Cynthia and Tyler and all your positive peers for leaning into the conference and taking a ton away from the experience. We wish you the best.

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