As the former professional basketball player, Michael Jordan, wisely noted: “earn your leadership every day.” To get to where you want to be, you have to work at it every single day. Do things that will help you earn your success and leadership.
Today we honor and respect the man who turned ripples into tidal waves and whispers into marches. As a humanitarian and African-American Civil Rights Movement leader, Martin Luther King, Jr. inspired thousands of Americans to open up their minds to the possibility of a racially and socially free and equal America. Despite the cruel treatment MLK, Jr. and his supports sustained, his enduring message of peaceful protests and nonviolence echoed across every speech he gave and every rally he attended.
Although there were many influential and important Civil Rights Movement leaders in the United States throughout the mid 1950s such as Rosa Parks, the Freedom Riders, Malcolm X, Thurgood Marshall, and many others, none remain as prominent in our current day rhetoric as MLK Jr. This is in large part due to his exemplary leadership abilities.
MLK, Jr. was and still remains a leader.
- Serving as a pastor in Atlanta, Georgia, MLK, Jr. learned how to speak to an audience and move them with his words. His presence was felt when he presided over his congregation, and that same power and control helped him lead a nation in years to come.
- As the face of this Movement, MLK, Jr. had a clear and sustained plan of action based around nonviolence. His commitment to this ideology gained him the respect of thousands and served as a bright light in the construction of an unknown and unlit path.
- He moved forward – never back – with conviction. MLK, Jr.’s path was a straight and narrow one. Although the Movement as a whole faced daily backlash, the objective was never lost. When goals are kept clear and taken seriously it gives people the motivation to keep going. MLK, Jr. never backed down.
In 1964 Martin Luther King, Jr. won The Nobel Peace Prize. The video of his acceptance speech exemplifies the three traits mentioned above. Today we give thanks to this leader who lived boldly and in solidarity with his mission of peace, equality, and love.
“Whether things are going really well or not so well you just want to play one play at a time and stay in the now.” — Russell Wilson
As Seattlelites, we are huge Seahawks fans. This season has been a great one for the Seahawks, and as they head into the Playoffs this month, we will be supporting them every step of the way. If you’ve ever seen a Seahawks game, you’ll notice the incredible teamwork and passion on and off the field. One player in particular that stands out for his passion, skill, and leadership is the quarterback, Russell Wilson. Watch this video of Russell Wilson from Seahawks.com to watch his leadership in action – it is seriously impressive and admirable. From this video, the dozens of games we’ve watched him play, and his interviews, Wilson demonstrates the qualities of a strong leader and a devoted team player. Just from watching Russell Wilson play football, these are seven leadership traits he possesses:
1. Maintain a Positive Attitude. If a play doesn’t succeed, Wilson does not let that affect his positive attitude. Instead, he looks at the bright side and uses encouraging words to pick himself and his teammates back up. Wilson praises his teammates and gets his team excited and re-energized.
2. Know your Goals. Leaders should have goals – for themselves and their team. Ask Wilson what his goals are and he doesn’t even take a moment to hesitate. He has four: be dominant, be consistent, be clutch, and be healthy. Know your goals at the top of your head so that they will always be a part of your every action.
3. Admit your Mistakes. If a poor pass is made during the game, Wilson is the first to acknowledge his mistake. By admitting what he did wrong, Wilson can then take the necessary steps to improve and not make the same mistake twice. It is not weak for leaders to make mistakes; in fact, your team will appreciate that you aren’t trying to be a hero or a faultless leader.
4. Separation through Preparation. Wilson stands out on and off the field by preparing and being as ready as he can be for game day. Wilson is incredibly focused and will spend hours and hours studying film that will help him better understand his opponent and how he can move better on the field. By taking the time to prepare, Wilson is ready to handle anything that comes his way on the field.
5. Pay Attention to Details. Wilson focuses on the little details, which in turn help him improve his game and skills.
6. Set the Tone. Before a practice or a game, Wilson sets the tone by arriving early to work and leaving late. Wilson remains composed and confident – on the field and during press conferences. As a leader, setting the tone for your team or group will establish a solid foundation for expectations and how you intend to lead and treat others. By showing up early, prepared, and ready to improve, others will follow suit.
7. Leave a Legacy. Wilson frequently visits the Seattle Children’s Hospital on his days off and he is the National Ambassador for the Charles Ray III Diabetes Association. When he is not in-season, Wilson hosts the Russell Wilson Passing Academy, a youth football camp that teaches the fundamental skills of being a great football player.
What leadership traits have you learned through watching sports?
Alternative Education Highlight: High Mountain Institute
Education comes in all shapes and sizes; there has never been a “one size fits all” when it comes to learning. Figuring out how you learn best is a challenge that you should continue to tackle until you discover what works best for you personally. Carpe Juvenis recently sat down with Megan Morrow, High Mountain Institute (HMI) alum, to talk about the high school semester program she took part in her junior year. Megan now studies at Johns Hopkins University where she majors in Global Environmental Change & Sustainability.
HMI is a program for academically driven high school students interested in an outdoor educational experience. HMI focuses on building students’ relationships with nature and their community through full physical and emotional integration. Based in Colorado, students take AP level place-based classes in tangent with learning survival and camping skills. There is a campus with off-the-grid cabins and fully functioning classrooms where students live and study when they are not busy leading hiking expeditions and camping explorations.
HMI offers a range of programs: Semester, Summer team, Apprentice Program, High Peaks Adventure, and Wilderness Medicine and Avalanche Safety courses. If you’re interested in applying to HMI, click here – applications for Fall 2014, Spring 2015, and Summer Term 2014 are due February 15, 2014.
Without further ado, we’d like to introduce you to Megan Morrow. Read on to learn more about her experiences at High Mountain Institute!
Carpe Juvenis: What exactly is High Mountain Institute?
Megan Morrow: High Mountain Institute (HMI) is an outdoor education program combined with experiential education. There are around fifty students from around the United States and you go on a set of three backpacking expeditions that are interspersed throughout the semester. You take normal classes that you would in school but you continue them when you’re on your hiking trips.
CJ: Would you recommend that someone apply to HMI and why?
MM: Yes, definitely! I was really hesitant to go and spent the entire month after I got in deciding whether or not I wanted to go. I actually replied late saying I would. But [HMI] helps prepare you for going away to college because you’ve already done it before for four months, and being in a small community forces you to deal with people. But [the staff] also teaches you about conflict resolution, getting along with people, and working with group dynamics. Its something I never thought I would be able to do … but being able to spend more than a month in the Colorado and Utah wilderness is amazing. I would have never been able to do that in my regular high school.
CJ: What is a challenge or difficulty you faced that took you by surprise?
MM: I expected that I would be homesick – and I was – but I got over it. The hardest struggle for me that I didn’t expect was that it took me a really long time to adjust back into real life again. I got so close to the people [at HMI] that I had a really hard time going back to school.
CJ: How did you feel about the academic aspect of HMI?
MM: The academics I think are really, really good. You have scheduled time to do work every night for two hours. [And work is continued on hiking trips] so you’ll have English class discussing Henry David Thoreau, or you have to do a science lab on your expedition walking around looking at trees, collecting data, writing essays, and all that. The other component is leadership training; you go over types of leadership, how to be a good leader, and you have to be “leader of the day” twice throughout an expedition where you lead your small group of students and you have to use topographical maps and make decisions about when to rest and how far to walk. As expeditions go by you become more and more independent.
CJ: Is there a certain “type” of student that should go to HMI?
MM: I think it definitely helps to be an outdoorsy person, but it was a mixture of people. It’s been interesting to see how [the students in my semester] have all grown up through college because we’re not all the same type of person. I think what’s interesting about something that [happens] in high school is that I was still young enough that it helped mold me. I was young enough to not come into it with such a strong identity that I wasn’t willing to be changed by it. I was sixteen when I went.
CJ: Has HMI stuck with you in any way?
MM: That’s actually where I started getting interested in environmental science. It’s a natural science program there so we would do water tests near old mines and learn about pollution and go to logging areas and learn about the succession.
Photos courtesy of Megan Morrow
The beginning of a new year is a great time to set goals for yourself. The idea of having a fresh new start on January 1st is a motivator in itself. When we set goals, it helps to think big and then work inwards towards a more direct, specific goal. There are two types of goals to think about in 2014: Target and Adaptable goals. What do these mean?
Target goals are goals that are direct, specific goals that you want to hit on the mark. Let’s say you are working on your fitness this year and you want to increase your mile time. If you want to hit an 8-minute mile mark, that is a very specific goal that you can hit on the mark.
The second type of goal to think about is Adaptable goals, which are goals that can adjust and adapt to different situations. Your intentions in January might alter in March, and you may want to adjust your goals slightly to fit your situation at the time. Your goals do not need to be static or unchanging. In fact, having adaptable goals give you flexibility in making your goals more challenging as time goes on, or making them a little less of a reach.
Target and Adaptable goals will help you shape the type of goals you make. There is no right or wrong goal type, and while a Target goal might help you stay focused on reaching a certain point, Adaptable goals lets you freely adjust your goal path as time goes on. If you plan on making resolutions or goals for the new year, think about which kind of goals you are setting and striving to achieve.