A Warm Welcome for SLDP Participants
“Success without a successor is failure.”
That quote is attributed to Dr. John Maxwell, an international expert on leadership — and if you search the phrase, you’ll find many variations on it from others, but the point is the same regardless: For a person or an organization to be successful, there must be continuous focus and resources dedicated to developing leaders.
As we find ourselves days away from the Annual Governance and House of Delegates meeting, any attendee will be able to see the ASRT has taken the quote to heart. The ASRT has always focused on leadership to some extent — I am a member of the 2001 Leadership Academy and much of what I have accomplished is directly attributable to what I learned while attending. I am certain I would not be writing this post if I had not attended the Academy.
Fortunately, the ASRT continues to develop new and innovating ways to develop leadership. Over the last several years, the ASRT has invited promising student leaders to the annual governance meeting to participate in the Student Leadership Development Program. The student leaders will be with us once again and I am looking forward to seeing them.
Initially, the students are somewhat overwhelmed by the camaraderie and genuine joy the attendees have for one another that first day. That continues as the students carry their states’ flags in as the first session of the House opens and the delegates assume their seats. As the students learn what is required of the delegates, you can see things begin to click and the understanding of the task becomes clear.
During the open forum and chapter meeting, students will begin to risk a question or comment and are surprised to find their ideas considered and discussed. At that point, the light comes on: They are leaders and their questions and comments are not only invited, they are expected. Each meeting they attend, each interaction they have, their confidence grows — and our profession is strengthened.
These student leaders come to the annual governance meeting not knowing what to expect and they leave knowing exactly what the profession expects of them: leadership. It is an amazing transition to watch and one taken to heart. How do I know this? As a delegate last year, all I had to do was turn from watching the students in the gallery to looking to the speaker’s podium to see our speaker of the house, Amanda, who promised us all that she would one day be the speaker when she was a student in the Student Leadership Development Program. Promises made, promises kept, ASRT success sustained!