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If you do not adapt, if you do not learn, you will wither, you will die.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Youth Leadership Development - HOBY

Two weeks ago I had the honor and the pleasure of facilitating a group of eight energetic, curious, and courageous sophomore students from all over Minnesota. They participated in the three-day HOBY Leadership Seminar at Bethel University with about 75 other students. 

It is HOBY's mission to inspire and develop our global community of youth and volunteers to a life dedicated to leadership, service and innovation. Who would not want to be a part of that, whether it be as an organizer, a sponsor, a facilitator, or of course, one of the students. 

It would take several pages to describe all the energy, learnings, the many diverse activities, the crazy dances and cheers, the inspiring quotes and all else that transpired during this weekend. So I'll mention a few highlights that my group of sophomores thought very valuable, and that many adult leaders can benefit from:

à The four-S mantra: Stand up, Speak up, Stand out, Start something.

à You have the power to treat people a certain way. 

àYour attitude is the foundation for your observations & interpretations, your choices, and your influence & results.

à It is okay to be uncomfortable.

à Failure teaches you about you. It is okay to make mistakes and learn from them.

à Creating change is about starting. It’s as simple as that.

à You teach people how to treat you, by how you act.

à Move from ‘yes, but’ to ‘yes, and’

à Leadership is: If it’s to be, it’s up to me (rather than ‘It’s up to someone else’).

à Stories, explanations, excuses, and justification all distract you from holding yourself accountable and moving yourself to what is wanted & needed and to what you can do to contribute.

à Move from being a bystander to an up stander. Be a vehicle for change.

à Individual commitment to a group effort, that’s what makes a team, a company, a society work – Football coach Vince Lombardi.

It's well worth checking out HOBY and joining me in developing youth leadership: http://www.hobyminnesota.org/


  1. Carolien; This HOBY stuff sounds powerful. I might have to invest in it(again). Thanks for you post /sharing. Can I summarize HOBY in one word...

    1. Hi Steve,

      Thanks for visiting my blog and for you renewed interest in HOBY. Summarizing HOBY in one word wouldn't do justice as I'm sure you agree, but how about these four words: Powerful Youth Leadership Development.

  2. Hey Carolien,

    It's good to hear a bit more about HOBY! This lesson struck me as my own biggest challenge: "Stories, explanations, excuses, and justification all distract you from holding yourself accountable and moving yourself to what is wanted & needed and to what you can do to contribute."

  3. Hi Brian,

    Good to hear from you and I appreciate you visiting my blog! Thanks for your honesty, because I think most of us will have to admit that we use excuses and justifications to hide from accountability, owning up, and learning from it. Thanks to your comment I'm making it an extra focus of the week.

    Looking forward to meeting with you soon again!

  4. Thanks Carolien,

    Actually, I've RSS'ed your blog, so I get a daily feed from it's updates. I saw HOBY, and wanted to comment. I don't get to everything, but I've enjoyed a lot of your content.

    Hope all is great––and hope to meet again soon.