Growing organizations have high needs and low capacity. Students have high capacity and low experience. Sounds like a great fit, right?
Businesses and (especially) nonprofits appreciate free labor and college students need professional experience. In my experience as both the intern and the supervisor, internships can be a perfect match or a scarring disaster.
In this post, I hope to address both the supervisor seeking a student intern and the student seeking an internship.
“Leadership is more like a baton than a trophy. You keep a trophy, but you hand off a baton.” ~ Bruce Miller
It happened during the 2012 Summer Olympics and it will probably happen in the next one as well. In the 4×100 relay, it’s not only about how well you run your portion of the race, it’s also about successfully handing off the baton to the next runner. If you drop the baton during the handoff, it doesn’t matter how well you ran your race. It’s very simple, if you drop the baton, you are disqualified.
“One can never consent to creep when one feels an impulse to soar.” ~ Helen Keller
Have you ever felt like quitting? There are days in your life and leadership that you will come to the point where you feel like you’ve given all you can give. There is nothing left. It’s on those days that you experience the full weight of leadership, and it can feel overwhelming. Leaders are ultimately responsible in every circumstance and outcome…even when it’s not your fault. The captain goes down with the ship. As a leader, it’s always too soon to quit. You have to find the strength to take one more step or hang in there one more day…but where can you find the strength to keep going?
“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” ~ Martin Luther King Jr.
Leadership is influence. This is a very simple yet profound principle of leadership. If you can’t influence people, you can’t lead them anywhere. The basis of your ability to lead is all about your ability to influence others. No matter who you are, you most likely have a group of people you influence. Some leaders have a small realm of influence while others may be in a position to influence thousands. The question is: What kind of influencer are you going to be?
wpengineLeadership is Influence – Summit Life Today
“What makes humility so desirable is the marvelous thing it does to us; it creates in us a capacity for the closest possible intimacy with God” ~ Monica Baldwin
There are three things that every organization or project needs for success: The right people, the right resources and the leadership capacity to grow. “Leadership Capacity” is all about having the influence, skills, knowledge and commitment to take something to the next level. Honest assessment of your capacity and resources is a good starting point. Having the right people on your team and your ability to influence them are essential elements in determining your leadership capacity. One is too small a number to do anything of great significance. You need other people to complete you in order for you to be at your best. This was one of the great lessons in the life and leadership of Moses as he led the nation of Israel out of Egypt.
“When love and skill work together, expect a masterpiece.” ~ John Ruskin
Only a Master can produce a Masterpiece. A Masterpiece is by definition far above the norm and exceeds all expectations. There is nothing common or ordinary about it. Masterpieces are definitely not average. They are well above average; they set their own standard of excellence. Masterpieces are the picture of perfection. Now look in the mirror. God, the Master, created you to be His Masterpiece. You are perfectly designed to do His good work.
“Memory is the treasure house of the mind wherein the monuments thereof are kept and preserved.” ~ Thomas Fuller
Christmas is a time for making memories. Too often the hustle and bustle of the season consumes our thoughts and emotions. Let me encourage you to take time to pause and ponder. Capture precious memories as they occur and place them in your memory treasure chest. One of my favorite verses in the Christmas story is when young Mary paused just to try and absorb everything that had taken place in her life over the past 9 months. She had plenty of thoughts to treasure.
“Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.” ~ Henry Ford
One is too small a number to do anything great. None of us are as good as all of us. The image of the Body of Christ is that of a living organism that is the sum of all its parts. For us to function effectively, we must not only discover our role in the Body, but we must fully embrace it as God’s intended purpose for our lives. We each have unique personalities, qualities, gifts, talents, abilities and backgrounds that were designed by God and granted to us. We are to be good stewards of the gifts and abilities He has given us.
“Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning.” ~ Benjamin Franklin
We are born to grow…physically, mentally and spiritually. I often hear the question: “Are leaders born or is leadership a skill we have to learn?” You probably know people who seem to just have a natural bent toward being a good leader while others have to work at it. Either way, all leaders must be committed to growth. Leaders are learners and great leaders are great learners.
“You’ve got to be careful if you don’t know where you’re going, because you might not get there.” ~ Yogi Berra
There are times when everything lines up perfectly and goes exactly as planned. I usually get nervous when that happens! Think about it, most of the challenges we face as leaders require us not only to solve complex issues, but to do so by involving people. There is no way to guarantee that even a well-designed project will unfold just as planned. I’ve often said “everything works on paper.” A wise approach for leaders is to always be well prepared, but also be very flexible and teachable in the process.
wpengineBe Prepared…Be Flexible – Summit Life Today