One of our hallmark programs at ADDO is Chick-fil-A Leader Academy. It’s a high school leadership program created in partnership with Chick-fil-A that’s focused on impact through action. As of this year, it’s the largest leadership-specific high school program in America.
A crucial component of Chick-fil-A Leader Academy is that students are challenged to design, create, and implement their own projects that impact their communities. We have an incredible team that works on this program, develops content, and supports schools and Chick-fil-A restaurants all over the country. It occurred to me that some of the newer members of our team know exactly what we do, but might not understand the core of why we designed the program to include this component.
I recently shared this with our team, and today I’ll share it with you: We have a fundamental belief at ADDO that the three most important leadership skills for the 21st century are communication, collaboration, and critical thinking.
In our program, we force students to not just learn but to actually apply. To do that, we put them in environments where they have to do these three things: 1) They have to communicate with one another by sharing their ideas, persuading one another, and finding ways to simplify and explain their objectives. 2) They have to work together. No project of significance can be completed alone. They have to work with people who think differently, believe differently, and work differently than they do. 3) It necessitates that they think critically. Students have to problem-solve by looking at what’s not working and identifying effective solutions. Often times they have to overcome obstacles or setbacks and design solutions to keep moving forward.
Explaining the purpose of impact projects to our team reminded me that we can often complicate and convolute the concepts of leadership. But at its core, leading people comes down to these three things: communicate effectively, collaborate with others, and think critically.
We can often complicate and convolute the concepts of leadership. But at its core, leading people comes down to these three things: communicate effectively, collaborate with others, and think critically. @KevinPaulScott
We believe these are the most practical skills that leaders need to develop, and they are just as vital for adults as they are for high school students. There are other philosophies and processes that matter in leadership, but these are the practical pieces we must master.
Remember the importance of communication, collaboration, and critical-thinking. Proficiency in these three areas will be the greatest contributors to your success and ability to be promoted in any job, within any role, and at any organization.