It's a funny thing, the Internet. There are so many great people in the world that we'd never even know about if not for the web. Through the web, I've met people like Tim Milburn of studentl.inc. I've been impressed with Tim and his drive for crating leadership in students. One of my favorite parts of his blog is the 100 Ways To Help Student Leaders Succeed posts that he includes. Number 18 is about dealing with difficult people (know any of those?):
Difficult people help us clarify what's really important.
When people are argumentative and find fault in most everything we do, we need to pick our battles wisely. Simply arguing back only fuels their effort. We must choose our battles wisely. Not everything is worth arguing about.
Difficult people help us understand how to give grace.
Grace can be defined as giving someone something that they don't deserve (different than mercy - not giving someone something that they do deserve). Our initial response may be to withold things from people that we find difficult. Often that's necessary. But great leaders are able to balance graceful acts with those that are truly deserved.
As part of my blog book tour, Tim interviewed me via email, asking some great questions. He's got the entire interview posted at studentlinc, but one question that came up was with regard to competition:
Tim: In the book you measure the success of the team according to creativity, communication, and cooperation. Is there any place for competition (another "C" word!) in these activities?
Kris: It's funny; competition is one thing that I've really tried to downplay. But my teams always want to know their score – while I don't consider a score to be necessary, the kids often do! I encourage my teams to work toward an improved high score. In spite of this, the kids always seem to turn it into a competition! I have always had two teams, and each team will ask, "How many points did the other team get?" Sometimes I'll tell them a specific score (especially if they tied!), but other times, I'll just tell them that the other team had a more creative solution, or worked better as a team.
So, just who is the guy heading up studentl.inc?
Tim Milburn is a student leadership junkie. Ever since he was selected as chalkboard eraser monitor for 9 days in a row in 2nd grade, he's been involved in, studied, and worked with student leadership initiatives and development. Married and raising four little student leaders in his own home, he currently works at a private University in the Northwest.
Tim speaks, writes, and stays in touch with the latest issues surrounding youth culture. His goal is to raise up a generation of young leaders that impact their campuses and their cultures in positive ways. Tim hosts and writes a student leadership blog called studentl.inc - which offers leadership wisdom and real life application for those who desire to enhance their leadership abilities.
Go get 'em, Tim!