Ask any parent what is most important to them and they will inevitably reply the welfare and happiness of their children. My wife spoke with a friend in Arizona recently, and he shared that most of the bonds and referendums in his area are being voted down, which means that funds aren't being allocated to the public schools in his area. What a travesty, and this scene is being played out all over our nation. We need to be investing in our schools, and in our children, for they are the future leaders of our nation, our government, our businesses, our health systems, etc. My wife, Monique Honaman (www.ishrgroup.com), and I had the privilege of speaking with a group of students at Berkeley Preparatory School in Tampa (my alma mater) a few months ago. What an amazing group of engaged and inquisitive high school students! We shared our experiences and provided advice on the importance of building relationships, having meaningful work and volunteer experiences, giving back to their communities, etc. High-school has changed since I was there! It was impressive to see the students 'wired and wireless' in the classroom and interesting to learn that a laptop is required starting in fourth grade. It was fun to feel the 'vibe' amongst the students as they walked between classes on the campus which boasts a K-12 curriculum. Truly, this was an impressive group of students! Here is an excerpt from the Alumni magazine:
The program on personal career development on November 12 was an interactive and informal session with Justin Honaman'91, Director of Customer Intelligence for Coca Cola, and his wife, Monique Dearth Honaman, President and CEO of the ISHR Group. Justin explained "you have to have information" as he described how his team watches what sells every day for Coke and provides vital data that drives decisions about marketing for the company. He also encouraged students to "Pursue your passion," sharing with them his own experiences that have led him to record a country album in 2006 and write his first book, "Make It Happen! Live Out Your Personal Brand," both of which raise money for nonprofit organizations he supports. He told the students, "l can directly attribute where I am today to Berkeley. It was the best thing that could have happened to me - moving to Tampa and going to Berkeley." Monique, who has expertise with global executive assessment, leadership development, organization design and performance management, offered students key advice on "looking for good internships" and the value of networking. "To be networked is critical for your success." She went on to say, "Use social media smartly to build your network." The couple, who live and work in Atlanta, were introduced by Student Alumni Relations Committee President Lauren Hogan'10.
We need to continue to invest in and develop our future leaders ... whether in elementary school, or high-school, or beyond. When was the last time you shared your story with someone, and explained 'how you got to where you are?' Trust me ... you'll learn just as much in the process. Do more. Give more. Be More.