The Principal Perspective


2019-2-20 Sam

Recently, I interviewed 9-year old Sam for my podcast. I am amazed at the wisdom he shared, and his personal perspective of leadership. I asked Sam what he’d say if everyone in the world came into his living room, and demanded him to “tell us something!”

Sam, without hesitation announced, “get outta my house…” I was about to laugh at Sam’s humor, when he continued, “…and go be with your family members!”

Proudly, Sam described his family members as “nice” and “great”. “I love them.” Answering my question about how he helps his siblings, Sam replied:

  • “When they fall, I help them up.”
  • “I help my brother play Minecraft.”

I was shocked to learn that most boys Sam’s age don’t play Minecraft any more, they play Fortnite. Sam had only played Fortnite once, and didn’t seem impressed. With wisdom beyond his years, he observed, “{Fortnite} is taking over people’s lives!”

Making mention of school bullies, which seem normal for any school, Sam related an incident where he was bolstered by another student rather than bullied. “I was hit by a basketball, and got knocked down. An older kid came over and helped me up.”

Insightfully, Sam described those who were leaders in his life: parents, teachers, and his school principal. “When we’re playing foursquare, the principal volunteers to be the coach. He’s at the top, and he’s really good at it.”

Unfortunately, there are some kids at Sam’s school who like to take over the foursquare game so others can’t play. He describes how the principal will enforce the rules, and makes sure everyone is included in the game.

Sam was impressed with how the school principal will often teach a class, or monitor recess for a teacher simply out of kindness. “He not only gives us a break from bullies, but he gives the teachers a break from us kids. He’s a good guy.”

Sam has been awarded for being an exceptional “line leader.” Evidently, this is someone who leads orderly lines of students to lunch, recess, or on other occasions. “The line leader has to be a good example so everyone keeps the rules.”

I was sincerely impressed with Sam’s ability to identify characteristics of leadership :

  • Love for family
  • Helping others up
  • Teaching others
  • Honesty
  • Enforcement of rules
  • Service
  • Kindness
  • Being an example

When I gave Sam one last opportunity to share a word of wisdom, he said, “Be Selfless.” Sam gets it. He’ll have a long, successful life in leadership. He understands the principal perspective.

Listen to “The Principal Perspective” on Spreaker.


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