Leaders of Youth Today Are Teaching the Wrong Lessons for 21st Century Success!

The NY Times ran an article this weekend, “How Many Graduates Does It Take to Be No 1?” about the plethora of valedictorians at high school graduations this year.

It seems as if the trend in awarding more than one valedictorian is growing by leaps and bounds.

too many valedictorians sends wrong message to our country’s youth

Because so many students are now getting “straight A’s” schools are having a hard time distinguishing between their best students. So, to solve the problem instead of defining additional tie-breaking criteria they are just piling everyone into one big valedictorian group.

I’m not talking about just having two individuals tie for the top spot, this article says some schools are awarding the title of valedictorian to 6.5% of the graduating class!

This is a farce! It is teaching the wrong lesson!

In the Olympics there is one gold medal even though the silver medalist may have finished .00001 behind in the competition. Tough! Get Over It!

As the character “Ed” played by the late Bruno Kirby said in my favorite all-time movie “City Slickers” when speaking to “Mitch” (Billy Crystal), “Everything is a competition, life is a competition.”

This is not the way to train champions!

It’s time our parents, teachers, school principals and grandparents remember Ed’s message. The sooner we start teaching that there is winners and losers in life, athletics and academics, the better the youth of our society will be able to compete on a world stage in this new 21st Century global economy.

If they want to teach them true lessons in self-leadership a good place to start would be with the “5 Traits of a CHAMP Leader”, which you can read about in this recent article.

It’s more important than ever, today!

’til next time, make it a great week and have a happy, healthy and safe July 4th holiday weekend if you are reading this from the United States.

skip weisman, helping leaders motivate employees to improve organizational performance