Why "Leadership"?

A cartoon of a soccer field with many buildings

We know that when young people own their own learning experiences, they become iterative-thinking, growth-minded, creative experimenters who can think outside of the box. This “self-direction” will be of paramount importance in producing the next generation of leaders and learners. #selfdirectedlearning

At Scholar Athletes Leadership Academy, we believe in young people. We believe they are intelligent, resilient, and at least as capable as we were at their age. Consequently, we want our scholar athletes to fail. We want them to productively struggle; because all successful people embrace challenge and experience choice. Our faculty will operate the elevator at all times, but not necessarily push the button for each floor. #productivestruggle

As “the village raising the child”, why does society insist on bubble-wrapping young people? Why do we insist on monitoring them constantly, in person or via video smart-phone apps, from birth-day to leaving (for college) day? Why don’t we trust them to do anything safely or successfully on their own? It is probably because of the twin fears limiting the growth mindset we wish to imbue in others: either we fear that our kids will be stolen, or we fear that they won’t get into Princeton. #voiceandchoice

Treating young people as remarkably vulnerable is bad for their future and ours. We need creative, flexible problem solvers. They can’t solve their own problems if an adult is there at the first sign of trouble, always solving said problems first. This is why in the media, “helicopter parenting” has been replaced with the more pertinent “lawnmower parenting”; mowing down any potential problems to minimize perceived discomfort. This is the very antithesis of productive struggle and growth mindset. #growthmindset

The winners of tomorrow are comfortable with risk, able to deal with failure, and do not see themselves as fragile. At SALA, we trust kids to mess things up, figure things out, mess things up again, and make their way in the world just as generations before them did. It is wrong to act as if this generation needs more hand-holding, censorship and coddling than we did. Indeed, to fully-develop resiliency, they need less. #resiliency

Leadership Library

The SALA Leadership Team continues to dedicate significant time to professional development, particularly in the realm of best-practices in 21st Century Education. We’re pleased to share a small list of some of the materials that have shaped SALA’s vision and encourage all stakeholders to join in the fun of nurturing SALA’s future. If anyone has a suggested book, article, video, blog or website that belongs in the library or on the play-list, please share and let’s build this together!
  • What School Could Be – Ted Dintersmith – 2018
  • Prepared: What Kids Need for a Fulfilled Life – Diane Tavenner – 2019
  • Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us – Daniel H. Pink – 2009
  • Outliers: The Story of Success – Malcolm Gladwell – 2008
  • Relentless: Changing Lives by Disrupting the Educational Norm – Hamish Brewer – 2019
  • Creative Schools: The Grassroots Revolution That’s Transforming Education – Sir Ken Robinson – 2015
  • The Coddling of The American Mind – Greg Lukianoff – 2018
  • Extreme Ownership – Jocko Willink – 2015
  • The Captain Class – Sam Walker – 2017
  • Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance – Angela Duckworth – 2016
  • Good to Great – Jim Collins – 2001
  • Start With Why – Simon Sinek – 2009
  • Tribes – Seth Godin – 2008
  • Free to Learn – Peter Gray – 2015
  • Courage to Grow: How Acton Academy Turns Learning Upside Down – Laura Sandefer – 2017
  • Think Again – Adam Grant – 2021