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January 31, 2013

CCS students challenged to be 'thermostats'

“Images are the language of the 21st century” — Leonard Sweet.

Nationally renowned speaker Dr. Tim Elmore used images, mixed in with a few other activities, to relate important leadership and character traits to an auditorium full of Cooperstown middle and high school students last week.

Elmore is the president of Growing Leaders, an organization that says it provides public schools, colleges, civic organizations and corporations with "the tools needed to develop leaders who will transform tomorrow’s society." He has written several books in a series titled "Habitudes," one of which is being used in the district’s freshman seminal class. In addition to the students in freshman seminar, a group of athletes is studying the "Habitudes" lessons with the athletic director.

Elmore presented an image of an iceberg on a large projector screen. The top part represents skills and the other 90 percent hidden under the water is what makes up character, he explained. 

“It is what is underneath the surface that sinks the ship,” he continued. “You are going to get pushed all your life to make sure your skills work, but nobody is going to push you about your character.”

He told students to consider themselves icebergs as they start their journey into the adult world. Just do not do what most adults continue to do, which is to  follow the lead of others and not working on becoming the best person one can possibly be, Elmore advised.

A picture of Lindsay Lohan, from her younger years in “The Parent Trap,” suddenly appeared on the big screen. Elmore said there is no denying she has the skills of a great actress. Then he showed a more-recent photo, and said, “something went wrong below the surface.”

This got a chuckle from the crowd.

Tiger Woods then appeared on the big screen. It was a clip from CBS news where he admitted he had nobody else to blame for his marital affairs but himself. He said he knew his actions were wrong, but convinced himself the normal rules didn’t apply to him.

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