4 Leadership Fence Posts for CTSO Members

Posted on February 19, 2014

I wish you could have been in my office when I called a mentor to pick his brain about student leadership.  

I actually didn’t call Don to ask him about student leadership. I called to say: “I’m done. I’m burnt out. It’s time to throw in the towel… I am done trying to develop student leaders!”

Are you a CTSO state director? How about a DECA, FFA, FBLA, FCCLA, HOSA, SkillsUSA, FEA, or TSA advisor? Maybe you’re an advisor or volunteer for 4-H, HOBY, or Student Council.

Whatever your position, if you’ve been serving in a CTSO or similar organization for any length of time, you have likely experienced similar feelings about student leadership. It just comes with the territory. That’s why I want to give you the same gift Don gave me. This gift will positively revolutionize your view of student leadership! Even more, it will revolutionize the way you go about developing student leaders.

A quick note about the video. At over 9 minutes, it’s a bit long, but it’s worth your time investment. Within the first two minutes the big idea of how you can cultivate a “pop to the top” student leadership environment within your CTSO is explained. Additionally, highlights from the video are listed below.


Highlights from Video

  • Normal people embrace an E=O equation, yet settling for “normal” should not be the goal for student who are involved in your CTSO or any other student leadership organization.
  • Successful people add one letter to the equation…E+R=O. This is the equation student leaders must embrace to be successful.
  • CTSO directors and advisors cannot create student leaders, they must cultivate an environment that is conducive to seeing student “pop to the top” and “step into leadership.”
  • The best way to cultivate the right environment within a CTSO is to establish the Four Fence Posts of 100 Percent Responsibility. These four fence posts revolve around the E+R=O equation.
  • Opportunities and privileges should increase for student leaders when they serve and lead within the Four Fence Posts of 100 Percent Responsibility (i.e. their fence posts should expand).
  • Opportunities and privileges should decrease for student leaders when they jump outside the Four Fence Posts of 100 Percent Responsibility (i.e. their fence posts should contract).
  • Establishing the Four Fence Posts of 100 Percent Responsibility moves a CTSO from trying to create student leaders to cultivating an environment that is conducive for students to step into leadership.

Working With You

Interested in having Kent serve your CTSO or student organization by speaking on Student Leadership and Student Success at your next Student Leadership Conference or Advisors Conference?


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