Learning to lead

May. 06, 2013 @ 06:00 AM

At the end of the year, Penn-Griffin seniors may leave high school with a notch above the rest because of a unique leadership program offered to them this year.
William McKenzie, a local author, wrote the book “If You Aren’t the Lead Dog, Your View Never Changes: A Leadership Path for Teens.” The book aims to give young adults the awareness and knowledge that will help them become leaders in their careers and in life.
“It’s a very unique program,” McKenzie said. “There are only three like it in the state, and it’s something that every school should have.”
Each meeting, McKenzie and Carol Harris, the teacher in charge of the program, bring in a guest speaker who is in a leadership position to talk to the students. Some of those speakers are lawyers, business people and educators. After each meeting, they have a follow up session.
“The students’ response has been extremely positive,” McKenzie said. “It is something they didn’t know that they’d be exposed to and they learn a lot and ask a lot of questions.”
This is the first year of the program, and McKenzie  said that it will help the seniors in anything they do in life.
“The business landscape is changing so quickly; so they don’t have time to wait. So we are getting them exposure now, not later,” he said.
McKenzie said that the schools administrators were essential in starting the program.
“Dr. Nixon-Green and the school took a risk doing this,” he said. “They said, ‘This makes sense. Let’s get it done.’”
McKenzie’s 117-page book is one of the few leadership books that is geared toward teenagers.
“The attributes are universal but for young adults, they’re critical,” he said. “Without them, it would be detrimental to their growth and success.”