What I’m Learning From My Students – Part 6

by Andy Wood on September 16, 2015

in Leadership, LV Alter-egos, Pleasers


(Presidential Campaign Edition)

Unless you’ve been under a rock for a year, you are well aware of the fact that here in the U.S. we’re in another election cycle, which means, of course, that for over a year people will be competing for poll numbers and dollars (the gifts that keep on giving) before somebody in one state (and only one state) will decide the destiny of 80% of the candidates.

No, really. I totally love American democracy.

Anyway, with a second Republican debate scheduled for tonight, I thought in preparation the candidates could use some last minute wisdom, since I’m sure they all subscribe to the blog.

I got nothin’.

But before Mr. Trump labels me a loser and tells me I’m fired, I know somebody who does. As I have mentioned before, I keep a file of my favorite student quotations, usually from written assignments. These are those rare occasions when a student writes something so compelling it sort of stops me in my tracks, either because the statement is profound, very well written, or downright funny.

I have shared this before here and here. We’ve looked at leadership, funny stuff, and spiritual passion in previous episodes. If you haven’t seen them, check them out – they’re all fast reads.

Today’s collection has a leadership focus, but sounds a clarion call to those who would be president and those who must choose them. Read these carefully and pray for your president – and those who have the task of selecting him or her.


(Note: this first one actually makes the case for why we have party primaries and debates, and uses a Bible story to do it. Enjoy!)

Immediately before the encounter with the Philistine [David] fought a battle which cost him far more thought, prudence, and patience. The word-battle in which he had to engage with his brothers and with king Saul, was a more trying ordeal to him than going forth in the strength of the Lord to smite the uncircumcised boaster. Sometimes a man meets with more trouble from his friends than from his enemies; and when he has learned to overcome the depressing influence of prudent friends, he makes short work of the opposition of avowed adversaries.

-Victoria Saygbay (emphasis mine)


The Watergate Scandal teaches, in great strides, the dangerous consequences of leadership that cradles an ideal of autonomy, a habit of deceit, and the avoidance of accountability.

-Charis Sileo


My Mom used to call me “the little Bolshevik,” because I was always trying to seize power. I was three years old when this started.

– Deborah Simpson


Many leaders are like chameleons, changing the way they act to gain the approval of the group at hand. They seek to have their identity affirmed through success and the applause of men.

–Abby Ferguson


An important thing for a leader to remember is that his followers, in most cases, are not in the position they’re in because they want to follow him. They’re there because of their own ambitions and goals and they see following a certain individual as a means to an end in achieving those goals.

–James Newcomb


We cannot energize or influence people by arrogance or selfish ambitions. [Leadership] is the opportunity to inspire and compel others to greatness.

-Jan Turner


A leader is one who understands this one statement: “Is there not a cause?” You take a cause and then find an individual whose heart, mind, and spirit is fixed upon the details and completion of it, then you have found a leader.

–Ladron Thomas

Cecilia F September 17, 2015 at 2:03 pm

Love it. Thank you for being a heart-provoking professor. Wish I could have heard your lectures in person.


ladron December 10, 2015 at 4:15 pm

Love you man, thank you for allowing God to do what he is doing in your life.

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