Ask students to think of a leader and go around the classroom, having students share their examples. Most students will name a famous person like Oprah Winfrey, Michelle or Barack Obama, Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, Malala, or Justin Trudeau.
Explain that, although it’s true that many of these people are leaders, it also “puts leadership on a pedestal” and makes leadership seem like something beyond students’ reach; something that students cannot do until they have a certain status or power.
Next, ask students to raise their hands if they think of themselves as a leader. Take a moment to observe how many students put their hands up.
Then, ask a follow up question: “How many of you think you have the potential to be a leader at this moment in your life?”. Once again, observe how many students raise their hands. For students who do not raise their hands, ask them to share why they do not think they have the potential to be a leader and lead a brief class discussion in response to their beliefs and opinions.
Conclude the discussion by letting students know that, after watching the video, they will return to this question about leadership potential.
Now, watch the 6-minute TEDx Talk, “Everyday Leadership”, by Drew Dudley.
After the video, return to the earlier question and ask students to raise their hands if they think that they have the potential to be a leader at this moment in their lives. Hopefully every student will now have their hand raised. Make note of difference in students’ beliefs and use the following prompts to wrap-up the activity with a 5-minute discussion:
- Did watching this video change your perception of leadership? How did your perception change?
- Do you agree with Dudley that everyone has the potential to be a leader in their everyday life? Why or why not?
- Have you ever been on the receiving end of what Dudley calls a “lollipop moment” (i.e. has someone ever done a small deed for you that changed your life)? If so, have you said “thank you” to that person for what they did?
- Do you think that learning about “lollipop moments” will change the way you interact with others? Is so, how will it change your interactions?
- After watching the video, would you like to add anyone to the list of leaders that we made at the beginning of this class?