#033: The Three Essentials of Officer Training

A couple weeks ago I unexpectantly ran into an old friend that I first met back at a student org officer retreat when I was in high school. Our student org would get together with seven neighboring chapters and hold a summer retreat designed to get us ready for the upcoming school year.

After that encounter, I started thinking back to the officer retreats I attended, the ones I work with now, and how they play a part in the overall officer training plan.

I am amazed that the vast majority of student organization’s officer training is… nothing. They don’t do anything to train their officers. They just expect that they either have the skills or figure them out. This is absurd to me but I’ll hold back my rant on this topic for another day.


The next most common component of an officer training is a summer retreat. This is great. I loved those summer officer retreats when I was a student org officer and even now they are my favorite programs to work with. I would take a retreat over a keynote every day of the week.

However, these summer retreats aren’t always effective. They can be major information overload sessions and if all you do is a summer retreat will likely forget much of the information when they actually need it several months down the road.

This podcast episode will help you get the most out of your officer training.


To help design a better officer training I believe there are three main components; Motivation, Team Dynamics, and Processes. Each play a different role and each play an integral part to a high performing officer team.

#032: Three Essential Events to a Promotional Week

February is right around the corner and it is crazy busy month, especially for student orgs. Many student organizations have award applications, scholarships, officer applications, speaking contests, and for organizations like FFA, FCCLA, BPA, or FBLA-PBL their “National Week” falls in this month.

These Weeks are a very important part of the student organization’s calendar. It’s a chance for them to focus a concentrated effort on promoting their organization.

If your student org doesn’t have a designated Week it may be time to start one to help give you a focused effort on recruiting and promoting.

thw week.001


Because by focusing their energy into a specific week like this, these student organizations are able to create a sort of buss about their org and get attention that they otherwise would not be able to even if they did the exact same activities spread out throughout the year.

These Weeks can be made up of a variety of activities or events but there are three that are essential components for to make the biggest impact. I walk you through these on this week’s podcast episode.


Here are the three types of events:

#031: Why You NEED to Keep a Journal

What happened to you is not nearly as important as the meaning you assign to it.

Arguably the most important part of the learning process is reflection. But it is the one piece that is almost universally skipped over. For achievers, like me, we want to get onto the next task, the next goal, the next project and we sacrifice the valuable fruit of reflecting and processing in our rush to the next accomplishment.


We rarely take the time to evaluate and reflect on projects. However, even more important then reflecting on projects is reflecting on our daily lives. Without it we can get caught up in The Drift and start to wander through our lives.

Journalling is an essential habit that allows us to reflect on our daily lives. It allows us to recognize and process the hard learned lessons that we often face. It allows you to get in touch with who you truly are, allowing you to make better connections.
Here are seven benefits of journalling:
  1. Process events
  2. Clarify thoughts
  3. Understand context and connections
  4. Notice feelings
  5. Connect with my emotions
  6. Pull out major lessons
  7. Ask great questions

Journalling has not come easy to me. I have known the value of it for years but have struggled to make it a regular practice. In this week’s podcast I talk about my struggles with journalling and how you can make it a regular part of your life.

How can I create the habit of journalling:

  • Use a template – I use a very simple template when I journal. It helps reduce the friction of not knowing what to write about. Now, when I sit down to journal I just answer the questions in my template.

#030: How to Go From Resolution’s to Actual Change

On January 1st all over the world people made and committed to New Year’s Resolutions. It’s now January 9th and most have already given up on them. Are you one of them?

I hate New Year’s Resolutions. I love the idea of committing to improvement, and as you know am a big believer in growth and development. But the way the majority of people go about setting resolutions sets them up for failure. We focus too much on the outcome and spend no time thinking about the process.

It’s time that we all stop falling prey to the resolution’s mindset and instead create actual change in our lives through habits and The Snowball Effect. 

The Snowball Effect.002

Making massive improvements can be overwhelming. There comes a point when developing any skill or improving on a technique that the amount of time to make an improvement increases exponentially. Often focusing in and spending that time just isn’t worth it. It would be better to broaden your gaze slightly and improve multiple areas by 1%.
Achieving a goal is not some big event, it is a process. One that happens every day in the choices that you make.
Make small little steps every day. It’s the discipline of making the right choices that gives you a compounding effect. It’s the little actions that get the snowball rolling.
Here is how to put The Snowball Effect to work for you:

#029: How You Can Use Gratitude to Lead

I have never met anyone who wasn’t on a search to live a happy life. It seems we all want to be happy. But research has shown that as human beings we are more naturally inclined to look for negatives. A quick mental check of the people you know and the thoughts you routinely have likely has you nodding along in agreement. So how do we fix that?

Do you wish you spent more time finding the positive? Developing the Gratitude Habit can not only help you find more enjoyment in life but it will help you handle the challenges that come along more easily and even make you a better leader. Here’s why…

Brings you happiness – Developing a habit of being grateful will actually make you happier. You will recognize what you have to be thankful for, it will see the reasons for you to be happy. It will soon have you looking for reasons to be happy or ways to can create something to be grateful for each day.

Attracts others – We are naturally attracted to people who are grateful. They are generally more fun to be around. They are happier. They affirm us and let us know when they are grateful for us. What’s not to love about that??

Puts you into a positive mindset – By routinely seeking out things to be grateful for you start to naturally look for ways to be grateful. But it’s more than that… when you face challenges or obstacles your mind will look for ways to solve them. You will become more solution oriented. Handling problems will be easier!

#028: How Your Activity Follows Your Identity with Jeff Goins

Your actions will always follow your thoughts. If you have a goal you want to accomplish you must first see yourself as someone who is capable of accomplishing it. Our guest this week on the podcast knows this first hand.

Presentation 3.002
Jeff Goins always had the dream of being a writer, but for a long time he never saw himself as a writer just someone who writes. One conversation with a friend helped him change that. In this interview, Jeff shares why your activity always follows your identity, lessons he has learned while pursuing his dreams, and how life is found in the in-between.

#027: The Habits of an Effective Student Leader with Paul Moya

Being a student leader is not easy. You are constantly expected to juggle multiple responsibilities in your organization (for some multiple organizations), in school, with family, with friends, in sports, in work, on and on. It can feel like you are being pulled in one hundred different directions. How do you manage it all?


This week’s podcast episode is an interview with successful entrepreneur, speaker, and Gen Y expert Paul Moya. In addition, he served as the President of both the National FFA Organization and the Student Government of Harvard. He shares his insight on how student leaders can manage all their responsibilities and continue to improve in their leadership abilities.

#026: How to Become a Mega Producer with Johnny B Truant

It comes down to hard work. But there is more to it than simply putting in long hours. In fact, simply working long hours might be diluting your work. As a leader, you need to be aware of efficient, and effective your work is. To get to the next level in your life you NEED to be a mega producer.

This week’s podcast episode is an interview with mega producing author Johnny B Truant. Johnny talks about the importance of hard work but more importantly about working smart at the right things. We dive deep into how you can be efficient in your work. Johnny is someone I follow to learn how to be more efficient and productive in my life, and am very excited to have him here on the podcast.

#025: How to Be Now and Give Back with Mark Jewell

Being a great leader who gives value to others starts with one place…you.

You need to put the work in on yourself in order to truly give back to those around you.

This week’s episode is a bit of a gut check for you as a student leader. Mark Jewell is a speaker, trainer, and coach who is spreading his message of Be Now, Give Back. In this interview, he challenges you to get you right in order to help you be present for others and for yourself.



#024: How to Find Your Sweet Spot with Scott Fay

Do you know where your going? Do you know how to get there? Are you following that plan, or do you need to adjust?

I used to play baseball. It was one of my favorite sports in high school. In baseball, there is no better feeling than stepping up to the plate, swinging the bat and BOOM! You connect perfectly. The ball goes flying. You know it’s a great hit just by that special sound it makes.

Have you found your life’s sweet spot?


“When you discover your Sweet Spot life begins to make sense.  And when you live within your Sweet Spot you get extraordinary results with very little effort.” – Scott Fay. 

This week my guest on the Ninja Leaders Podcast is Scott Fay. Scott has a brand new book out designed to help people find their sweet spot in life. Scott is a phenomenal trainer. Works closely with leadership greats like John Maxwell. We talk about his new book and other important leadership lessons he has learned.

In the interview Scott walks us through the three phases of discovering your sweet spot; Build, Design, and Maintenance. Be sure to grab a pen and a notebook for this one.