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News Education Area youth learn about leading ‘Beyond You’

SiteDart sponsors area students at this year’s Leadercast

With the theme of the 2014 Leadercast being "Beyond You," SiteDart sponsored teens from across WNC and invited them to attend the event, free of charge, to offer them the opportunity to expand the Beyond You mindset into their schools and community.

Beyond You is a heartbeat, a mindset, a critical behavior, an important thread in the fabric of a leader. It’s central to becoming a leader worth following, and that was the message that this year’s Leadercast event conveyed to all who attended.

“We wanted to make sure that future leaders had the chance to hear from some of the greatest inspiring minds of this generation,” said Judy Chapman, manager of Dnet Internet Services and SiteDart Hosting. “The theme of Beyond You was centered around being a leader, not for yourself, but for the people around you, which is a message we thought would resonate well if transmitted into our schools.”

Twenty students in Graham and Macon counties had the opportunity to attend the one-day leadership event and not only hear from the nine world renowned speakers featured during the broadcast, but also had the opportunity to meet and network with local business leaders.

During the first session, students, as well as the crowds of local business, community and civic leaders in attendance at Ruby Cinemas in Franklin, were treated to a broadcast of Andy Stanley and Dr. Henry Cloud, who discusses how individuals can partly leverage their influence for the sake of others, how to use your leadership to make others better, and how you can ensure your impact endures long after you are gone.

After talks from Dr. Cloud and Stanley, the Leadercast heard about the Beyond You lifestyles of world leaders. ArchBishop Desmond Tutu shared his worldly experience as a leader, and was followed by Laura Schroff who shared her simple story about reaching out to a stranger. Both stories resonated well with the youth in attendance.

“My favorite part was being exposed to a variety of leaders from across the world and hearing their personal stories,” said Sarah Knight, a senior from Graham County “I liked that Archbishop Desmond Tutu had such a dynamic personality even though he is such an important person. I think it helped me to see how others view important world issues and how they can make a personal difference. It just takes one person to make a difference in the world.”

“The event has made me think about what I can do myself to make the lives of others better and I was inspired by the meeting,” said Robbinsville freshman, Will Hooper. “My favorite speaker was Laura Schroff. She told a story of how she helped a homeless boy. He was homeless and living in a bad place. She was kind and took her personal time to make his life better. My favorite part was hearing from so many people about their lives and how they felt they had changed their world.”

Both Hooper and Knight are members of their schools’ student council and hope to take what they learned at this year’s Leadercast and imbed it in their everyday school life.

Session three explored the practical attributes that encompass a leader and how they apply to successful service. Former First Lady Laura Bush spoke about the importance of humility and the essence of being a Beyond You leader. Master wordsmith and storyteller Malcolm Gladwell followed Laura Bush and spoke about the generosity and challenges of building a foundation for Beyond You leaders.

With examples of worldly leaders to inspire them, Simon Sinek and Bill McDermott spoke about determining and commanding the significance of the life we lead as individuals to empower and enlighten all those we encounter. The two exuded the thought that being a real leader is not about the impact a leader has or their actions, but instead how their leadership and influence is reflected onto those they meet.

“It was a pleasure being able to host students from around Western North Carolina,” said Chapman. “I hope that they are able to take what they heard and watched and exercise it in their schools. I look forward to the great things they are each destined to do one day.”

Macon Early College Student Noah Miller had specific goals in mind when signing up for the event. “I attended this event to further my potential as a leader and president of the student body of Macon Early College,” said Miller, who is in his fourth year at MEC. “Many of the aspects of leadership that were described provided a new perspective that helped me broaden my horizons as a leader and interpret my responsibilities differently for the good of my community. The concept of a 'Beyond You' leader that works alongside their community, rather than above them, seems like something that everyone should be familiar with. It is obvious after this event that true leadership comes from those who work for the good of others, rather than themselves.”

According to Miller, his favorite speaker was Bill McDermott, Chief Executive Officer and a member of the Executive Board of SAP, a leader in the world's business software market.

“His natural ability of public speaking and charisma became very evident in his speech on making organizations and companies about more than results by placing importance on the community, rather than the statistics. I learned that being a leader is more than providing practical results -- it is about helping your community operate as a team and work together, so that you can achieve practical results.”

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