Psst!: Student Council Interview

One of my sons has an interview this week for an appointed student council position. In our high school, there are elected positions and appointed positions. If I understand correctly, both the student council leaders and teachers have input into this decision. Part of the decision-making process is an interview with a teacher. My son and I were discussing this interview before he went. My son asked me, “What would you say if someone asked you how you will make a difference at [your school]?”

Here is my answer: I would make a difference by being my best self first. I would treat others with kindness and respect. I would dress and groom myself appropriately. I  would honor school rules and show respect to the teachers and administration. I would be honest and virtuous. I would work hard in my academic and extracurricular pursuits to bring honor to my family. Then I when it came time to sit in council with others, I would (try to) be a voice for wisdom, financial prudence, helping out in our community, assisting students in need, making good, fun memories, and leaving a legacy for the next year of students to follow.

The morning of his interview, when I woke up, I thought of King Benjamin. I thought that perhaps sharing those verses in Mosiah 2 might be helpful to my son. Because we were hurrying in order to leave on time, I didn’t have time to go over these verses only with him. So we read v.10-17 for our scripture study time before they all ran out the door. I asked the children to consider what we learn about being a Christlike leader from each verse, and here’s what we found:

A Christlike leader–

  • doesn’t think he is anyone more special than anyone else (v.10);
  • gives their all to their service (all of the capacities God has given to them) (v.11);
  • doesn’t try to profit financially from those they serve (v.12);
  • doesn’t make slaves of those they serve, nor cause them to sin, or in other words, is morally upright and law-abiding themselves and encourage those they lead to be law-abiding and morally upright as well (v.13);
  • should work hard to support themselves personally and not create undue burdens for those they serve, financially (such as heavy taxes) or otherwise (v.14);
  • shouldn’t boast about their service, but serve in such a way that they can have a clear conscience before God (v.15);
  • remembers that when they are serving others, they’re really just serving God (v.17).

King Benjamin was such an awesome leader. These leadership lessons are so applicable in any kind of leadership setting. One of his points of leadership that has helped me try to be a better leader as a mother has been when I have worked on reassigning household jobs or pondered my expectations for children. I have had to consider what is too much for that child in their stage. Am I asking them to do more than is really possible for them to do at this age and stage? I have noticed that undue burdens are not nice for anyone to carry, and that children who have more to do than they are able makes for cranky children, cranky moms, and cranky dads.

I’m praying for my son that day, not necessarily that he will be chosen for Student Council, because that might or might not be the best thing for his life plan. I know he’s in God’s hands. But I’m praying that the things we talked about will sink deep into his heart and that he’ll carry them with him through his life, to bless his life and others’ lives.

Happy Leading,

Liz 🙂

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