The 25th Future Leaders of York class graduated in May 2014. We're proud to share updates from FLY alumni on how their participation in the program influenced their leadership development.
Meet Nate Caruso, FLY 08
In December 2013, I spoke to the board of Leadership York on what I learned and what I continue to use in my life through their Future Leaders of York program (FLY). FLY is a program for sophomores and juniors in high school to meet business leaders and develop leadership skills. I learned a lot through the program, and continue to use the skills I have learned in all aspects of my life.
The three things that FLY taught me are: who I am, how to lead in unfamiliar situations, and how to be a follower.
Who I Am
I always remember the exercises that highlighted one’s personality. I loved reading about all the traits that described who I am in many situations. I found it fun to learn my strengths, but more importantly, I was able to read about my character weaknesses. I have been able to work to improve my leadership by openly acknowledging my shortfalls, while actively working on my weaknesses and delegating to others who are stronger in those areas.
How To Lead In Unfamiliar Positions
In high school, I exhibited my abilities as a leader, but in organizations (student council, class president, track, and football) that I had been a part of for at least five years. Future Leaders of York helped me practice my leadership skills in situations and organizations with which I had less familiarity. I learned how to tap into my pure leadership skills in these situations. This has helped me walk into situations and assert my role as a leader immediately.
How To Be a Follower
I find this lesson that I learned to be the most important thing I learned in the program. FLY presents a highly unique situation, especially for a high schooler, by placing 30-40 leaders in a room. When entering a situation with a group full of leaders, sometimes the best way to lead is to step back and become a follower. I am able to analyze the times when I need to step forward and lead. At other points, I am able to see when it is best for others to lead, and for me to fill the crucial role of a follower. Two quotes that helped me learn how to be a great follower were “A good leader leads all the time, a great leader allows other to lead” and “You can’t win a war with 40 generals and no soldiers.”
I am happy to have had the Future Leaders experience and can attest to its lasting impact five years down the road. I continue to show my leadership skills and cannot wait to utilize my leadership in the business world.
Future Leaders of York helps high school sophomores and juniors learn to become lifelong, responsible, active participants in their community. The class of 2014 included 37 students, representing 17 York County high schools. Program expenses come out to $1200 per student and tuition covers only 25% of that cost. Please contact us if you are interested in sponsorship or individual giving opportunities to help underwrite this program.
This piece was originally posted on Nate's own blog. Reposted with permission.