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Below is a list of twenty four very important lessons that my group of fourteen high school students learned during Leadership Immersion Day at the LeadAmerica CSLC Business & Entrepreneurship Conference during July 2003. These lessons are in their own words in the order they listed them as recorded later that day on flip chart paper.
1. I learned what it felt like to have to trust someone.
2. I learned how to build rapport.
3. I learn the importance of building relationships.
4. I learned the importance of networking.
5. I learned the importance of having respect for someone.
6. I learned how to communicate better.
7. I learned the importance of communication skills.
8. I learned the importance of teamwork.
9. I learned the importance of understanding culture.
10. I learned that my goals really are possible.
11. I learned that I really can make a difference.
12. I learned the importance of being a team-player.
13. I learned that compromising is important.
14. I learned that diverse groups can work well together.
15. I learned that we really can improve the world.
16. I learned that solutions to large problems must come in small steps.
17. I learned that to reach a goal you must get started on it.
18. I learned that culturally diverse teams have an advantage.
19. I learned that we must be grateful for what we do have.
20. I learned that we should say thanks to those who have helped us get where we are.
21. I learned that we should motivate ourselves to achieve.
22. I learned that we should not judge people before we know their backgrounds.
23. I learned that you should take what you have and work with it.
24. I learned that we are all spoiled, in comparison to the billions of people living in developing countries.
Each one of these is such an important lesson. I was shocked and moved that night writing down everything they shouted out when asked what they learned that day. Perhaps by teaching these lessons to fourteen students at a time we really can make a positive difference in our world.