Many high school students recently solicited ‘leadership’ referrals in pursuit of nomination and acceptance to the National Honor Society. The letter below is an example ‘Reference Request Letter’ based upon the model of leadership observed by today’s youth. We have to ask ourselves, is this the model that we desire for the next generation of leaders? CEEK…a Better Way!
Dear Current Leaders,
I am a high school student from Anywhere, USA. I am applying for membership to the National Honor Society. In addition to academic success and community service contributions, one of the selection criteria is leadership potential.
As a model for leadership and a mentor from afar. I send this letter in hope that you might be willing to submit a reference on my behalf. To assist in your consideration of this request, I offer the following as a summary of just a few of the many valuable leadership lessons that I have learned from your example.
- Create a Vision: You have taught me to dream big. Make big promises. Commit that my vision is the best, no matter what. Convey that my ideas will be great, for everyone. Don’t let details or alternative facts get in the way. Regardless of its merits, the ultimate vision is to ‘win.’ Never forget, losing is for losers. Win at all costs.
- Garner Support: Help others understand that a world without my vision is broken. It’s bad. It’s shameful. And, it’s dangerous – very, very dangerous. My class, my school, my community, my company, my nation and the world will fail without my vision. Leverage fear to motivate. Find an individual or group to blame for current circumstances.
- Motivate Followers: Unify support against those who are to blame. Refer to named opponents with creative and offensive adjectives. Leverage social media to intimidate and insult. Write it…speak it…tweet it. Incite the most ‘base’ instincts of the human conscious to put self-interest above all else. Exploit my power and be relentless.
- Promote Accountability: When I win, inform my classmates, my colleagues, and most of all – my opponents. Make it clear that my success is for their benefit. Exalt thyself and shame the losers. If others report my vision is not fulfilled, retroactively revise the vision. Make it clear that the result is exactly as expected. Declare victory. WIN!
My parents and teachers have espoused the importance of other leadership characteristics such as honesty and integrity. Thanks to your leadership, I now recognize such concepts for what they are. Much like the world wants children to believe in Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny, the world asks young leaders, like myself, to embrace such naïve concepts.
Thank you for opening my eyes. I now understand that the ‘truth’ is declared by the loudest voice, the most ‘likes’, or the greatest ‘views.’ I define truth. No one can tell me I am wrong. Never shall I acknowledge defeat. Apologies are for losers. I am not a loser. I am a winner. I am a leader. I am the future of our nation.
Thank you for serving as a role model to me and my generation. I appreciate your consideration of this request to serve as a reference for my nomination to the National Honor Society.