Below is an adapted piece from a talk I gave this morning on leadership for grade school students but I think that we can all learn a little from this topic…
Robby Novak is a third-grader. So if you are in 3rd grade raise your hand? Okay good. If you’ve ever been in 3rd grade raise your hand? If you are going to be in 3rd grade one day, raise your hand? Okay well then we all have at least one thing in common with Robby.
Robby perhaps is better known as Kid President. Robby has become somewhat of an Internet sensation, meaning he has become quite popular from his videos that he has posted online. Robby, or Kid President as many know him, suffers from a disease called osteogenesis imperfecta, this disease makes his bones brittle – meaning they break very easily- and he is often injured. That sounds like it could be really hard to deal with right?
But Robby Novak doesn’t let that get him down. He’s a leader. Now some people when they think of leadership may get confused about what it means to be a true leader. We often think of people that are older then them, people that have gone to school longer, that have more degrees, or better jobs. I don’t think that leadership is about that all. And my guess is you don’t either, if you really think about it.
Well besides the fact that I really like his videos and find them entertaining and quite funny there are some key reasons that I think Kid President is a leader. While I think there are many things that make him a leader I’m going to focus specifically on 3 things today.
The first of these three things is his positivity. As I mentioned before Robby has a disease that he has suffered from since birth. He has had over 70 broken bones and 13 surgeries and has steel rods in both of legs. Robbi and his sister Lexi both have brittle bone disease and they were adopted nine years ago and his positivity inspired his brother-in-law to video him because he saw the leadership qualities that Robby had. Robby has had a choice in his life. He can sit home and feel bad for himself or complain about his situation. Or he can go out and use the gifts he has been given. He chose to share his gifts. That’s true leadership-both recognizing your own gifts and then going out and sharing them.
The second quality that makes Kid President a true leader is that he inspires people. To be a great leader you need to be an inspiration. Robby started making these videos with his brother-in-law and his one video named “A Pep Talk from Kid President,” has been a major inspiration to many people, myself included. It’s been viewed over 12 million times on the internet. The video is basically telling everyone that we all have great potential, we can all be leaders, it’s our job to find a way.
The final quality that I think makes Kid President a good leader is that he cares about others. It’s easy to worry about ourselves first, right. We know ourselves best. We spend the most time with ourselves. We understand our own needs and wants. It’s hard to think about others before us sometimes. But we know that there are a lot of people who need us to think about htem. Whether it’s a classmate who is lonely or having a rough day, or a service-learning partner on our site visit. When we think about others and more importantly when we do things to make others lives easier or more enjoyable we are being a leader. Kid President in his videos often draws attention to a major need like donating so that children can have lunches in the summer who otherwise only have lunch in school or participating in huge sock drive for homeless people in October. Kid President could easily worry about just himself but instead he worries about others. That’s what leaders do.
So today as we go about our regular activities let us remember positivity, inspiration, and care for others and every once in a while check in to see how you’re doing with them. Because whether you know it or not. We are each leaders and there are always people looking up to us, little sisters, brothers, friends, and even teachers remember you don’t have to only lead people who are younger than you. Live in a way that you are being the best leader you can, I bet it will make you happy in a new way. I sure think Kid President seems pretty happy. I think that has a lot to do with the fact that when we are kind and loving and being the best people we can we find goodness and happiness right there. So whomever you are, wherever you are, know that you are called to be a leader somewhere, some way. It’s your job to figure out how and where.