Ask Tim

Leaders Have Vision

Executive Director Tim Lawrence has known SkillsUSA as a student member, instructor, industry partner and state director. Got a question? He can help.

Q: You often say that SkillsUSA is a leadership organization. What does it take to be a leader in school, in business and in a community?

Tim: art of the answer to your question is inside this issue of SkillsUSA Champions, where you ll find four powerful stories about leaders. You can follow in their footsteps with a few key attributes: self-awareness, skill and commitment. But there s another innate quality that I believe these and all great leaders possess.

I ve seen it both in the classroom and in the boardroom. If you look closely, you ll see it in all of the great men and women who built America. They all had vision. Robert Greenleaf said, Leaders need to have a sense of the unknowable and be able to see the unseeable. They are not content with the status quo.  Big things can happen when you have a vision for the future, especially when as a leader you engage others in your dream. In this issue, you ll read about a person who had a dream to honor a World War II hero. When the local SkillsUSA members got behind the effort, the vision became a memorial to honor the unifying spirit of every American generation.

Then there s the story of a young SkillsUSA cosmetology student who had a dream to compete. Her vision has surpassed all expectations of her local chapter as she has traveled the world. Also, you ll read about a life changed by a dream of coming to America. And finally, there s an article about an invitation to see the president of the United States. It resulted in part because of the goal of SkillsUSA New York s high school president to visit the White House (SkillsUSA Champions, Winter 2005).

If you re involved in SkillsUSA, it s probably because of the leadership and inspiration of your chapter advisor. You see, each of our advisors also has a dream. It s to provide his or her students with every possible resource to become successful in life. I want you to know that your SkillsUSA organization also has a vision: to empower students to be the leaders of America s skilled workforce.

It s our dream to involve every eligible student and improve every life we touch. I encourage you to learn all you can from the successful leaders of the past and to look toward the future with a vision of what you believe will make a positive difference for others. Do that, and you will be both a leader and a champion. End of story

Got questions about SkillsUSA or other topics? E-mail or send a letter to SkillsUSA / P.O. Box 3000 / Leesburg, VA 20177. Put “Ask Tim” in the subject line or mail address.

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SkillsUSA Champions | Spring 2005 | Volume 39, No. 3
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