What Student Leaders Do to Inspire Others to Motivate Themselves

Here’s my philosophy of student leaders. Leaders are stewards of talent.  As such, their charge is to see the best in people and help them be who they are at their best.


There’s a philosophy that suggests that we cannot motivate others; they can only motivate themselves.  What we can do, though, is to see the diamond in the rough and to hold up a mirror to people in our team, reflecting what’s best in them.

Student leaders need to help others  be who they are at their best and the ability to motivate people who are working under you will yield tremendous results.

One way simple way that student leaders can motivate other students is to let them know that the leaders have confidence in the other students abilities.  Leaders must tell the students that they believe in the person and in their ability to bring their best to the table.

This means delegating as appropriate and getting out of their way while they do the work.

Student leaders must also ask for opinions and actually be willing to incorporate their ideas into the processes. Not many things make leaders lose credibility faster than asking for opinions they have no intention of using.

People who feel valued motivate themselves to be at their best. They need much less supervision from you. Tell them “I believe in you.”  “You can do it.”  “You’ve done well before, and you will do well again this time.” “Your best is good enough.”


Hi, I’m Crystal Jonas,

As a former academic advisor and assistant professor at the United States Air Force Academy, I know what it takes to make student leaders more successful, and enjoy school whole lot more.

Ask about speaking or coaching for your students or faculty. Call me at 719- 291-0366.

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