PMP159: Engaging Students in Shaping Their Own Stories with Jesse Haynes

Jesse Haynes is one of those rare people you meet in life who has dared to make his dreams come true.

Photo by VooDoo Works – Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License

He is a recent graduate from the University of Tulsa who has reached audacious personal goals, published multiple books, and created podcasts with millions of downloads – just while in high school and college.

In this week’s podcast episode, Jesse shares some of his own story as a high school student with a dream to publish his first book.

Since then he has signed a book-deal for four upcoming novels, he has published his own podcasts, and he’s finished his first college degree in media studies. 

Schools are full of young people, like Jesse, who have untapped creative ideas. How do we give them the support and point them to the resources they need to take risks? Jesse shares the challenges he’s faced in becoming a published author, the rejections and struggles along the way, and then the practical steps he has taken to move forward and reach goals.

Free Resource for Leaders

Jesse also shares an excellent resource for any growing leader (or leader of leaders) in his latest free-ebook, Leaderphors, where he provides the essentials for a mindset of leadership. In addition, he shares practical group exercises and questions so others can immediately explore, discuss and apply the lessons learned in six areas:

  1. Leaders Build Bridges – When you see a goal to be reached, you can either perceive the end as unattainable or takes steps to reach your destination.
  2. Leaders Sow Seeds – Just a farmer sows and grows plants, the small steps and actions you take are what create bigger results later.
  3. Leaders Score Points – Every situation provides you with the opportunity to take risks. When you take risks, you have the potential to “score points” and build momentum toward your goals.
  4. Leaders Stay Connected – Relationships matter. Never underestimate the power of those people around you to help you achieve goals.
  5. Leaders Quilt – Leaders involves looking for the odd or unique attributes in others that can lead to their success; it also involves helping others take incremental steps “patched together” to turn ideas into creative outcomes.
  6. Leaders Fall – Taking risks means you will fail and succeed. You cannot have one without the other so embrace the fact that you’ll skin your knees along the way.

You can check out his “Leaderphors” publication to share with your teachers or student leadership groups. It also includes lesson and hands-on actives for group discussions with students on each leadership metaphor. 

In our podcast conversation, Jesse also unpacks the processes he has followed to tackle big projects: the steps he takes when writing books or creating podcasts. Most importantly, he shares thoughts for school leaders who want to encourage students to reach big goals.

Listen in to this week’s entire podcast episode and be inspired!

If you want to connect with his free ebook here or find more resources at his website. Connect with Jesse via Twitter @realjessehaynes.

Let’s Wrap This Up

When I asked Jesse for a parting word of advice for principals, he said, “Never count out a student. Sometimes it’s the quietest kid in class — lean into those moments, listen to them, embrace them, and help students be creative.”

Now It’s Your Turn

This generation of students has access to more opportunities than ever before. What’s one step you can take to encourage students to take risks with their creative ideas? How can you incorporate creative expressions like publishing, podcasting, or video creation for students to communicate lessons learned?

Sign-Up For Free Updates and Ebook

You can automatically receive my newest posts and a free Ebook, 8 Hats: Essential Roles for School Leaders. Let’s keep learning together!

Think someone else would benefit from this episode?
William D. Parker
William D. Parker