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The Echo
Taylor University, Upland, IN
Friday, April 12, 2024
The Echo

10 key lessons from one year as Taylor’s Student Body President

Kenley Blake reflects on ‘life and leadership’

Kenley Blake | Contributor

During the 2022-2023 school year, I have had the privilege of serving as Taylor University’s Student Body President. This role has exceeded all the expectations I held entering this position and has taught me an abundance of valuable lessons about servant-leadership.

I am so thankful for this opportunity and have seen the Lord working in remarkable ways at Taylor through the faculty, staff and student body. Taylor is such a special place and has instilled in students like me priceless leadership experience and spiritual growth.

As my time in this role is quickly coming to an end, I have made a list of 10 of my favorite lessons about life and leadership I’ve learned during my time as SBP. In no particular order, here they are:

1. The best leadership begins with servantship. Leading others in a Spirit-filled way involves putting our own desires aside to ensure the needs of others are being fully met.

2. Investing in relationships with others is one of the most important and fun parts of any job. Cultivating relational leadership is an essential skill to have in order to build trust with your co-workers and make a positive difference in the world.

3. Remember people’s names and smile often.

4. It is important you are taking care of your own whole-person development and well-being (spiritual, physical, emotional, mental). You are not filling others up with your leadership if you are empty.

5. You are never too old to play childish games! It leads to great team bonding and funny memories.

6. Maya Angelou said it best when she stated that people will remember how you made them feel more often than they remember what you said or what you did.

7. Failing doesn’t mean you stop; it means that the Lord is refining you. Pivot and keep moving forward!

8. Good food leads to good conversations. 

9. As a leader, you must have perspective from the balcony and dance floor (read more here).

10. Life is a matrix of grace and truth. You must have both to call people into the good work you’re doing.