We interviewed Johnathan Harrell, a college student from Westmont College who is studying Communication and Media Studies. Learn about Johnathan’s off campus experience, how he behaves online, his best leadership tips, and how he inspires other students.
7 Leadership Tips from a College Student Key Takeaways
- Practice NITE communication. N stands for Names, I is Information, T is a tone, and E is for Eye contact.
- Get out of your comfort zone and learn something new. If you’re a sports player, you might not want to get into arts of poetry or ceramics. Try those things out, it can make you more well-rounded person.
- I never post anything that is profane online. I am a brand and I want to sell my brand the best way possible on social media.
How can introverted students learn to network?
I’m the youngest of eight and all of my older siblings would always talk when we had family meetings. I would sit there and I wouldn’t say anything. That transferred into whenever I would go and hang out with friends or when I would go to school, I wouldn’t really talk to anyone. What my mom challenged me to do is every time I left the house, I had to meet five new people. I had to learn their name, what school they went to, and something interesting about them. So I can start to engage with others and get out of my comfort zone of not talking and being by myself. I was around eight years old when she started doing that and she really enforced it. Each person that I didn’t remember I would get grounded for a day. Every day I went out I had a possibility of being grounded for five days.
What is NITE Communication and how can we use it?
I learned it at a basketball camp called Point Guard College. It’s four steps for talking to anyone.
- N stands for Names; saying the name before you give out any information.
- I is Information.
- The T is a tone; like it’s not what you say but how you say it.
- Then E for Eye contact to show that you’re present and you want to engage in conversation.
What does SCHAPE stand for?
SCHAPE has changed my life.
- S stands for spirit and bringing the energy to a positive vibe when you come out to any engagement, always have a positive attitude.
- C is for Communication. Engaging in positive NITE communication with other people and use their names first and show that you’re excited to be there.
- H is for Hustle. Bringing out the heart, determination to get things done, and to move in a well-paced manner. Hustle changes how you view the situation or whatever activity you’re doing.
- Next is P for precision. Precision is unique because there’s accuracy and there’s being precise. Being Accurate is doing exactly what you should be doing 75% of the time and being precise is, 99.9% of the time you’re doing exactly what you should be doing.
- E is Enhancement; always trying to make the environment around you better and improve yourself every day.
Tell us a story about where you were expected to do more than your share and what you did about that?
I’ve had the great opportunity of doing car sales throughout my college career and it’s been life-changing. I worked 47 hours every single week. In those 47 hours, I only got paid commission. I had no results my first two weeks. I started noticing the people around me. They had the same schedule and hours as me. But they were staying an hour late, or coming in an hour early. They were putting in extra time and they realized that when you’re in a higher position you are expected to do more than your share. You’re always expected to do more than just the ten problems in front of you if you really want to get good at something and be impressive. Instead of just doing 15 math multiplication problems you do 30 to get that knowledge. I started doing that, I started showing up an hour and a half early. I would stay there for an extra two hours, two and a half hours after. I started seeing results. I was making more sales. I could have made a full-time job out of it if I really wanted to. Strictly just because I did more than my share, I just put in more hours and put in more time because I realized my worth and what I wanted to become.
My boss would tell me “You don’t leave until the customer leaves”. In that moment I could use my shaping qualities. I can have a bad attitude, stay there and not enjoy it, making the time for me and my customer not enjoyable. Or, I could have a positive attitude and realize that I’m helping the people out in front of me.
What is your favorite quote?
My favorite quote comes from a basketball player named Steve Nash. He says, “I’m uncomfortable being comfortable”. What that meant to him is, when he practices he wouldn’t do a comfortable slow shot, he would speed up his shot until to a point of “uncomfortability”.
What is your advice to kids in high school and middle school?
My challenge to all you high schoolers and middle schoolers is to get out there and try things you’re not used to. If you’re a sports player, you might not want to get into arts of poetry or ceramics. Try those things out, it can make you more well-rounded person. Get out of your comfort zone and learn something new.
How do you behave online and on social media?
I never post anything that is profane. I’m always in a state of recognizing that I am a brand. I want to sell my brand the best way possible. In social media, I’m always there encouraging other people. It helps you connect with many people around the world.