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How (and Why) You Should Create a Scholarship as a CEO

In today’s job market, prospective employees face stiff competition. Candidates with a strong educational background often have the upper hand. It’s unfortunate then, that the costs of secondary learning can bar talented students from getting the education they deserve. As individuals highly established in their careers, CEOs are in an ideal position to assist those with similar potential. By sponsoring a scholarship, CEOs grant disadvantaged students the same opportunities that they themselves capitalized upon.

 

Scholarships offer support in a variety of ways. As company representatives, CEOs play an active role in the community. Besides demonstrating a company’s commitment to social causes, scholarships can be used to honor local icons known for their dedication to philanthropy, community projects, or any sort of long-term betterment initiative. In fact, memorial scholarships can be established in anyone’s name, including friends, family and loved ones.

In addition, scholarships can serve as means of building a connection between CEOs and promising students. Donors can track students’ achievements as they progress through their studies, opening the door for mentorships and other forms of meaningful interaction. Also important is the fact that many schools rely on private aid for support, and setting up a scholarship is a great way for a CEO to give something tangible back to their alma mater.

Starting a scholarship involves answering several core questions:

 

Who is the target demographic?

Will your scholarship benefit students in a particular area of study, such as the technical fields? Terms of qualification can also be based around general criteria, such as leadership capability. In addition, you’ll have to clarify who is eligible to apply; scholarship programs can be made exclusive to employees’ family members, or residents within a specific location.

 

How will the program be designed/implemented?

You’ll need to determine how many scholarships will be offered per program, as well as whether they will be one-time, or renewable. Also important to work out are application deadlines, a timeline for payment distribution, and how often scholarships are offered. Roles should be designated as to who will create the application template, evaluate submissions, select recipients, and act as a liaison for related questions. Throughout the design process, it’s essential to ensure that your organization has the resources and time to continually coordinate the program and distribute awards. A valid alternative is to hire a third-party scholarship administrator to handle design and distribution.

 

How will the program be funded/budgeted?

When deciding on the value of awards per student, a good general ballpark is anywhere from $1,000 to $5,000. The costs don’t end there, however; you’ll likely also have to pay legal and accounting expenses, as well as fees for printing, mailing, and marketing.

 

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The Best Texts on Leadership (Pt. 2)

Career-critical lessons aren’t learned purely through independent willpower: this is a fact that the greatest of leaders can verify. For them, earning a place at the top meant recognizing that leadership–while it may at times seem insular and isolated–is a process of community. By listening when the time is right and the advice is strong, leadership is performed not as a string of static-minded commands, but a fluid, adaptive act. Familiarizing yourself with the qualities, philosophies, and choices that define the world’s greatest movers and shakers is as easy as exploring these titles, all of which are rich in expertise.

 

Leadership” by James MacGregor-Burns

In a systematic review that spans generations, James Macgregor Burns delves into the factors that separate true leaders–who work with followers to achieve mutual benefit–from what he terms “power wielders:” figures who seize control to facilitate an ego-driven agenda, with no consideration as to how its fulfillment will affect their subjects. To draw this distinction, Burns lays out the paradigm of transactional vs. transforming leaders. While the former swaps value in a cold exchange, i.e. elected politicians promising renewed social services in return for popular support, the latter is propelled by personal morality to serve not themselves, but their followers’ cause–even after they achieve power.

 

Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World” by Adam Grant

All industries thirst for creativity; for those capable of squeezing from their mind the first drops that prophesy a monsoon of innovation. “Originals” is dedicated to illuminating the habits, tendencies and thought patterns that produce original concepts. Grant backs his points with surprising science–such as a study which reveals that some of history’s most original creations, from the Gettysburg Address to the Mona Lisa, were actually the product of procrastination. By highlighting the non-conformist attitudes of modern superachievers like Steve Wozniak, J.J Abrams, Jerry Seinfeld and more, “Originals” demonstrates the end result it encourages in readers: novel thoughts and a unique presentation.

 

The Slight Edge: Secret to a Successful Life” by Jeff Olson

There is a mindset common to all those who win; it’s the “slight edge” that separates achievers from daydreamers. Olson dispels the fantasy of the overnight superstar, and instead focuses on how small, everyday lifestyle changes, such as reading a small amount every day–will compound over time into the skills needed to meet your goals. Olson illustrates how simple, positive changes in how you approach daily tasks can banish toxic habits and guarantee success.

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