Speaking, Training, Creating.
HOUSTON KRAFT DOESN'T JUST GIVE SPEECHES - HE CREATES OPPORTUNITIES FOR CHANGE.
A natural to the stage, Houston has a background in leadership, facilitation, experiential education, theater, and improv. He loves connecting with people on and off the microphone through real conversations and relevant programs of all shapes and sizes. No cheesy one-liners or acronyms - Houston believes in telling simple, genuine stories that relate with people of all ages.
Most importantly, Houston isn’t just a speaker - he is a creator and a do-er. He is constantly developing tools and resources to help make his message last more than just a few days. He knows that a message or an inspirational story may create positive feelings that temporarily shift a culture - but we all need reminders and tools to PRACTICE making ourselves and our community the best place it can be. Houston doesn’t just talk about Kindness - he creates it in his communities and works to be an advocate nationwide. It’s more than just motivation - Houston is about creating real, sustainable change.
“CHOOSE LOVE” - KEYNOTE
Sometimes we get so caught up with WHAT we are doing that we forget about HOW and WHY we are doing it in the first place. Leadership is filled with activities and events and to-do lists, but at its core, being a leader is about building meaningful relationships with the people around you. It’s about practicing unconditional and intentional love with every person at your school to make them feel like they are important and that they belong in your building. Love is a beautiful concept, but as Haddaway once asked - “What is Love?” It’s a great question - but the answer is even better.
"JUMP HIGHER" - Parent/Teacher Workshop
Kids need thoughtful, passionate, honest role models in their life. They are also ready and desperate for authentic, challenging conversations that force them to think and to grow. One of the most important conversations I’ve discovered they are craving is how to be better people - and not just all the nice words and virtues and values they are supposed to have - but practical ways to exercise those things and someone who will hold them accountable to growth. They all want to BE good - but not all of them know what it looks like to DO good in a consistent, practical way. Let’s talk about creating powerful expectations for young people and help them not only be competent in math and science and reading, but competent in compassion and character as well.
“MAKING KINDNESS NORMAL” - KEYNOTE
Why don’t we show up to our school everyday looking for opportunities to take care of each other? Why is it that people come to our campus every day and feel unimportant, unnoticed, or invisible? Why are we, sometimes, so cruel to each other? One of the most under-talked about things in our life is fear and the role it plays in shaping the way we treat ourselves or other people. Sometimes, fear protects us. Other times, it prevents us from connecting with each other. And, far too often, it disconnects us from compassion and causes us to say or do some really hurtful things. Fear is a really powerful feeling, but just because we FEEL afraid doesn’t mean we have to live our lives SCARED. Fear is a feeling, but Kindness and compassion is a choice - a choice we are capable of making even when we are uncomfortable, terrified, or hurt. And, sometimes, all it takes is one powerful, kind, courageous choice to change an entire community or culture.
LEADERSHIP WORKSHOP OVERVIEW
The most successful teachers, students, and leaders are the one’s who people TRUST. We build trust by being consistent in our everyday, small actions. So many student leaders get so focused on their personality and putting on the “leadership show” that they forget that real change happens when we build our character. It’s easy to be a “popular” leader - it’s much harder to be a person who changes the culture around them by doing “unpopular” things. When we work hard to practice consistent, intentional acts of kindness, compassion, empathy, and love, then we not only make ourselves better people, but we enrich the community that we are practicing in. People see us as a person worth following and, along the way, we give permission for others to practice scary, counter-culture things like Love because we do them first. Building meaningful relationships and influence with the people around you is at the core of what it means to be a leader.
"willing to dancE" - Advisor Workshop
We ask our student leaders to do scary things. In order to create a difference in their school, they must dare to be different themselves. This opens them up to all kinds of terrifying opportunities for failure, judgement, and rejection. But the rewards are incredible - they are enriching the lives of the students around them and, along the way, learning how to practice compassion and love. You are offering them skills they will use for the rest of their lives - we just have to help them show up to the gym and practice them even when it’s uncool, uncomfortable, or inconvenient.
“DON’T POOP IN THE POOL” - SOCIAL MEDIA WORKSHOP
We all want attention - when I was 4 I pooped in the pool so my dad would be forced to pay his full attention my way. It is a fundamental human need - to feel recognized and heard and seen. And sometimes we do really weird things to get it (pool pooping included). Social Media has created a whole new stage for people to get attention - 24/7 across countless platforms. And, unfortunately, we are taught through our culture that drama and negativity are the most effective ways to gain that attention (think Reality TV). But, we also have an opportunity to shape our online culture to a be a more positive one - we can create Positive Drama and generate attention through authenticity, humor, kindness, and joy. Most importantly, as we create our online identity we may realize that it shapes our offline identity, too.
CHOOSE LOVE MOVEMENT FULL DAY EXPERIENCE
Sometimes a keynote or a small group workshop doesn’t cut it. Are you interested in taking a cross section of the school and taking them through a powerful AND practical experience to create more empathy, compassion, and community on your campus? Do you want your 9th grade class to have a common experience that helps them understand what it means to be a positive, empowered, loving person at your school? The Choose Love Movement is a full or half day experience that creates advocates of change in your building and helps students, staff, and community members get hands on with the message to create lasting, experiential change.