Kids and Leadership

In a speech that I will give to middle school kids on the day this was published, part of my focus will be on leadership.  As adults, when we take time to discuss leadership with kids, much can be gained on the part of both the parents and the child.  I plan to give them the secret to being a leader, which I will share in a bit.  First, it is important to encourage kids to step forward, help them with their confidence if they are shy or withdrawn.  Encourage them to take those opportunities to lead teams in the class, various groups that they might be a part of, sports, music, whatever they choose to be involved in.

But How do you know if you are a leader?  What is the secret to being a leader?  Before I reveal the secret,  we need to help kids understand the need for leadership.  The world needs leaders and we want to dispel the myth that in order to be a leader you must be in charge.  When I was younger I certainly believed that and it wasn’t until many years later that I realized that actually, that was a myth.  You can lead from anywhere.  I have a training that I do for companies, businesses and the like for free that is titled, The 5 Myths of Leadership.  If you’re interested in having me facilitate a training with your team or staff, let me know.  For now, the fact that you can lead without actually being in charge is new information for many.

Now, for that secret that I’ve been promising.  How do you know if you are a leader?  The secret to leading is to know that you are a leader if others are following you.  It is that simple.  As John Maxwell says, “Leadership is influence, nothing more, nothing less.”  Do you have to be in charge to influence?  Absolutely not!  When kids realize this, they also realize that their contributions are important, that their thoughts shared with others are leadership and are very important.

Today, take some time to sit with a child and discuss leadership with them.  Find out what they know?  What questions do they have?  Share with them why it is so important.  I think you’ll find their self-esteem raised simply by understanding, “Leadership is influence, nothing more, nothing less.”

Enjoy the day & yours for better parenting.

Rich