Leaders of Tomorrow
Youngsters of today will be the leaders of tomorrow. Because of this, leadership training literally takes a lifetime. A good leader is always willing to learn and adjust his or her strategies and points of view based on solid evidence that something or someone might react differently if a new or unique approach is introduced.
If you are fortunate enough to have a child that is a born leader, you will have the ongoing task of assisting him or her in carrying out their organizational plans. Whether your child has been voted president (or other office) of the band club, the Spanish club, or the drama club, your responsibility as a parent is to work beside them, wherever you are needed.
Leadership training starts at home.
Do not teach your child that in order to be the leader, they must be the best. In many instances, leaders are not the best at what they do or know; they are the people who know how to get things done. Leadership training involves delegation, planning, organizing, and guiding in a way that is not humiliating, degrading, or otherwise harmful to the morale of other people on the team.
Children who are to be guided in the skills of leadership training have already proven their abilities to some extent to parents and teachers. It is the task of professionals to understand and assist them to ensure their attempts at leadership become bigger and bolder as they grow and mature.
Wanting to be the leader does not make someone qualified to lead.
Being the best skater does not make a hockey player eligible to be leader of the hockey team. The player that shows compassion toward challenged skaters, or who takes a few minutes to help a younger player adjust his equipment or practice hitting the puck, is a child who is showing evidence of leadership training; as does a student who rescues a child from ridicule or teasing. A student that others flock to and crowd around may be lucky enough to have some experience with leadership training by the adults in his or her life.
When your child is in high school (or middle school), suggest they start taking a stand about an issue (or issues) they feel strongly for or against. While many will choose not to do so because they don’t want the attention or responsibility—and some will actually argue that they don’t feel strongly about anything—you’ll see them become passionate at the least likely moment. It is not necessary that they act on that passion—knowing it’s there is enough.
Once the child leaves home and attends college, starts getting involved in extracurricular activities and entertaining him or herself away from home, is where and when all their leadership training experience may first start to emerge. Watch—your young leader may become Mayor or Congressman (or leader of the Hell’s Angels Motorcycle Club).