Today’s Children Are Tomorrow’s Leaders
By Barbara Britt, President B.Britt, LLC,
Motivational Speaker/Human Behavioral Consultant
“To Lead Others, You Must First Lead Yourself”
So at what age do you want to start empowering your child to start leading? If you believe the above quote to be true, then you see the value of starting off life with opportunities for them to lead themselves. Leadership is a learned skill, and the best news is that everyone is capable of learning to lead. Make sure your children have the opportunity to practice leadership every single day in their home, school, in sports and everywhere in between. It is never too early to start this by modeling and giving them opportunities.
“Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.”
~John F. Kennedy~
I like to equate a child’s life to that of the Chinese Bamboo Tree. For five years the bamboo farmer diligently waters and fertilizes what looks like to be barren ground. Never once missing a time to water and feed the plant, the farmer toils on day after day. On the fifth year a sprout appears, and in six short weeks it will grow 90 feet tall. It will be strong and supple, capable of withstanding extreme wind, and climate changes. The tensile strength of plated bamboo cables is as strong as or stronger than a steel cable of the same size. What water and fertilizer are you using every single day from their conception?
“Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality.”
Raise your child to bend but not to break. Be flexible yet firmly rooted. Have you wondered what that bamboo seed was doing for those five years before the first green shoot appeared? It was building its base of support deep and wide. From the onset of birth model the skills and beliefs you want developed in them. Be Humankind or think of it as being a Kind Human. Realize that in order to grow and lead they must value others as well as themselves. They must believe that their foundation is strong and can withstand failures and set backs and will be even stronger because of them. You and they must understand the importance of living this quote. It is never too early for them to see you modeling leadership skills. What foundation are you building so they may stand straight and tall?
“A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.”
~John C. Maxwell~
Teach them to be careful not to underestimate others or themselves based on perceptions of what is weak or strong. Like the bamboo tree they must stand tall, believe in their own strengths, and allow others to build and develop theirs as well. Remind them that no matter where they find themselves today, they have tremendous capabilities to grow and develop. Life is a journey, one they must experience within themselves and then share it with others. To remember that there will be times when they are making progress, but not be able to see it. During these times it is when the greatest growth and personal development may be taking place. How fast or how slow is not our main concern, only that we’re moving forward and planting seeds for others’ growth.
~We all have a Chinese Bamboo Tree inside of us, just waiting to break through. So keep watering, feeding, and believing, and you too will see the strength of leadership grow in your child throughout all their stages of life. ~
THEY MUST SEE YOU MODELING:
*Setting a good Example: Balance between Work, Play, and Family
*Encourage Team Work
*Emphasize Perseverance – Every Challenge is an Opportunity to Learn and Grow
*Develop Negotiating Skills
*Opportunities for Making Decisions (Producing Solutions – Not Problems)
*Seek Opportunities to Speak for Themselves
*Encourage Work Ethics They Initiate
*Development of Project Planning
*Read, Read, Read
REMEMBER. Today’s children are tomorrow’s leaders. Especially if those children have parents, and adults who are not afraid of the Challenge of Leading!
We invite all parents to register their kids for the 4th Annual YOUth LEADership Conference on April 22, from
9 am to 3 pm at the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Emerald Coast in Fort Walton Beach. It is for 7th – 12th graders. See ad in this edition of Conexión.