News Herald – Juliann Talkington
Great leaders communicate effectively, have confidence, inspire others, are ethical and honest, have the ability to delegate, and are creative and intuitive.
There is much debate about whether leaders are born or made. Some people believe children enter the world with the natural ability to lead. Others think anyone can be trained to become a good leader.
The real answer is probably somewhere in between. The brain is a biologic computer that has the ability to customize itself based on exposure and experience. If signals are sent between brains cells, the connections become hard-wired. If signals are not sent, the connections are discarded. Most the hard wiring/discarding is complete by the onset of puberty.
As a result, it is imperative that children have opportunities to develop critical leadership skills early in life. This does not mean we need to have three-year olds leading projects. Instead we need to provide our children with opportunities to gradually build skills.
Parents handle most communication for their children. They talk with school administrators about the behavior of other children rather than teaching their children how to deal with offensive behavior. They network to make sure their children have the best positions on sports teams, etc. Although these actions may address immediate issues, they do little to teach children how to effectively communicate with others. Instead parents should encourage their kids to communicate on their own.
Children build confidence when they master challenging tasks. Rather than worrying that a task is too difficult, parents should encourage their children to take on a wide variety of tasks and “coach” rather than “do”.
Kids need confidence and strong communication skills to inspire others.
Honesty and Ethics
Honesty and ethics should be taught at home and reinforced at school.
Ability to delegate
The first step in delegation is sharing. Young children need to be encouraged to share projects with their peers and with children who are younger and older than they are.
Children need to understand that there are many ways to solve problems. Although this skill can be taught at home, it is wise to make sure the school your children attend offers a cross-discipline creativity curriculum every year in elementary and middle school.
Intuition comes with exposure. As a result, it is important to expose your child to as many things as possible.
So step back, encourage, and coach and your children will be prepared to lead.