Do you really want your child to be a leader? I posed this question a while back; it received a notable response, and it remains one of my most popular posts. Where do we stand as parents in the responsibility of raising leaders? Weigh the question carefully. Consider the contrasts between raising a leader and a star. Do you really want your child to be a leader?
I hope you answered yes, but I will understand if you didn’t. Leadership and popularity rarely go hand in hand, and leadership requires a lot of hard work. For me the answer is simple; I want to raise leaders. I want my children to be prepared for anything, to make a difference, and live a life of purpose.
If you really want to help parent a leader, you need to make three clear commitments.
1) I will educate my child about leadership. Leadership really needs to be taught. It amazes me how many people don’t understand this simple truth. If you want your child to become a leader, surround her with leadership resources. These can be books, audio, video, and so much more. This includes the comments you make about leaders in front of your children. This includes the leadership examples you take within your community, church, school, and work. If you don’t serve a leadership role, your child probably won’t either.
2) I will provide my child with leadership mentors. A mentor is the greatest gift you can ever provide for your child. Mentors can arrive in the fashion of a relative, a coach, a teacher, an advisor, or many other roles, but don’t take it for chance, and don’t assume these people are mentoring. Set it up. Contact someone you admire, or talk with your child about possibilities, and then meet with them and discuss what you are looking to accomplish. I will include a future post about how to do this, but know this: Mentoring Works. A recent study demonstrated that a teen with a mentor is 46% less likely than their peers to start using illegal drugs. For me, sports, Scouting, and my family surrounded me with lots of authentic mentors that provided me with the one on one discussions I truly needed. Mentoring must be one-on-one, consistent, and have a clear purpose.
3) I will encourage opportunities for my child to lead. If you want your child to lead you must allow them to accept leadership roles and encourage them. It may require some extra driving and scheduling responsibilities on your part, and may even create some unwanted drama, but leaders are made during moments of discontent, not harmony. They will not get it right the first time either. They will need to make several attempts at it. With the proper support, education, and mentoring your child will fail their way to becoming a successful leader. Sadly some students finally receive an opportunity to lead, but have not received any education or mentoring about leadership, and fail so badly they vow to never lead again. I understand I need to listen to my child about the types of leadership roles they are interested in, and at other times I will need to encourage possible leadership roles for them.
Leaders make leaders of others, and parenting is one of the most important leadership roles we may ever serve. I hope will join me in raising a leader and give great thought to how you can provide the education, mentoring, and opportunities of leadership for your child. I look forward to reading your comments.
Kelly Croy is a chalk artist and professional speaker.
He has entertained and amazed audiences across the nation including corporations, schools, churches, conferences, and anywhere people come together to be entertained and inspired.
Please consider booking Kelly for your next event.