Inside: 5 Great Leadership Qualities Your Children Need To Know.
The word leadership means different things for different people. Some people think of leaders as political men and women such as The President. For others, it’s a 5-Star general commanding their forces. A leader is someone who can bring others together to accomplish a common goal. Someone who sets the direction and goals, maps out the plan and then helps the team achieve the desired results. Good leadership skills enable you to create trust with those around you and have positive results.
I’ve worked for a bunch of companies in my life (more than I would have cared to) and I can attest to the fact that a good leader can make all the difference in your success and the overall success of those around him/her. The best I have worked for always had a goal to train the people under them to one day be able to take over their job as they climb the ladder. They aren’t frightened to surround themselves with good people, instead, they look for good people to help them look better as well.
Good leaders want to be in the pressure situation. As a baseball fan, if it was the bottom of the ninth and The Yankees were down by a run and there was a runner on second base there was only one person I wanted to see at the plate. Derek Jeter. I wanted Jeter at the plate because I knew he flourished in pressure situations. The same goes for a basketball player who wants the ball when they are down by 1 with 20 seconds left in the game. You want the leader who can take the team on their back and carry them to victory.
That’s why it’s so important to start teaching your children at an early age about leadership qualities and what it takes to be a leader in life.
Good communication skills
Children develop communication skills as they grow up. The find ways to better communicate what they’re thinking and want. To help your child develop good communication skills you must talk to them on a regular basis. Ask them how their day went at school or what the best part of their day was. We do this nightly around the dinner table even though my girls are older. Listen to their answers and react accordingly.
A few years back my oldest daughter who was around 16 or 17 at the time had ordered something online and there was an issue with shipping as the product hadn’t arrived yet. She had no idea what to do and couldn’t find an answer online.
I suggested she pick up the phone and call the customer support number. Her response was one of total fear. “That sounds confrontational”. She thought picking up the phone to communicate her concerns was too forward of her instead of thinking about it as a way to get a direct answer.
By teaching your children effective communication skills you are helping them for later in life when they will need to effectively manage situations with teachers, friends, co-workers, Amazon customer service people etc.
Integrity is doing the right thing regardless of circumstances. It’s making a promise and following through on it. The phrase goes something like “integrity is what you do when no one is looking”. Integrity is about your honesty, values, and morals. If you say you’re going to do something then do it!
It’s hard to teach children these days about integrity in leadership when many of the political leaders on both sides of the aisle lack honesty and any semblance of morals. Instead of having your children learn integrity from others, be the role model they need. Be the type of person that your children want to look up to. Don’t do stupid shit around them or they’ll think it’s ok.
Along with integrity comes sportsmanship. Play with your children as often as you can whether it be a sport like soccer or a board game. They will quickly learn the value of sportsmanship and how to take a loss or win graciously. They don’t have to be happy that they lost but they don’t need to cause a scene either.
I’ve played golf with a few parents who never learned the lesson of integrity when they were younger. You can’t tell me you parred the hole when I clearly saw you lose a ball and take about 4 extra swings.
Lead by example for your children.
Confidence for leadership
Leaders are confident yet many adults struggle to have the self-confidence they need to succeed. Building confidence in your children is imperative in order to build our future leaders. It’s natural for parents to want to instill confidence in their children. Confident children believe in themselves and have less fear of new challenges and changes that happen in life.
Part of instilling confidence is spending time with them and playing. If you are committing to playtime be 100% present during that time. Provide your child your full attention and help them to improve where they can. Beating your dad or mom in a game is a huge confidence builder.
Give them chores around the house to do. Completing a task successfully can do a lot to building confidence in your children. Whether it’s setting the table or helping you in the yard let them know how well they did afterward.
Teach them to never give up and provide encouragement. Life can get tough at times so make sure you show them what it’s like to be determined to accomplish something. If your child is having difficulty and wants to give up, help them, and when they complete the task or assignment let them know how well they did and how proud you are of them for sticking it out.
I tell my children all the time when they are fearful, to think back to the time when they accomplished “X”. I tell them to remember how hard they thought it was at that moment but how they made it through. You did it then so there’s no reason you can’t do this.
Strong work ethic
Children typically mimic the work ethic of their parents. If you’re a hard worker and your children see you often working hard then chances are they will also exhibit a strong work ethic.
Great leaders have a strong work ethic so help your children understand what’s it like to put in a hard day of work. To do so I suggest that you start by assigning chores that they need to complete on a daily and weekly basis. Assign each child a set of chores and keep track of their progress. Reward them when they are successful and let them know if they miss the mark.
If you have the type of job that allows you to take your children to work one day, do so. It’s helpful for your children to see you in your office interacting with other members on your team. It’s a little different for me as I work from home so my children see me at my desk before they go to school as well as when they come home.
My children see me putting in a full day of work in my yard on a regular basis laying mulch, gardening, or trimming trees so they are well aware of my strong work ethic and comment on it all the time.
Good leadership makes you feel that you can acheive more each time you try. Leaders teach and provide positivity, encouragement and empower us. If your children are to become good leaders than start slowly by empowering them to make some of their own choices. Simple things like what outfit they plan to wear for the day or what they want to eat for lunch can get them thinking about the importance of their choices.
Have you ever seen a child walking around the mall dressed like a princess or Spiderman and say to yourself “what were those parents thinking”? Those parents will tell you that those clothes were chosen by the child and who cares if they want to dress like Spiderman today. Let them make choices. Of course, if you’re attending a wedding than a superhero costume might not be appropriate but you get the idea.
Empower your children by letting them do what they’re interested in and not what you’re interested in them doing. Do you know how many dance recitals I’ve been to in my life? MANY! I can’t dance if my life depended on it but my girls love it so I go to every recital they have. Show them the respect they deserve and trust them.
Leadership skills can be taught from a very young age. If you follow just a few of the tips above you help to mold the next generation of leaders and prepare them to take on the world.
Do you do anything different to develop leadership qualities in your children? Comment below.