Podcast #13: Ten Ways We Can Lead Better

Back in February, I wrote the blog, “Three Huge Mistakes We Make Leading Kids…and How to Correct Them”. Today, we are going to discuss ten ideas that you can use to lead better as a parent, educator, or coach. 


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Episode Summary

In today’s society, we are a very engaged group of adults; I believe we are so engaged that we may have created some unintended consequences as a result of our style of leadership. This podcast focuses on ten ideas that I would use, to correct our mistakes that we’ve made as teachers, coaches, and parents.

Idea #1: Don’t Think Control, Think Connect

  • Our natural tendency is to govern our kids actions and decisions. Oftentimes, become control freaks.
  • Control is a myth. Studies show that parents who over-program their child’s schedule often breed kids who rebel as teens.
  • Seek connection with your students, to earn the opportunity to influence.

Idea #2: Stop thinking Inform, think Interpret

  • This is the first generation of kids that do not need adults for access to information
  • Kids have content, without context
  • Provide a balanced perspective
  • “They don’t need us to access information, but to process information” –Len Sweet

Idea #3: Don’t think Entertain, think Equip

  • Adopt the perspective, “How can I equip my young person for the future?
  • Happiness is a by-product, not a pursuit.
  • Move from busying kids for happiness, to enriching kids for fulfillment.

Idea #4: Don’t think do it For them, do it With them

  • “You can do it, we can help” –Home Depot
  • “Healthy and robust self-esteem actually comes from achievement, not merely affirmation.” -APA
  • Don’t do it yourself, transfer the skill.

Idea #5: Don’t think Impose, think Expose

  • Kids have been overwhelmed by options, which we have used to create fences and boundaries.
  • We need to give them opportunities, that they cannot pass up.
  • Create scarcity and ownership.

Idea #6: Don’t think Prescriptive, think Descriptive

  • Encourage your young people to create a goal and reach it.
  • Provide opportunities for young people to own their method.
  • Help develop their ambition and creativity.

Idea #7: Don’t think Protect, Think Prepare

  • Think long-term- “I want to get you ready, for the world that awaits you.”
  • “80% of last year senior college class intends to move home after graduation.” -Baltimore Sun
  • Greatest gift you can give your child is the ability to get along without you.

Idea #8: Don’t think Tell, think Ask

  • Kids are not ready for the freedom to answer questions. We must encourage self-regulation and lead with questions so they can own their journey.
  • When we lead with questions, we force young people to think and choose on their own.

Idea #9: Don’t think Cool, think Real

  • Kids don’t want cool adults, they want you to be real, authentic, and relevant.
  • We need to be self-aware to let kids see what life should look like in their future.

Idea #10: Don’t think Lecture, think Lab

  • In science class, lecture is often the boring part. Lab on the other hand, is more exciting because it is engaging.
  • Kids aren’t looking for a lecture; they want experiences to try out what they know.
  • Don’t transmit an idea, transform a life.

World-wide, psychologists are discovering the down-side of our obsession over kid’s self-esteem, safety, and happiness. Personally, I want to be a leader, teacher, and parent that young people see as someone who has made these corrections; that are doing this Interpret, not Inform, Expose not Impose, and want to Pull along, not Push along…and that is my wish for you as well.

I encourage you to write down these 10 ideas, so that you can really think about changes that you can make to lead your kids better. Focus on 1-2 of these areas, and I am confident you will see growth in your own leadership journey.


Check out Growing Leaders. If you’re new to the podcast or blog, visit our website to learn more about the resources Growing Leaders offers to equip those who lead the next generation.

What topic would you like for us to address on the next episode of the Growing Leaders Podcast? Leave a comment.

Podcast #13: Ten Ways We Can Lead Better