A critical task for parents, coaches and teachers is to nurture leadership qualities in kids. Yep, all of them—the “super kids” and the “slacker” kids. I’m suggesting we help them see themselves as leaders. I made a discovery over the last thirty years. I have found when I cast vision to them to be a leader; when I furnish them with a leadership perspective—they begin to realize the potential that is inside of them.
Consider this. There are two kinds of leaders in the world, and every one of our kids fit into one of these two kinds. They are either HABITUAL leaders or SITUATIONAL leaders. Habitual leaders are the ones who lead out of habit. They’re the kids who take over the kickball game at recess. Whatever group they are in, they tend to take charge. I believe they represent about 10-15% of the population. The rest of our children are situational leaders. These are the kids that assume they’re not really leaders at all. However, when you put them in the right situation—one that matches their gifts, passions and strengths—they know what to do. They seem to have intuition about that area. They are comfortable and confident. And they have influence. I believe we must help our children find their situation—the area where they gifted to have influence. In fact, our role is to enable kids to discover their optimal:
- Situation – The environment where they feel most at home and intuitive.
- Strength – The environment where they can use their primary gifts.
- Style – The environment where they can serve in a manner that fits them.
- Subject – The environment where the issues matter to them.
As coaches, teachers and parents, let’s guide kids to find the environment where their leadership can qualities can flourish!
For more ideas on this topic, check out Nurturing the Leader Within Your Child.