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Growing Leaders Blog

on Leading the Next Generation


6 Ambitions to Build into Our Kids this New Year (Part I)

Wow. We’ve launched not only a new year, but a new decade. It’s a time for new beginnings. If you are a parent, teacher, coach, youth worker, or employer, you want the best for the kids you lead as you begin a new year. Let me suggest this list of 6 ambitions I’ve tried to build into my kids over the years that may just be great targets for you to aim for as well. We’ll do Part I today:

1. Know Yourself.
There is nothing more pitiful than an adult still trying to figure out who they are. We must expose kids to environments where they can experiment with who they really are: What do they enjoy doing? When do they feel natural? Where do they flourish and make their best contribution?

“Our worst sins arise out of our innate fear that we are nobody.”

2. Develop Your Gift
Often people spend most of their time working on their weaknesses, and little time sharpening their strengths. The problem is — a weakness won’t grow beyond average. Each kid has a primary, “motivational gift.” We must help them find the “hub” gift around which their other gifts revolve.

“Everyone must discover their strengths — their natural talents, spiritual gifts and acquired skills.”

3. Value People
Along the way, kids must discover that people aren’t a means to an end — they are the end. Adding value to people, and prioritizing them over projects or possessions is a sign of maturity. Teens often value popularity or pleasure. We must help them see the significance of serving people.

“It is only in developing others that we truly succeed.”

I’d like to challenge you to come up with specific trips or experiences you can provide that will enable your kids/students to achieve these goals above. Come join me tomorrow, as we’ll talk over the final 3 virtues I try to build in my kids/students.

My question for you is — What are you doing to hit these first 3 targets?



  1. Joseph on January 3, 2011 at 8:59 am

    thanks tim. this is joseph from Global Leadership Insitute, Nairobi.this is totally on spot. keep up the good work!

    • Tim Elmore on January 3, 2011 at 10:27 pm

      Joseph — Thanks for your comment and encouragement!

  2. Yvonne Green on January 3, 2011 at 8:11 pm

    Adding value is something I enjoy. Its as simple as speaking words of encouragement. With some people its so simple that it is easily missed. In Dr. John C. Maxwell’s book “Everyone Communicates Few Connect” Connecting — is as all about others

    • Tim Elmore on January 3, 2011 at 10:29 pm

      Yvonne — I find adding value to those you’re around is important. I do strive to add value when I am with people wherever I may be. Words of encouragement are a great way to execute this. Thanks for sharing!

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6 Ambitions to Build into Our Kids this New Year (Part I)