To Lead Others, You Must First Lead Yourself. ~John Maxwell~
At what age do you want to start empowering your child to start leading? If you believe the above quote to be true, then you see the value of starting off life with opportunities for them to lead themselves. Leadership is a learned skill, and the best news is that everyone is capable of learning to lead. Make sure your children have the opportunity to practice leadership every single day in their home, school, sports; and everywhere in between. It is never too early to start this by modeling and giving them opportunities.
Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other. ~John F. Kennedy~
I like to equate a child’s life to that of the Chinese Bamboo Tree. For five years, the bamboo farmer diligently waters and fertilizes what looks like to be barren ground. Never once missing a time to water and feed the plant the farmer toils on day after day. On the fifth year a sprout appears, and in six short weeks it will grow 90 feet tall. It will be strong and supple, capable of withstanding extreme wind and climate changes. The tensile strength a planted bamboo cable is as strong as or stronger than a steel cable of the same size. What water and fertilizer are you using every single day from their conception?
Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality. ~Warren Bennis~
Raise your child to bend but not to break. Be flexible yet firmly rooted. Have you wondered what that bamboo seed was doing for those five years before the first green shoot appeared? It was building its base of support deep and wide. From the onset of birth, you should be modeling the skills and beliefs you want developed in children. Be Humankind or think of it as being a Kind Human. Realize that in order to grow and lead they must value others as well as themselves. They must believe that their foundation is strong and can withstand failures and setbacks and will be even stronger because of them. You and they must understand the importance of living this quote. It is never too early for them to see you modeling leadership skills. What foundation are you building so they may stand strong and tall.
A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way and shows the way. ~John C. Maxwell~
Teach them to be careful not to underestimate others or themselves based on perceptions of what is weak or strong. Like the bamboo tree they must stand tall, believe in their own strengths, and allow others to build and develop theirs as well. Remind them that no matter where you find yourself today they have tremendous capabilities to grow and develop. Life is a journey one they must experience within themselves and then share it with others. To remember that there will be times when they are making progress and not be able to see it. During these times are when the greatest growth and personal development may be taking place. How fast or how slow is not our main concern, only that we’re moving forward and planting seeds for others’ growth.
~We all have a Chinese Bamboo Tree inside of us, just waiting to break through. So keep watering, feeding,
THEY MUST SEE YOU MODELING:
Today’s Children Are Tomorrow’s Leaders
Especially if those Children have Parents, and Adults who are not Afraid of the Challenge of Leading.
Barbara Britt has a passion for making a difference in the lives of others. She developed the largest leadership program in the country for high school students and spent 16 years working with that program. She is now using that experience and expertise in the corporate world. As a sought after member of John C. Maxwell’s international speaking, training and coaching team, she conducts leadership, personal and professional development training for a variety of organizations. Barbara’s no-nonsense style helps take companies to a new level of growth. As an executive coach to management teams and entrepreneurs, and a life coach to individuals, Barbara helps redefine her client’s purpose, vision and goals. She speaks & trains on many different topics based on individual or company needs. Topics include Personality Work Styles, Excellence in Customer Service, and Power Networking. She also has developed a Roadmap for College Preparation Program that is helping parents and their children prepare financially, academically, and emotionally for one of the most important times in their family’s life.