CAN WE ALL BE LEADERS?Is it true that some are born to lead while others are destined to follow? Can we instill leadership skills into all of our children? These are interesting questions to ponder. The first statement is true. Some people are born with the personality traits and gifts that give them the aptitude to lead without trying too hard. It would be a sad and crazy world indeed, though, if we had all leaders and no followers.
You can’t be a leader if nobody is following.
There are those who like to manage or influence other people and those who would rather follow instructions and just do the work. No matter which category a person falls into, it is imperative that we learn the kind of leadership skills that will encourage others to follow AND protect ourselves from blindly following a negative path.
QUALITIES OF A GREAT LEADER* Being a great role model
* Knowing right from wrong
* Making wise choices
* Accepting responsibility for our own actions
* Respecting authority
* Forgiving and motivating others
* Putting others’ needs before our own
* Trusting others
HOW DO WE TEACH OUR KIDS LEADERSHIP QUALITIES?Firstly, we need to realize that leadership is a training process. It is not merely a trait that you have or don’t have that needs some honing up during the teenage years. From infancy children begin to learn right from wrong as parents explain and train their children how to meet their expectations. God has placed in everyone a sense of knowing right from wrong. Isn’t it amazing that we never have to teach children to be bad, but we do have to teach them how to be good! Consistency in training along with praise for getting it right and good modeling develops this quality.
Setting boundaries and issuing consequences guides a child to learn obedience and to respect authority. By crossing the set boundaries, they are making the choice to take the consequences. The parent is merely carrying out the penalty the child knew would occur, thus teaching them to take responsibility for their own actions.
Making wise choices is learned through positive role-modeling by parents, open communication between child and parent and support when negative choices are made - thus alleviating a similar result next time. Not every decision needs pondered thought. It depends on how it will affect them or others. Parents need to explain the kind of steps that will help produce a positive outcome. How important is this choice to me? Is my decision going to affect anyone else? Is this decision going to alter the course of my career or long term goals?
Making wise choices is all about thinking of the consequences before we act. Too many times we make choices by not doing anything or by being sucked into a negative activity without thinking. Effective leaders are not trapped into holding grudges. By forgiving others, we become free to focus clearly on what is ahead. By working as part of a team we learn to trust others. There is no need to clamber for the glory.
We need to instill leadership qualities into the followers as well as the natural leaders from an early age so that our children make a positive imprint on the world around them. The world needs leaders who can inspire others and lead them on to greatness.
Whether a leader or a follower, our job is to be diligent, committed and obedient. We all need to understand that a leader is always answerable to someone higher. That means leaders are also
Written by Sally Burgess, Forefront Families