Creative Child

Raising a Leader

by Winita Frederick on Aug 25th, 2016

When we think of leaders, we imagine the CEO of a startup gliding across a stage as she unveils the latest tech revolution, or the President of the United States standing tall as he dictates a State of the Union Address. From a distance, a leaders’ path to success looks epic and unlikely. But all leaders begin somewhere—whether it’s fiddling with circuit boards in the garage or fundraising for the debate team. Start raising a leader by challenging your child to organize a club or community activity based around their passions.

 

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Vision, grit, and cooperation are all crucial to raising a leader. If your child is never challenged to see things from another person’s perspective or to better develop their communication skills, they will never be an effective leader (and they may struggle to make friends). Of course there are upsides to raising a strong-willed child, but cooperation is a valuable skill for even the strongest leader.

One of the easiest and most rewarding ways to build these leadership skills is to start a club or team. It can be about anything! When I was in school, we had everything from traditional community service organizations like Key Club and honor societies to goofier ones like Harry Potter or Clown College Club. While those last two might seem superfluous in comparison to the former, who knows. Maybe they will lead your child into a career as a novelist or a charismatic entertainer.

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There’s a great list of after school club ideas here to help you brainstorm with your child. If your kid already has a clearly defined passion, ask if they’d like to share it with others. If they're not sure yet, try our tips for helping your child find their passion.

Regardless of where the club activity takes them in future careers, building on an already existing strength will yield greater success than forcing them into an activity in which they have no interest. If the passion is there, they can then specialize their interest in positions like club treasurer, secretary, or president. Even if they’re not actually in control of any consequential decisions, it will instill a sense of pride in working with others to accomplish goals and the self-esteem necessary to lead in the real world.

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