Leadership at Home
Years ago I heard the following story. A father was reading the newspaper one evening when his young son asked him if he could play a game.
The father who didn’t want to be bothered took a page of the newspaper with a map of the world on it and tore it up in pieces. He told his young son, “take these pieces of the paper and put it back together. When you are done, come back, and then I will play with you.”
After a short period of time the son came back with the paper put back together perfectly. The father was astonished and asked, “how did you do it so quickly?” The young boy said, “”It was easy dad. On the other side of the paper was a picture of a home. I just put the home together and the world fell in place!”
Leadership starts in the home. Parents have an important opportunity to raise their children with love, teach them important values, spend time with them and set an example. By doing so leadership can be taught and modeled.
They can uplift, inspire and encourage children in the home and help them attain the type of confidence they need to be good leaders. Here are three tips to teaching leadership at home.
1. Be involved. Great leaders are able to persevere and overcome challenges and adversity. Childhood is filled with lots of challenges that can teach our children how to overcome obstacles, stay strong in the storm of peer pressure and how to be disciplined.
Staying involved gives parents the opportunity to ask questions and teach principles of leadership in the home
2. Teach values. The best leaders have a core set of values that guide them. Values are a very personal thing, and the home is usually the primary and first place in which they are taught.
In my home we spend at least one dedicated night a week teaching our children what we value. Ultimately they must decide what they value, but as parents we believe it is critical that we guide them.
3. Model leadership. Leaders learn how to be extraordinary leaders from others and have normally had some type of mentor in their life. Parents have an opportunity to serve as such mentors as well in their own home.
In addition to modeling parent leadership, they can involve themselves in the community (e.g. politically, in committees, coaching, church assignments). Growing up my parents always seemed to be volunteering. I learned a lot about leadership by watching them.
I watched them be successful and manage projects, I watched them take personal accountability, I watched them lead with love, I watched them endure difficult situations and so forth and so on.
In a world where a majority of our children have sports icons, reality and Hollywood celebrities, and music and pop stars as role models, it is more critical than ever that children look up to their parents as real role models.
Many of our children’s role models of today often exhibit a lack of accountability, selfishness, false hope of happiness and a disregard for rules and the law. We need leaders who care, are unselfish and good followers.
Here are some questions that parents who lead can ask:
- How involved am I with my children? Do they feel they can come to me and talk to me about their concerns, their worries, their success?
- What am I teaching my children about values? Am I investing the right amount of time?
- What can I do now to set a better example for my children?
I am quite certain that there are a few of you out there that would like to weigh in on this post. Let’s discuss.
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