Raising Leaders

Are leaders born or are they nurtured?

I believe that talent is a combination of nurture and nature. The old adage that “success is 98% perspiration and 2% inspiration” applies to all creativity, including the talent for leadership. Take, for example, a leader such as Alexander the Great, who was titled as a great leader for posterity. You could say that though he genetically had the right stuff, it was his environment, including his childhood, that honed his leadership skills.

Leadership requires the building of a strong central core. To be a leader, one has to move away from herd consciousness. To do that, he has to have security and strong self-esteem. Then, by strengthening his inner core, a leader has the courage to listen to his inner voice, return to the herd, and lead.

Building security and self-esteem in children

Bonding is everything, and parents who build security and self-esteem through positive interactions with their child from birth through childhood help create an environment in which a child can grow into a leader. A well-bonded child has less stress, less anxiety, more security, processes information better, sticks to problem-solving longer, and ultimately, has good self-esteem.

A child that is secure in his own shoes can listen to his own inner voice. When your child has the capacity to be authentic, he can also then listen to the opinions of others, without the need to dominate. Also, a child with good self-esteem has a good feedback system, evaluating his own behavior, and self-adjusting when necessary.

A secure child can stay calm in the face of a storm and has the courage to take calculated risks. This allows for inner vision and goal-setting – two behaviors essential for leadership.

Be what you want to see
If you want to raise a leader, you must exhibit the very characteristics you wish to see in your child. Characteristics such as optimism, enthusiasm, friendliness, humor, kindness and warmth, are necessary to lead others; allow your child to watch you display those behaviors in everyday situations while at home, the grocery store, the library, or out with friends. These characteristics of successful social interactions are the verbal and non-verbal cues necessary for communication and relationship. Warmth is the tide that binds. Children that learn how to build emotional I.Q. develop great leadership assets, not only from their environment, but from you and your actions.

Being a good parent is really about being a life coach to your child. Through bonding and your social modeling, you are helping your child build some of the greatest assets for leadership.