Our oldest grandson is very shy. While he will respond to your questions, he won’t start a conversation. His passions are math and video games.During one of our visits I watched him interact with his peers and I wondered; could a shy teenager be a leader?
When we arrived home, our oldest grandson went to his room to do his homework and I went to the kitchen to start dinner. His two brothers began their homework at the kitchen table. As I prepared our meal, my thoughts drifted back to my oldest grandson. I wasn’t sure if my brilliant but shy, teenaged grandson was a leader.
Several questions were rolling around in my mind…
For example, what does youth leadership look like? Where do young people learn leadership skills? What tools do young people need to be effective leaders? As a leadership coach, my goal is to help others reach their leadership potential, but how could I help our grandson?
By the time I finished preparing dinner, I had mapped out an action plan to assist our grandson. Of course I was excited and I couldn’t wait to share my plan with him. As I headed upstairs, I anticipated our grandson would also be excited. Why? Because Grandmother was going to save the day!
Unfortunately, things did not go as I had planned. As I stood outside our grandson’s room, I watched him direct his on-line friends to complete their video game mission. He spoke with confidence as he moved the players through the game, like chess pieces on a board. I just stood there in amazement. Standing at his door, I realized our brilliant but shy grandson was a leader!
So how can you help your child develop into a leader? According to Dr. John Maxwell, here are four practical tools and ideas every young leader needs to be successful:
- Standing up to be counted
- Developing a positive self-image
- Developing strong personal character
- Learning to fail forward to success
Young people are facing many challenges today. Bullying, low self-image and poor choices are just a few. These challenges adversely impact personal character, making leadership a daunting challenge for many young people.
However, today’s youth want to be leaders. They are seeking resources and opportunities to grow and develop.
Tell me, how are you helping your child grow and develop into a leader?
Kim D. Moore
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