Develop Your Kids Into Leaders: What to Do and When

Psychologists Susan Murphy and Stefanie Johnson in their recently-published review of the “early seeds of leadership,” suggest leadership tasks and skills that can be developed as early as 2 years of age.

Here is what they suggest parents should work on developing at particular ages.

Preschool years (ages 2-5)

Delay of Gratification. This is the early root of emotional intelligence – learning to control desires and learning to wait for rewards.

Communication Skills. At this early age, work on the basics of emotional and nonverbal communication (e.g., reading emotional faces), and on social skills, including using words to influence others and to communicate liking and affection for others.

Elementary school (ages 6-11)

Working in Teams. Coordinating efforts and cooperating with others.

Public Speaking. Ability to express ideas to others (which also develops basic social skills)

Etiquette and Understanding Social Situations.Learning how to act appropriately; basic manners that will pay off both now and later in life.

Early Leadership Tasks. Volunteering as class monitor or teacher’s helper; leading student projects.

Middle school – early adolescence (ages 12-14)

Self-Mangement Skills. Learning to better understand oneself and to critically evaluate oneself; goal-setting.

Leadership Tasks. Coordinating student teams and public speaking in a leadership role.

High school – late adolescence (ages 15-19)

Organizational Skills. Coordinating and leading complex projects. After school and summer jobs help.

Motivational Skills. Learning how to motivate others; delegating and monitoring the work of other team members.

College – young adulthood (ages 19-22)

Establishing Organizations. Starting or leading a school club; founding a grassroots organization

Supervisory Skills. These can often be learned during summer internships or part-time jobs.

Leadership Skills. Focusing on leading multiple constituents and diverse team members.

This comes from an article in a recent special issue of The Leadership Quarterly. In those studies, the early roots of adult leadership are traced back to adolescent and childhood years. The results are fascinating and represent some of the first longitudinal studies of leader development.

Lunch with God

A little boy wanted to meet God! He packed his suitcase with two sets of his dress and some packets of cakes! He started his journey, he walked a long distance and found a park! He was feeling tired, so, he decided to sit in the park and take some refreshment! He opened a packet of cake to eat!

He noticed an old woman sitting nearby, sad with hunger, so he offered her a piece of cake!

She gratefully accepted it with a wide look and smiled at him! Her smile was so pretty that the boy longed to see it again! After sometime he offered her another piece of cake! Again, she accepted it and smiled at him! The boy was delighted!

They sat there all afternoon eating and smiling, but never said a word! While it grew dark, the boy was frightened and he got up to leave but before he had gone more than a few steps, he ran back and gave the woman a hug and she kissed him with her prettiest smile!

Back home, when the boy knocked the door, his mother was surprised by the look of joy on his face!

She asked him, “What did you do today that makes you look so happy?”

He replied, “I had lunch with God!”

Before his mother could respond, he added, “You know what? She’s got the most beautiful smile I’ve ever seen in my life!”

Meanwhile, the old woman, also radiant with joy, returned to her home! Her son was stunned by the look of peace on her face and asked, “Mom, what did you do today that made you so happy?”

She replied, “I ate cakes in the park with God!”

Before her son responded, she added, “You know, he’s much younger than I expected!”

Too often we underestimate the power of;
a touch,
a smile,
a kind word,
a listening ear,
an honest compliment,
the smallest act of caring,
all of which have the potential to turn a life around!

Remember, nobody knows what God looks like! People come into our lives for a reason, for a season or for a lifetime!

Accept all of them equally.. .. ..