04/08/2010 10:32

It’s never too early, or late for that matter, to begin teaching kids the basics in leadership.


Most parents remember, belive in, and therefore teach their children, the GOLDEN RULE:

1. “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.”

Not surprisingly, this golden rule is also one of the most important leadership skills for kids. Kids need to appreciate and respect others who may see things differently than they do.

It's important to make your child aware of the fact that not everything is simply black and white - that there are many shades of grey. Kids must realize that each situation isn’t necessarily summed up as right or wrong, perhaps it’s just different that what they are used to.

If you are already teaching the Golden Rule, you’re already off to a great start.

Let’s take a look now at six more top leadership skills for kids:

2. Communication - Encouraging children to effectively communicate with others is a critical part of their leadership development. Make the key point that everyone is given two ears and only one mouth so they might listen twice as much as they speak!

Listening effectively is key to good communication.

3. Collaborate/Teamwork - Working well with others is another highly important skill for kids. Getting more accomplished as a team in less time, rather than simply going it alone, is a key learning for kids.

The social aspects of teamwork are equally important. Children who are shielded or overprotected by parents can be handicapped when it comes down to social situations. Kids must learn firsthand how to get along in the world with a diverse group of opinionated individuals.

4. Negotiation/Compromising - Through the process of working in teams, kids learn the art of give and take. Compromising in certain areas to ensure the task is complete, yet all parties walk away pleased with the outcome, is a leadership skill for kids to master.

The process of compromise and negotiation teaches kids to stay focused on the bigger picture versus only their personal or singular outcome.

5. Planning/Strategic - Taking time for kids to plan a strategy is a great way to empower them and to build their self-esteem.

Given a large task, a child can easily become overwhelmed. However, by showing a child how to break down a task into smaller, bite-sized pieces will build their self confidence and provide them with a clearer vision for success.

6. Vision - A child who can see their outcome clearly is more likely to achieve their vision.

Kids can be taught how to better visualize through reading or listening to the tales of past achievers. Read often to your child.

Introduce your child to a world of successful people through books and movies that provide strong and memorable leadership lessons. Kids who are read to by their parents, and who are made to read from their early years, will greatly benefit in their adult years.

Leaders are readers. And kids who read yearn to learn. They will not only have a better appreciation and love for reading, they will also read faster while committing more information to memory.

7. Persistence/Determination - Provide your child with a strong foundation of personal pride. Kids are too often coddled when they should instead be encouraged to pick themselves up and “shake it off”.

When a child falls while learning to walk, they instinctively cry because the fall was unexpected and the experience scared them. Parents often mistake the cry as a symptom of pain, believing the child may have been injured in the fall.

Kids learn quickly that if they cry, parents provide immediate attention - and kids LOVE lots of attention. More crying equals more attention. This pattern quickly can lead to a vicious circle, which ultimately serves no useful purpose for either the child or the parent.

An important question for parents is, “Who’s leading who?”

Persistence and determination are leadership skills for kids to master if they are to become highly successful in life. Every failure your child experiences should be viewed as one more step toward their future success.

Working through obstacles prepares kids for the true reality waiting for them in the real world. Having the ability, and in fact – the instinct – to PRESS ON, will serve your child well throughout his or her life.

Leadership skills for kids. Parents who teach these important skills provide their children with a tremendous advantage. In contrast, the worst thing a parent can do is in effect, “shackle” their children with low expectations.

Use the exercise in Part 2 of this article to begin teaching leadership skills for kids in your life.


(Go Forward to Part 2)


More Leadership Articles - Leadership Development

» Leadership For Kids – Part 2 of 2
Try this leadership exercise to get your child on the road to leadership. You may already be well on your way to raising a great leader.

» Effective Traits of Leadership
Identifies and provides examples of 16 top leadership traits of outstanding leaders.

» Leadership Training and Coaching
Obtaining a personal coach is an important option being discovered by many of today’s leaders. Learn more about successful coaching.


Leadership Tools & Resources

In addition to teaching leadership skills for kids, we're constantly on the lookout for highly effective leadership tools and resources that we can recommend to our readers. Share your own helpful hints and tips here.











American Children Abroad

Ben and Helena Henderson

Prague, Czech Republic

The Library of Congress Resources for Kids and Families

Log on,  play around,  learn something.


Read.gov  Kids

These reading resources for kids will inspire you to discover new authors, rediscover classic books and even read a story created just for you, called "The Exquisite Corpse Adventure."   Read.gov > Kids

E-learning for Kids

In today’s complex world, children’s futures are determined by their ability to master the basics of reading, science, math and computers.

E-Learning for Kids is dedicated to fun and free learning on the Internet for children ages 5 - 12.






Learn Languages Online

Livemocha is the world's largest online language learning community! 6 million Livemocha members appreciate this simple, effective approach to language learning: the most natural way to learn a language is with help from real native speakers.

Learn about Livemocha method