Developing Leadership in Kids

By | January 13, 2020

[January 13, 2020]  A few nights ago, I had an interesting conversation with a young man about his philosophy on raising kids.  Below is part of the conversation (as best as I can remember it) that is at the heart what he thinks best for his children.  I liked Bob M’s story1 enough that the ideas he expressed are worth retelling here on my blog.

Sitting down at our Thursday night Boy Scout meeting, Bob began by telling me about his 7-year-old son, Bobby.  It turns out that Bob M. was called to the school to discuss a discipline problem that involved Bobby and some of Bobby’s friends.  They were throwing rocks at passing cars and were caught red-handed.

Bob M. – “I as called to the school because Bobby had gotten into some trouble.  Bobby, unlike me, has no filter.  I only wish I was that way; no inhibitions or regrets.  I took time off work and drove to the Elementary School.  Upon arrival, the school Principle sat me down and said that Bobby and six other kids in his class were throwing rocks at passing vehicles.  When caught, they all admitted to the rock-throwing incident.”

I will assume for the moment that anyone with boys has likely been called to the school for some problem with them at one time or another.  Usually, it’s a fight that got out of control, a broken window, pulling a girl’s hair, and so on.  Our first response often is something about how we’ll take care of it and we will make sure it never happens again.  Once home, we lecture our kids about behaving correctly.  That’s not what occurred in Bobby’s case.

Bob M. – “I asked the principal if there was one of the boys who was the ringleader of this group.  He said, ‘yes, there was.’  I asked if it were Bobby.  Again, he said, ‘yes.’  Good, I said, I’m raising my boys to be independent, thinkers, and leaders.  Bobby was a leader and for that, I’m proud of him.  Knowing my son Bobby, he needs his energy focused in a specific direction and when left alone, he might come up with the idea that doesn’t sit well with the rest of us.”

When Bob M. told me this, I cracked a big smile because, I thought, this man is definitely on the right track with his kids.  He’s teaching the value of leading and the methods that work best.  The school Principle must have sat there stunned for a moment before she had a mental conniption.  Such behavior runs directly counter to what schools are taught how to control their pupils.

Bob M. – “I’m proud of Bobby because he showed that he was able to lead others in an activity that required guts.  Despite being wrong about his actions, he still did what I told him to do.  He’s learning, and that’s great.  Bobby and I discussed the rock-throwing and I explained the destructive results.  He understood and said he wouldn’t do it again.  Bobby was happy that I wasn’t mad at him, unlike the school Principle who was very upset.  Bobby’s a good boy and he will be able to take control of situations in the future that the majority of the kids around him will run away from.”

I’ve met Bobby, who usually sits in the backseat of their truck next to his sister.  He’s a little guy with a big smile.  Someday we’ll be hearing more about Bobby and the great things he’s done in life.  I look forward to that time.


  1. Tell a story, and people will listen; give them a bunch of facts, and they will run away. Good stories are worth telling.  Here is one I think you will like.
Author: Douglas R. Satterfield

Hello. I'm Doug and I provide at least one article everyday on some leadership topic. I welcome comments and also guests who would like to write an article. Thanks for reading my blog.

19 thoughts on “Developing Leadership in Kids

  1. Joe Omerrod

    Excellent subject today, Gen. Satterfield and I will emphasize that it is more important than most of us think. For example, 75% of kids today cannot join the US military. The reasons? They are overweight, in trouble with the law, or are too dumb. Where are the parents in these cases? It’s a national security problem because the military has a hard time getting good young people in their ranks.

    1. KenFBrown

      Joe, I never thought of it that way and WOW, I never knew that so many were ineligible to join.

    1. Willie Shrumburger

      Thanks Walter for the reminder. It does take a community to help raise kids but the assumption is that the community is a good place. I’ve seen so-called ‘communities’ that are a destructive force in and of itself. Just go look into most poor neighborhoods in cities like Chicago, LA, NYC, etc. These are horrible and very dangerous places to walk even in the daylight. The kids are being destroyed.

      1. Shawn C. Stolarz

        Good points Willie and we all appreciate your comments today. These cities all have something in common. They are all run by the Democratic Party without any competition. That says a lot about the socialists that are thriving in big cities by promising everything and delivering nothing.

  2. Valkerie

    Another great article, General Satterfield and this time on kids and their parents.

  3. Eva Easterbrook

    Bob M. is a smart guy in my book. Looks like he’s raising his kids properly and with a streak of independence. My kids were taught how to mow the grass, wash their clothes, fix a meal, write a check and balance a checkbook, and a number of common skills that most people can no longer accomplish without outside help. Good for Bob M. ?

  4. Dennis Mathes

    There is a whole sub-field in psychology about children. Child psychology, it’s called. I read a lot about it when in college and had to take some electives (my friends said the courses were easy and had a bunch of good looking girls in the classes). Any way, I digress. I never read anything about kids leading kids. Some professors, huh!

    1. Tom Bushmaster

      An entire area left out of an area of study that is supposed to focus on it. I’m not surprised any more about what formal education does NOT do properly.

    2. Mikka Solarno

      Yes, I agree, no surprise. I think this “gap” is done on purpose. They want kids to remain non-thinkers and dependent upon the academic elite. That way, they can brainwash them later.

      1. Georgie B.

        You might be onto something, Mikka with your comment about a “gap.” This lack of study of a specific and significant part of growing up is not addressed at all or not very well. Children are leaders in their own right. Just watch a playground of young children and watch how it works. You will be amazed.

  5. Army Captain

    Very good. If only — if only more young adults had this type of raising from his parents, we would have a better world.

    1. Max Foster

      This is so true! Too many young parents do a poor job of raising their kids. It looks like they disrespect their kids all the time and that is where the kids learn that disrespect is the way to “get ahead.” I see it especially in the black community but less so in the Asian community. Look at the difference in academic achievement between the two and there is a disparity there that cannot be ignored.

      1. Harry Donner

        Spot-on comment, Max. As usual, you’ve drilled down into the heart of the argument. Parents generally do a poor job of bringing up their children today. In the past, parents were mentored by others in the community but not today. They are too self-absorbed and self-centered.

    2. Yusaf from Texas

      Well said, thanks. But always remember that taking care of your children and raising them properly is a full time job.

  6. Len Jakosky

    Ha Ha Ha…. I’m sure the school principal’s head was nearly spinning off.

    1. Nick Lighthouse

      Yes, it was a good read. I can just see the school’s principal going nuts on this issue. It is clear to me that primary schools today are run by idealists who never seem to see beyond their liberal ideology. Such a real world doesn’t exist in their brain.

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