Turning Kids into Leaders

By | April 11, 2016

[April 11, 2016]  The traditional mission of formal education is to make kids smarter, better citizens, and more successful in life.  Turning kids into leaders, however, is a fairly new attempt to do just that … and more.  Teaching, mentoring, and coaching kids about leadership is beginning to show positive results and that is good for all of us because they will be our leaders tomorrow.

Fortunately there has been a lot of effort put into studying the effects of pre-adult leadership projects.  There are many initiatives to do this, some with greater success than others.  For example, the initiative to promote self-esteem has not worked out well and yet many schools still have self-esteem generating type programs in place.  We all remember the recent controversy where every child gets a trophy (to boost self-esteem) even if they are the loser in a contest.

While much of the research on improving kid’s thinking and knowledge abilities tells us that it takes a heavy commitment on the part of adults, the child must also be an active participant.  And, that is at the heart of the effort to gain great results.  Most of this is done by instilling good habits.

Here is my list of 20 good habits for kids to be taught and reinforced for leadership (these are not easy):

  1. Get and maintain a positive attitude
  2. Learn from failure
  3. Be prepared to sacrifice time and energy
  4. Stay physically healthy through diet, sleep, and exercise
  5. Surround yourself with good and positive people
  6. Learn how to ask for and receive constructive feedback and criticism
  7. Learn the process behind making a well-informed decision
  8. Control anger, envy, and other emotions that can be destructive
  9. Never make excuses
  10. Learn to listen closely and focus
  11. Express gratitude often
  12. Never give up
  13. Never blame someone else
  14. Never make destructive comments
  15. Be open and honest
  16. Never give in to complacency
  17. Help others
  18. Be compassionate
  19. Learn how to ask questions and find solutions
  20. Measure success in terms of happiness

It is also important to start early and keep at it.  Some days it will look like no progress is being made on educating our youth on leadership … but the challenges to be a good leader takes thousands of hours of study and practice just like being good at anything takes effort.

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Note: Here are some websites that can give additional insight in turning kids into leaders:



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.