Cultivating Leadership (Values, Leadership)

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When we think of young kids, we don’t usually think about developing them into leaders. But I think it’s important. It’s been said that if you really want to grow your life and prosper, develop yourself as a leader. Might as well start planting some of the mentalities early on while I work on that in my own self and life.

This morning, we worked on her Fairy Garden for the fourth time. She sort of entered this summer day in a lazy way. That’s probably as it should be with her late nights and the long pool day she had yesterday. Nevertheless, she made a list of things she wants to do this summer, and I’m balancing allowing her to just be with nudging her forward on her stated goals. So, after a few prompts, we were out cutting vines. She lost her enthusiasm quickly, so I direct her to be the one to carry away all of the things I was cutting down.

At one point, she stopped and went inside. I complained but didn’t force her. My parents, though, who had been out there observing did tell her, “Your Dad’s doing all the work. You should be out there.” She peered through the bedroom window at me as I continued to cut, and I prompted her again.

Me – “Come on. You said you wanted to get a good sweat today. Let’s get more done. You have all day to do other things. Come on.”

She came back and started hauling things away.

Me – “You know, this Fairy Garden is yours. That makes you the leader.”

Her – “Me?”

Me – “Yes. And, do you think if I was working for you and saw your attitude and work ethic right now I’d be inspired?”

She shook her head no.

Me – “People look to the leader. The leader sets the tone in attitude and effort. You can say, “Come on, let’s do it. Yes, we’re a little tired, but think how good we’re going to feel standing in it soon with it all cleared. Let’s put in a little more work.” Now, can you see the difference in that kind of an approach?”

Her – “Yes, Daddy.”

Of course, she’s eight, so I’m not expecting her to blossom into some inspiring leader today. Besides, it’s already in her. There are times we work on projects and she pretty much does what I described just when I feel like stopping. Her enthusiasm carries me forward.

But leadership is what you do when you’re tired and off, as well. So, I thought it was a good discussion.

We stopped soon after. Progress made and a leadership mentality planted…

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