Showing posts from 2010

Sweet Snapshots

At the moment, i'm enjoying Norah Jones singing at my fav Starbucks on Cannery Row in Monterey, CA.  I just turned in my free birthday card drink, so i'm enjoying a venti mocha (skim) and doing some writing on a new book called LeadYoung.  I've come to the realization that the best parts of life are those snapshots where you say, "This is as good as it gets."  It might be hanging with a group of friends, Starbucks moments like now, having the kids home from college, or a walk along the beach with my best-friend-wife.  Push "pause" and sigh a sigh of enjoyment; yeah, this is nice . I'm getting more and more of these blessed snapshots these days, especially as we the increasing results of our work with young leaders and those who're catching the vision of this movement.  As we ponder the past year and anticipate the next, 2011 looks like it will be truly exciting.  We're tooling on some new resources that will expand our work from ages 2-25 a

Thailand Lessons

I recently made a quick trip to Bangkok, Thailand, where we're interacting with a leadership training company about bringing young leader training to southeast Asia.  What a wonderful group of people I met.  They have found what I discovered that adults don't change very much or very easily.  I was delighted to see how Thai preteens and teens responded to the interactive learning events and how well they accomplished the tasks and lead each other.  As in the other cultures I've observed, certainly some students quickly display their leadership aptitudes, others hesitate a bit, and some just don't grasp the matter.  Young leaders have much in common globally.  I'm excited to work further with this company, in hopes of bringing KidLead's expertise and passion to Asian countries.  We have a certified trainer in Korea and are negotiating with an entity in Singapore and Malasia.  One thing this culture values is investing in the new generation and giving them a leg u

New Generation In Thailand

Right now, I'm in Bangkok, Thailand, a bustling city of 66 million people in southeast Asia.  I'm working with the APMGroup, the leading organizational development firm in this region.  What excites me are the executives' realization that for them to bring about cultural change here, they need to be about developing new generation leaders.  Their longterm goal is to raise new Asian leaders.  The movement to include children and youth is quite revolutionary, as it is in the United States.  The sense of my hosts is that parents in this culture will do whatever they can to provide their children with a leg up on the competition, to help them realize their potential.  I look forward to KidLead partnering with many others with the audacious vision that when you focus on leaders, you change history, and when you focus on them when they're young, you change them.  We need more visionaries like Arinya, Pui, and Dane at the APMGroup ( ).

Oh Canada

We're very excited to announce a positive progression internationally.  We have procured and are moving toward an agreement with an agency in Canada, which will provide national training curriculum and resources from KidLead.  At the same time, we're finalizing an agreement with a entity in Malaysia to provide our training resources for that country and Singapore.  On Tuesday (Nov. 30, 2010), I fly to Thailand to introduce our work to the premier executive training company in that region, which could expand their services to leaders of all ages.  The idea of a global movement to identify and develop leaders while they're moldable is quite exciting.  Given technology and the mindset that we're all in the same village, ultimately, there's no reason why we can't bring KidLead's expertise to the world.  What better way to raise effective and ethical leaders who'll provide significant influence to a future that desperately needs them

Leaders In The Rough

Yesterday, I was with my wife and two of our three sons, celebrating Father's day with a walk on Carmel Beach.  It just "happened" to be the finals of golf's greatest event, the U.S. Open, being played at Pebble Beach.  Carmel beach runs right below the 10th hole at Pebble.  Because we didn't have tickets, we caught glimpses of the golfers as the 10th hole pin was precariously perched a few feet from the cliff above us.  As Tiger Woods drove the fairway, his ball missed the green, landing about 30-40 feet from where we stood.  He found it lying in grass on a very steep incline.  We watched the legendary golfer pitch it to the green.  No stones cast, but I was reminded of KidLead's goal of raising leaders who are effective and ethical.  No matter how good we are as leaders, we miss hits, shots that go where we did not intend.  We must then become effective at hitting out of a rough.  Character keeps us out of the roughs many times, but it also gets us out whe


I just attended a preteen conference in Rocklin, CA called "Elevate," put on by Sean Sweet.  It was an interesting gathering, another social outcropping of our burgeoning interest in preteens.  A presenter named Patrick Snow did a great talk this morning, using a metaphor of a bicycle for preteens.  He said that preteens (ages 8-12) are in the between stage, childhood and adolescence; concrete thinking to abstract thinking; faith of parents to personal faith; blanket morality of parents to personal ownership of values.  Our job as adults is to help them in this transition.  It is akin to the process of a parent assisting a child in learning to ride a bicycle.  First you tell the child about how a bike operates.  Then you let the child sit on the bike.  Then you walk along side the child and hold onto the bike.  But then you let go and keep running alongside, in case the child hits a car, tree, or curb.  That is the adult's role during early adolescence, letting go but run

I could't believe what he said!

KidLead's motto is, "If you want to change the world, focus on leaders.  If you want to focus on leaders, focus on them when they're young."  That's why I was a shocked by the response of an editor of a national youth magazine.  I was pitching an article to the editor for an upcoming magazine with the theme "Changing the World."  Here's what he wrote:  "I don't think a leadership article will fit our focus for the CHANGING THE WORLD theme issue."  I couldn't believe it.  I can understand if he said, "We already have an article on leadership," or "We're full," or even "You're not the type of writer we want to publish."  But how in the world can you focus on changing the world without focusing on leadership?  Look at history.  It can be summed up with three dominent influences: discovering, disasters, and leaders, but the most significant by far is leaders.  Good or bad, leaders and not the mass

Capable Kids

Saturday I was watching my son (16) run in a 5K/10K race near Montery, CA.  He was doing it for fun, but one of the top finalists in this race was an 11 year old boy.  I was listening to someone congratulate him and his dad.  His dad, also in the race but who finished behind his son said, "Yeah, we refer to him as our little FON; freak of nature.  The guy he beat runs 70 miles a week.  This week, our son ran 17, including this race (6.2 miles).  He's amazing."  I wondered what it would be like if parents had such acute antenna for kids with leadership aptitude, the ones who always seem to be giving direction, catalyzing their peers toward action, and influencing others.  I wonder what it would be like for these parents to seek out lessons and training and events that would help them fulfill their potential, as parents do for athletics, academics, and the arts.  I hope that someday, we will have a league of parents who are attune with the leadership acumen of their kids.

Because I Said So

Recently I ran into a situation where a couple of adult leaders verbally shut down a student who was trying to lead on behalf of a colleague he felt was being taken advantage of by the teachers.  When the student leader made a decision that the adults did not like, they ganged up on him and gave him a strong tongue lashing.  "We're in charge around here," they shouted in so many words, intimidating the young leader to tears.  During the convening intervention provided by the parent and school administrator, the conclusion was that the student, although not choosing the best manner for leading, was nevertheless correct in exhibiting his perceived defense of the weaker colleague.  The suggested solution for the next time something like this occured, was to come up to the teachers after the event and ask for them to explain their actions and then share his concerns.  While previous generations are more in tune with the "I'm the boss around here" and "Becau

Wired to Lead

What NCAA Basketball Has To Do With Young Leaders: Funny how we like to think everyone can do everything, "so long as you dream it." The problem with this is that we consume large amounts of time, energy and money pursuing things for which we'll never develop competancies. For example, only 4% of high school basketball players will go on to play college ball. Only 1% of them receive Division 1 scholarships. Only 1% of those will go on to play in the NBA. Now, consider similar outcomes in other sports and so many other things we have our kids into. Experimenting, having fun, and providing opportunities for our kids are vital. But that should also include leadership. If your child seems to have an inclination to lead, why not seek out serious development opportunities and test the water a bit? If these pan out, then go for more. Concentrate on life long skills, not just childhood past times. While I applaud the egalitarian mindset of many who say we don't want to confi

A Hole New Mind

Just finished reading Daniel Pink's, "A Whole New Mind." What a great book, especially when read through the lense of developing young leaders. Three observations: 1. Next gen leaders will naturally be more holistic in their framework because of the times in which they're raised, being more visual and adaptive to right brain content. That means they'll lead more from both hemispheres. 2. Leaders by nature are more whole brained because leading requires us to "get" context, not just focus on the "how" and thinking sequentially. 3. Young leader development is vital for our kids to be effective in the future because leaders are those who help the rest of us use our abilities more effectively. While we may export other knowledge issues, leaders will be in more and more demand as our global village evolves. I came away from the book very energized about the strategic position KidLead has in a world where improved R-thinking will be required t