Showing posts from April, 2010

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