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Parenting Ideas – Promoting Leadership
There are leaders in all walks of life. In business, at school, in families, in sport and in the wider community your young person will have the opportunity to lead others.

Your young person may have many individual attributes that will enable them to lead but, to be truly successful, they also need to develop the appropriate mindset.

Put Others First

Effective leaders generally act in the best interest of others. When a young person focuses on how they can work for the good of others he or she is well-placed to lead. You can develop a benefit mindset in the following ways:

  • Encourage your young person to volunteer within the community
  • Share your stories of community, leadership and volunteering
  • Give your child leadership opportunities (with accompanying responsibilities) among siblings and friends

A Willingness to Step Up

Situational leadership opportunities are everywhere such as leading a small group learning activity at school; coaching a local basketball team; and taking extra responsibility in a part-time job. Encourage your young person to accept responsibility, take initiative and claim ownership when things don’t go to plan. Here’s how:

  • Discuss situational leadership with your young person
  • Encourage initiative by giving them an opportunity to solve their own problems
  • Help to identify environments where he or she feels comfortable taking a lead such as in class or on a sporting field

The Ability to Speak Up

A young person with a leadership mindset is more likely to put aside self-doubts about speaking in front of others. Encourage your young person to speak in front of others by:

  • Giving them opportunities to express their opinions at home
  • Encouraging them to speak up in small group situations at sport or other after school activities
  • Developing their skills through debating, acting or public speaking

An Attitude of Inclusiveness

Leaders can only be truly successful when they include others in their activities. Develop an attitude of inclusiveness by encouraging your young person to:

  • Notice those around them who may not fit in or who are different in some way to the group norm
  • Work with young people from different backgrounds and with different interests, at school and in the community
  • Be involved in at least one activity outside school in an effort to broaden their social horizons

Leadership is as much about mindset as it is about skill development. When you encourage your young person to think ‘We rather than Me’, you’ll be on the road to developing an invaluable leadership mindset that they can take into a variety of situations.

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