Monday, December 3, 2007

Raising Up Leaders

Here are some traits to instill in your children, and others that you lead. For leaders to be effective, they need to possess the following traits:
  • Intelligence- This does not mean that they necessarily have to excel on aptitude or intelligence tests, but rather that they are proficient and equipped in their particular area to do the work, planning and thinking that are required.
  • Quick thinking- The ability to decisively think on one's feet is more important than ever, and getting more important every year.
  • Global thinking- Leaders of the future (and today's leaders) must be able to see and think beyond their own personal context. The whole world needs to be considered. Always be looking for the big picture.
  • Good communications- Expressing your views in effective ways and by appropriate means is more important than ever, but being able to hear and understand the views of others is also very important.
  • Articulate- The ability to express your thoughts is crucial.
  • Sense of humor- Humor will be able to diffuse tense situations and make communicating easier in many settings.
  • Flexible- There may be more than one way to accomplish a task. Not only that, you may learn that the task should not be accomplished. Flexibility, along with a willingness to be corrected, is a necessity for today's leader.
  • Integrity- Although it may not be very popular, the morals of a leader are very important. Always be committed to doing the right thing. Always.
  • Empathy- Good and effective leaders will be filled with concern and emotion for those that they lead.
  • Self-awareness- Be sure that you know your strengths, weaknesses and beliefs. A good leader will know what s/he is capable of, and what s/he should not even think about.

Here are some beginning points to help you develop these traits in yourself and in others.

  • Encourage them to develop their knowledge in their areas of interest.
  • Reward curiosity.
  • Encourage adventure and create opportunities for many different experiences.
  • Support and encourage critical thinking.
  • Expose them to various opinions and ways of thinking.
  • Encourage and support risk-taking.
  • Remind them of their uniqueness and what makes them unique.
  • Encourage productive and substantive debate.
  • Build courage and self-esteem.
  • Model integrity and character.
  • Allow them to be tolerant of diversity.
  • Create and expose them to good role models.

This information is adapted from the article, Raising Up Leaders, by Charrise McCrorey in the October 2007 issue of Michiana Family Magazine.

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