Today’s digitally connected world is filled with constant and ever-increasing changes. As such, conforming is inevitable. Tomorrow’s leaders will be required to be highly adaptable and ready for any surprises as well as challenges. As a parent, you have a major role to play in molding your child into a future leader. Leadership qualities can be identified quite early in a child’s life and it's not wrong for you to encourage your kid to become that very leader you see in them.
Characteristics that demonstrate your kid might be a future leader?
Does assuming responsibility come naturally and almost effortlessly in your child? If so, this is one major sign of accountability. It shows that they indeed understand the implications of making certain decisions and their willingness to accept risks. Following this awareness, he/she will be more likely to put some thought before arriving at a decision as they can foresee the consequences of making up their mind on a certain matter.
If you happen to notice that your kid is self-assured and carries themselves with a particular poise, then that is a good pointer towards them assuming leadership roles in the future. If he/she speaks eloquently with an eminent need to put their point across, that’s a big plus. After all, people are attracted to leaders who are articulate and confident in expressing their views.
Awareness and sensitivity to the emotions and feelings of other people around them is a good sign of leadership. Being socially sensitive as a leader is a crucial factor in garnering followers and building a substantial consensus of support for your ideas.
If they seem interested, support them all the way, rather than trying to impose leadership on them. Additional signs may include; your child being goal-oriented, curious, resourceful, persistent, competent, being in a position to work well with others as well as having a strong desire to start something and run with it to fruition.
Leadership in itself is quite a multidimensional concept involving a unique blend of behavioral and intellectual skills. It requires you as the parent to nurture this even from an early age. You may want to be on the lookout for the right opportunities to develop this skill further.
1. Don’t obsess
You want your child to be the best there is in life. However, being overly obsessive about achievements can lead to your child becoming resentful. They may end up doing as you ask, but half-heartedly. Their joy would be to do what they love willingly and to the best of their ability without them feeling coerced. Let their skills manifest naturally as they grow up. This way, it is easier for you to guide and support them as they take on the leadership trajectory. Achievement-obsessed children will end up being so focused on the outcome or the end result without fully appreciating the process, which will only lead them to being rigid leaders.
2. Avoid exaggerated praises
A pat on the back for a job well done is always encouraged as it builds a healthy sense of high self-esteem. Gushing every other time your kid participates in an activity could lead to an "everyone is a winner" kind of mentality and this could create false confidence in them. This kind of self-belief will create an illusion of a perfect world and a sense of entitlement where they know no failure. A good leader understands the various tides in life and is able to successfully sail through the waves until they achieve their desired goals.
Allow your child to risk and experience failure in order to become a stronger future leader.
3. Cultivate and nurture their Emotional Intelligence
In each and every one of us, EQ is the very thing that affects how we navigate social complexities, manage our behavior in the heat of emotion and also make personal decisions. Studies have shown that kids learn EQ directly from their parents. They become attuned to the kind of behavior you exhibit when responding to strong emotions. A key driver of success in leadership roles is the individual’s Emotional Intelligence. In the current world, EQ is a major skill that employers look for when recruiting. Children who develop high EQ levels from an early age take this skill with them into adulthood which gives them a cutting edge above the rest in future leadership roles.
4. Give them space
Leadership comes with self-sufficiency. It’s all about calling the shots and staying behind to clean up any mess that these calls may create. When you solve each and every one of their problems, they may not develop the ability to stand strong on their own feet. Leaders take charge; see to it that your child is able to do so as well.
5. Walk it like you talk it
As a parent, you need to be a doer of what you say keeping in mind that your child is watching your every move. Do not preach water and drink wine. This helps your child to be forthcoming and transparent even in moments of imperfection. These two are crucial in molding your child to become a future CEO. A true leader is able to align their words and actions with who they are as an individual.
It all starts at home
The whole idea behind leadership starts at home. Create a culture where you involve your kids in family discussions as well as decisions. Ask them what their take on a particular issue is. This way, you get to learn their way of thinking and it goes a long way in helping you guide them on becoming better decision makers. It is okay to nurture your kids from a tender age. If you happen to notice that they exhibit any leadership traits, capitalize on that chance and mold them as best as you can. They will have you to thank for the leader or CEO they’ll become in the future.