Parents as Leaders: A Frontline Festival

Welcome back to the Let’s Grow Leaders Frontline Festival. July’s Festival is all about Parents as Leaders. Be sure to enter your email on the side bar to get our new free e-book “A Parent’s Guide to Leadership.” Thanks to Joy and Tom Guthrie of Vixwerx for the great pic.

“We live in a world in which we need to share responsibility. It’s easy to say “It’s not my child, not my community, not my world, not my problem.” Then there are those who see the need and respond. I consider those people my heroes.” Mr. Fred Rogers

Being a Role Model

Alli Polin of Break the Frame shares Modeling Leadership Grows Future Leaders. We help our children grow their confidence, competence and creativity every time we let them explore, try and stretch. How are you modeling leadership? Follow Alli @AlliPolin

Eric Dingler of Whole Life Leadership brings back Thermostat or Thermometer? Helping Kids Feel The Leadership Climate. Parents need to challenge their kids to not just react to the leadership climate but to influence it. Ask your kids after school; “were you a thermostat or thermometer today? Follow Eric @EricDingler

Wally Bock of Three Star Leadership contributes Mom’s Supervision Lessons. When Wally first became a boss, his primary role model for good supervision was his mother. Here’s what he learned from being her son. Follow Wally @WallyBock

Bob Whipple of the TrustAmbassador.com offers That’s Not Right. Here is an important lesson Bob’s mother taught him when he was little that saved him as a youth. Follow Bob @RWhipple

Bill Benoist of Leadership Heart Coaching shares The Legacy We Leave as Parents. Good or bad, there is no denying the influence we have on our children. As parents, we are all leaders. Follow Bill @LeadershipHeart

Finding Balance

Dawn Falcone of Dawn Falcone Lifestyles brings us Not Enough. As a professional organizer who helps busy working moms get the chaos and clutter in their lives under control, so their businesses run smoothly and they can be the patient moms they long to be. Dawn wrote a three part series featuring the three words/phrases she hears most often from her clients, “Not Enough, Overwhelmed and Too Much” with tips to cures for each. Follow Dawn @DawnFalcone

Lisa Kohn of Thoughtful Leaders Blog contributes Stop Swimming Upstream. Lisa shares why going with the flow and yielding allows us to realize greater gain with less effort! Follow Lisa @ThoughtfulLdrs

Learning from Our Children

Tanveer Naseer of Tanveer Naseer Leadership shares What My Kids Taught Me About Inspiration and Execution. Tanveer shares a lesson learned from watching his daughters’ build sand castles, on what drives us to push forward to achieve the shared purpose that defines our organization. Follow Tanveer @TanveerNaseer

Tom Eakin of GoBoom Blog brings us Can You Fathom Your Thoughts Into One Meaningful System? H0w Tom’s 12-year old daughter helped him illustrate a learning point he was trying to make to her and her brother with a quote from the John Green book, The Fault In Our Stars. Follow Tom @goboomlife

Ways and Means

“It is time for parents to teach young people early on, that in diversity there is beauty and there is strength.” -Maya Angelou

Julie Winkle Giulioni of the  Julie Winkle Giulioni Blog offers Letting Go With Grace. Parenting and leadership involve times when it’s necessary to hold on… and others when it’s necessary to let go. Julie suggests that excessive attachments in today’s warp-speed world shape not only who we become – but what our organizations become. It poses the question: Could ‘holding on’ be holding us back? Follow Julie @Julie_WG

Matt McWilliams of MattMcWilliams.com brings us Give Me 3 Minutes a Day–And You’ll Raise World Changers. Declarations are powerful. Some of the top achievers and world changers across the globe use them and they even work on kids. Follow Matt @MattMcWilliams2

Julie Pierce of Empowered by Pierce offers Wise Advise From Leader Moms. Julie shares some of the best advice she’s received over the years as a leader mom. Follow Julie @Julie_Pierce

Jesse Stoner of the Jesse Lyn Stoner Blog shares How the Power of Vision Can Help Your Family & 4 Tips to Create One. According to statistics, nearly three quarters of students have consumed alcohol by the end of high school, and more than a third have done so by eighth grade, drug use is on the rise, and over 40% of teenagers report being bullied online. How can we protect our children? Clearly there are no easy answers. However, there are some things parents can do to create a strong foundation for your children, and one of the best places to start is to create a family vision. Follow Jesse @JesseLynStoner

John Hunter of the Curious Cat Science and Engineering Blog brings us Encouraging Curiosity in Kids. Anytime a kid asks “why” it is an opportunity to teach and to encourage them to keep being curious; and curiosity is a key to building great leaders. Follow John @curiouscat_com

Jennifer V. Miller of The People Equation contributes Leadership Worry Strips Away Confidence. Jennifer reflects on her teen son’s independence and realizes her leadership mistake in trying to build his confidence. Follow Jennifer @JenniferVMiller

Guest Posts From Children

“Parents can only give good advice or put them on the right paths, but the final forming of a person’s character lies in their own hands.” -Anne Frank

Sandhya Varadharajan followed up to my post on Leadership Books for Young Children by recommending Leadership Books for the Older Crowd

Sebastian Hurt brings us a piece from his younger days, “Lucky or Skillful”

FrontLine2014picmonkeyJared Herr also shares musings from his youth, Kermit the Frog as Leader? It’s Not Easy Leading Green Follow Jared @Jared_Herr

Ben Evans, LGL intern and Frontline Festival editor, shares his insights from work at the UUNO United Nations Conference. Follow Ben @JollyGoodMello

Thank you to all who contributed, if you missed this month, please be sure to submit for August in which our Festival will focus on Humor in the Workplace. Now accepting those submissions, Click Here to submit.

 

 

Inspiring Servant Leadership In Kids

Simon says, following the leader, being line leader at school, many of the messages we share about leadership are simple: “I’ll tell you what to do, and you do it.” And if we’re feeling particularly cranky, “because mommy (or daddy) says so, that’s why” may even slip through our lips.

Hardly examples of servant leadership.

We must teach our children early and often about REAL leadership. They must see that servant leadership requires serving, transparency, building up, and helping others to grow.

In Search of Kid’s Servant Leadership Stories

I’m looking to talk to children and youth serving as servant leaders across countries and contexts. I’m equally interested in hearing from grown-ups dedicated to inspiring servant leadership in children and youth.

The tricky part is servant leaders are humble, and may not want to toot their own horn. This is about spreading the word of possibilities and techniques. Bring on the confident humility that will change the world.

Please contact me at letsgrowleaders@gmail.com to share your stories. Thanks for helping us grow the next generation of servant leaders.

Thermostat or Thermometer? Helping Kids Feel the Leadership Climate

Today I present our final post in this year’s Leadership Padawan Saturday series, Growing Leadership in Kids. On Monday, I return to our normal leadership fare.

Today I offer a guest post from Eric Dingler, a great example of a Thermostat leader.

Eric has been the Director and lead communicator for an expanding Christian summer camp and year-round conference center for over 10 years. He lives on the camp in Ohio with his wife Marissa and their two children, Rilee and Ryan. You can follow Eric at www.twitter.com/EricDingler or on his blog launching January 4th 2013 at www.ericdingler.com

Over 16 years of teaching leadership to kids, here are four truths I’ve discovered. With these truths, we can teach our kids leadership skills for life.

1. More is caught than is taught.

This is why being intentional to model leadership to your kids is so important. Take them to work if you can. If you can’t do that, lead in your local church or civic club and let them experience you in action there. Lead at home well. Lead yourself well. For a list of other very practical steps read this previous post in this series. Leadership For Kids: A Great Way to Teach Your Kids About Leadership

2. What you care enough to ask about is what you care enough to ask about.

Imagine you tell your kids that getting good grades is important– then never ask them how they are doing except when grades comes out. Add to that you never ask if you can help them improve their grades by helping with homework. Maybe them getting good grades isn’t really that important to you. At least, that’s what your kids will think. If you never ask about their leadership, how will they know it’s important? At the end of this post I’ll share a question I’ll ask my kids daily at the dinner table as soon as they are old enough to understand it.

3. What gets repeated gets remembered.

Have one conversation with your kids about not smoking, then let their friends and society hit them with the message to smoke over and over again; you’ll get a kid who smokes. Talk about being a leader once or just once in a while and you’ll probably not get a leader. Talk often about leadership and leadership principles if you want your kids to remember them.

4. It’s hard to beat a good visual aid to reinforce a lesson.

For leadership, I use the image of a thermostat versus a thermometer. A thermostat reads the temperature of the environment and then makes adjustments to reach the desired goal temperature. A thermometer just reads the temperature and reacts to show others what the temperature is. A leader is a thermostat. They read the environment and makes adjustments to reach the desired goals.

As soon as my kids are old enough (my daughter is 27 months old and my son is only 3 months old right now) I plan to intentionally ask them regularly, “So, were you a thermometer or a thermostat at school today?” Then, engage with them in the conversation.

This question isn’t just for kids.
What about you? Were you a thermostat or a thermometer today?
What other visuals could you compare for the lesson of leadership?

Making the Invisible, Visible For Our Children

How do we make the invisible, visible for our children? The next in our Saturday Series in developing leadership in kids. On Monday we return to our regular leadership fare.

A Guest Post from Sonia Di Maulo, Canada

Vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others.Jonathan Swift 

Samuel picks up the slightest change in his environment. He senses that his mom needs a hug. And of course, mom is grateful. Later that afternoon, he deliberately annoys his little brother, and a mini-war ensues.

Samuel makes choices every day. At ten years old, sometimes he chooses well. What is it about his environment that leads him towards his choices?

Expectations

The connection he has with his mother is one of mutual trust, respect and love. In that environment, he is more in tune with the needs of the people around him. The connection he has with his brother has a heightened sense of competition added to the brotherly love. And so the same boy behaves differently in different situations.

As parents, how can we guide our children to align their words and actions to their values, independent of the environment? How can we help them infuse their surroundings with LIFE, based on LIFE-giving principles? With the ability to see the domino effect and to influence their future words and actions?

It starts with self-awareness.

A Dinner Activity: Making the Invisible, Visible

“Getting my kids to talk about the details of their days is hard enough”, you may be thinking, “How can I get them to increase their self-awareness to be able to see the connections that they affect everyday?”

At every dinnertime, I expect my kids to reflect on their days and to pick out one high point and one low point. This excellent game builds awareness of self and environment and boosts their ability to influence their future actions and words for the next daily report.

Game: High Point/Low Point

How to Play: Every member of the family shares the best part and lowest part of their day. Other family members listen and ask questions to get to the details.

Objective of the Game: Making visible, the lines that connect us all and increase self-awareness

Number of Players: 2 or more

Keys to Success: Consistent play every dinner time, make it fun, keep it short, show interest, encourage laughing and connection

Why Play? This game builds essential communication skills and cultivates family unity. It encourages:

  • Thinking about, selecting, and communicating emotional events in their day
  • Respectful listening to all members of the family
  • Conversation
  • Critical thinking and self-awareness
  • Building leadership skills from a very young age (as soon as they can speak, you can play)

We’ve been playing this game for years, at dinnertime, during vacations, and on road trips. We built variations on the theme and turned it into: “What was the favorite/least favorite part of your vacation, of the movie, of your field trip” and so on.

Try it with your family for a month and let me know how it goes.

Sonia Di Maulo M.A. ― founder, author, feedback enthusiast, speaker, performance improvement professional and creator of award-winning programs ― is passionate about helping leaders cultivate trust and collaboration.

This post is part of the Virtual Blog Book Tour for Sonia’s book, The Apple in the Orchard: A story about finding the courage to emerge. Discover the new vision for the world of work and get a glimpse into the power of living systems as models for sustainability, collaboration, and growth. Purchase your copy at www.theappleintheorchard.ca. Visit the other stops on the Book Tour on her Harvest Performance Blog.

 

Kid's Books on Leadership For the Older Crowd: Insights from India


Thanks for joining in for our continued Saturday series on developing leadership in kids. Today’s post builds on the exploration of Children’s Books on Leadership.

On Monday, we return to our normal leadership fare.

A guest post from Sandhya Varadharajan,

Age 13, Chennai, India

I connected with Sandhya through social media from our shared connections and interest in books, writing and blogging. She is an avid reader who blogs about the books she reads. She has an inspiring process worth exploring with your kids. More info can be found on her links at the end of this post.

I challenged her to share her teachable point of view on leadership and the books that help to reinforce. I am delighted to publish her insights.

Kid’s Books That Inspire Leadership

I think these leadership characteristics are important and have quoted examples of the same from my reading of books.

In the book Tom Brown’s school days by Thomas Hughes, older students bully Tom. He fights them and makes them stop bullying him. The older students, who were focusing on bullying Tom, now start bullying other boys. Tom encourages the other boys also to fight against bullying and helps them do it. He also tells them never to bully any of the smaller students. When a leader suffers from something he doesn’t want the others to suffer and helps them.

In the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling, Dumbledore the headmaster of Hogwarts gives Severus Snape another chance even though he becomes a DeathEater, a supporter of the Dark Lord Voldemort. He talks to Snape patiently and changes him into a good person. He even trusts Snape and makes him a teacher in Hogwarts. A leader always gives a second chance to others to change and correct themselves.

Ginny Weasley from the Harry Potter series wants to start a defence against Dark Arts group(Dumbledore’s army) because Dark Lord Voldemort has risen again. She wants Harry who is best in defense against Dark Arts to teach everyone defensive spells. A leader should initiate things that would help others.

Yukichi Yamamatsu is the author of the book “Stupid guy goes to India”. He is one of the characters in the book. He is determined to publish a Hindi translation of a Samurai Manga in India and he does it even though it wasn’t easy for him. A leader should be determined to do things however difficult it is. 

Akiko, from the young Samurai series by Chris Bradford, accepts the English boy Jack Fletcher to study in the Samurai school while the others think that he is not fit to learn the secrets of the Japanese martial arts and also think that he does not deserve to be in Japan. Akiko also accepts his way of thoughts and doesn’t force him to do anything. A leader should accept others way of thinking.

Aslan, the great lion from the Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis, fights the white witch of the north to save Narnia till the end. He never lets go of the hope that they might win her. A leader has to be honest and should not let go of hope.

More About Sandhya

Sandhya is an avid reader and writer. She enjoys singing, bhajans, blogging and helping others to do all these activities.

Her Blog:  Sandhya.varadh.com

Her first eBook: Wizile (available for a free download)

Sandhya shares her suggestions for young bloggers in an interview with Vinaya Naidu

  • Get your book suggestions from other people.
  • Even if you don’t understand initially keep reading. You will start understanding every word of it in due course.
  • Write a few sentences about every book you read.
  • The more you read, the more you can write.

Kid’s Books on Leadership For the Older Crowd: Insights from India


Thanks for joining in for our continued Saturday series on developing leadership in kids. Today’s post builds on the exploration of Children’s Books on Leadership.

On Monday, we return to our normal leadership fare.

A guest post from Sandhya Varadharajan,

Age 13, Chennai, India

I connected with Sandhya through social media from our shared connections and interest in books, writing and blogging. She is an avid reader who blogs about the books she reads. She has an inspiring process worth exploring with your kids. More info can be found on her links at the end of this post.

I challenged her to share her teachable point of view on leadership and the books that help to reinforce. I am delighted to publish her insights.

Kid’s Books That Inspire Leadership

I think these leadership characteristics are important and have quoted examples of the same from my reading of books.

In the book Tom Brown’s school days by Thomas Hughes, older students bully Tom. He fights them and makes them stop bullying him. The older students, who were focusing on bullying Tom, now start bullying other boys. Tom encourages the other boys also to fight against bullying and helps them do it. He also tells them never to bully any of the smaller students. When a leader suffers from something he doesn’t want the others to suffer and helps them.

In the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling, Dumbledore the headmaster of Hogwarts gives Severus Snape another chance even though he becomes a DeathEater, a supporter of the Dark Lord Voldemort. He talks to Snape patiently and changes him into a good person. He even trusts Snape and makes him a teacher in Hogwarts. A leader always gives a second chance to others to change and correct themselves.

Ginny Weasley from the Harry Potter series wants to start a defence against Dark Arts group(Dumbledore’s army) because Dark Lord Voldemort has risen again. She wants Harry who is best in defense against Dark Arts to teach everyone defensive spells. A leader should initiate things that would help others.

Yukichi Yamamatsu is the author of the book “Stupid guy goes to India”. He is one of the characters in the book. He is determined to publish a Hindi translation of a Samurai Manga in India and he does it even though it wasn’t easy for him. A leader should be determined to do things however difficult it is. 

Akiko, from the young Samurai series by Chris Bradford, accepts the English boy Jack Fletcher to study in the Samurai school while the others think that he is not fit to learn the secrets of the Japanese martial arts and also think that he does not deserve to be in Japan. Akiko also accepts his way of thoughts and doesn’t force him to do anything. A leader should accept others way of thinking.

Aslan, the great lion from the Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis, fights the white witch of the north to save Narnia till the end. He never lets go of the hope that they might win her. A leader has to be honest and should not let go of hope.

More About Sandhya

Sandhya is an avid reader and writer. She enjoys singing, bhajans, blogging and helping others to do all these activities.

Her Blog:  Sandhya.varadh.com

Her first eBook: Wizile (available for a free download)

Sandhya shares her suggestions for young bloggers in an interview with Vinaya Naidu

  • Get your book suggestions from other people.
  • Even if you don’t understand initially keep reading. You will start understanding every word of it in due course.
  • Write a few sentences about every book you read.
  • The more you read, the more you can write.

Saturday Salutation: Postcard from the United Nations Youth Assembly

This quote set the tone for the 11th Annual Youth Assembly at the United Nations sponsored by the Friendship Ambassadors Foundation, which I attended this week. The focus was on youth empowerment, and how social networking can be used to create change.

“This is a guest post from my son Ben Evans, 17. Ben is a youth envoy to the Unitarian Universalist United Nations Organization, and recently served as a delegate to the National Youth Assembly at the United Nations. He holds a variety of leadership roles at school and church, and enjoys music and drama.”
“Youth are problem solvers, not problems to be solved.”
~Jasmine Nahhas di Flori

All of the panel speakers are fantastic leaders with truly amazing stories. Some were ambassadors from countries like Romania and Kenya. I also met Jacuqes Cousteau’s grandson and teens my age who have made big changes by starting something small. For example, Talia Leman began a trick or treating campaign when she was 10 years old, and has now raised over 10 million dollars for relief efforts around the world.

Each attendee was given a rubber bracelet with a personal QR code on it. When the code was scanned, all of my social networking information was immediately transmitted to my new friends and connections. Empowering simple networking with peers around the world.

I strongly encourage you to check out the following organizations which impressed me throughout the conference.

Education for Employment Foundation: (provides cellphones to connect Middle East youth with jobs)

Pavegen (harnesses the power of footsteps to create green energy)

Two Degrees (college campus-based programs selling energy bars to provide a 1:1 donation of food kits in third world countries)

Liter of Light (creates light in poor countries using only soda bottles, tin, and water)

“Being a leader of tomorrow does not exclude you from starting today.”
~Unknown

 

Kermit the Frog as Leader? It's Not Easy Leading Green

Growing Leaders of All Ages:

Part of my mission for this blog is engaging leaders of all ages in the leadership conversation.  Today, I present a guest post from Jared Herr, age 12.  If you are a leader of any age, interested in collaborating on a guest post on leadership, let’s talk more.

Kermit is a strong leader in many ways:

  • He works to make the muppets the best that they can be
  • He is inspiring because he always tries his hardest
  • He brings misfit animals together and makes them a team
  • He always has a plan
  • He is a collaborative decision maker 
  • He is self-reflective 

What are Kermit’s leadership challenges?

  • He takes things too personally
  • He has trouble giving tough feedback
  • He needs more work-life balance

Jared’s advice to Kermie

You are a caring amphibian and always try to make others the best they can be. You put the muppets in roles where you know the can succeed.  You are a role model of hard work, and get all of those crazy animals pulling together as a team.  You inspire them to care about one another.

Kermit, one of your greatest strengths as a leader, self-reflection, is also your challenge.  You may want to check out Karin’s post (is strength your weakness).  For example,  you will double and triple check yourself to make sure every muppet is in a part of the show. But when things go wrong, you take it out on yourself. You always point out things you messed up with or things you should have done. I think you feel a lot of pressure being a leader.

I wish you could have more confidence in your decisions.  Once when you fired Miss Piggy (she deserved it), you ended up face down on the floor (of course, that may have something to do with dysfunctional love, but that’s another post).

You are so nice.  I worry sometimes you have trouble confronting or giving the tough coaching messages.  You always lead to victory in the end.  You might save some time if you could give more direct coaching along the way.

Kermit, you sure seem to face a lot of pressure as leader of the muppets.

I worry that you feel like as their leader, you need to be with them 24/7, and you don’t get much personal time.

All said, it is not easy leading green.  And you have a nice track record of results.  Keep up the great work.  I know you will continue to grow into an amazing leader.

Kermit the Frog as Leader? It’s Not Easy Leading Green

Growing Leaders of All Ages:

Part of my mission for this blog is engaging leaders of all ages in the leadership conversation.  Today, I present a guest post from Jared Herr, age 12.  If you are a leader of any age, interested in collaborating on a guest post on leadership, let’s talk more.

Kermit is a strong leader in many ways:

  • He works to make the muppets the best that they can be
  • He is inspiring because he always tries his hardest
  • He brings misfit animals together and makes them a team
  • He always has a plan
  • He is a collaborative decision maker 
  • He is self-reflective 

What are Kermit’s leadership challenges?

  • He takes things too personally
  • He has trouble giving tough feedback
  • He needs more work-life balance

Jared’s advice to Kermie

You are a caring amphibian and always try to make others the best they can be. You put the muppets in roles where you know the can succeed.  You are a role model of hard work, and get all of those crazy animals pulling together as a team.  You inspire them to care about one another.

Kermit, one of your greatest strengths as a leader, self-reflection, is also your challenge.  You may want to check out Karin’s post (is strength your weakness).  For example,  you will double and triple check yourself to make sure every muppet is in a part of the show. But when things go wrong, you take it out on yourself. You always point out things you messed up with or things you should have done. I think you feel a lot of pressure being a leader.

I wish you could have more confidence in your decisions.  Once when you fired Miss Piggy (she deserved it), you ended up face down on the floor (of course, that may have something to do with dysfunctional love, but that’s another post).

You are so nice.  I worry sometimes you have trouble confronting or giving the tough coaching messages.  You always lead to victory in the end.  You might save some time if you could give more direct coaching along the way.

Kermit, you sure seem to face a lot of pressure as leader of the muppets.

I worry that you feel like as their leader, you need to be with them 24/7, and you don’t get much personal time.

All said, it is not easy leading green.  And you have a nice track record of results.  Keep up the great work.  I know you will continue to grow into an amazing leader.