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 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 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.



Parents as Leadership Coaches

It’s interesting to see leaders who take their servant leadership philosophy seriously at work, but have a more hovering approach when it comes to their children. In an effort to protect and scaffold, they actually overlook natural opportunities for their children to emerge as leaders. The best way to learn the piano is to practice. The best way to learn to do a flip-turn is to get in the pool and get some water up your nose. The best way to learn leadership is by leading. Our children surprise us when we stop looking for perfection and see the leaders that they are becoming.

Having my kids spread so far apart, I’ve had the joy of my son, Ben, now a college freshman, really mature into an inspiring leader across many contexts at school, the community, at church, and even working with the United Nations. As I was writing the Parent’s Guide to Leadership, I asked him what he remembers most about our work on leadership growing up.

Ben shared:

“It’s not just one technique, but an entire parenting philosophy. I was always involved and given a great deal of responsibility in decisions. We worked out a lot of plans together.”

This Summer I’ve had the joy of working with him as a true partner as he interns for Let’s Grow Leaders. As I prepared a trust workshop for a group from Nigeria, we shared ideas of what exercises would work best culturally, I wrote content, he made slides and tools pop visually.

We discovered how differently our brains worked and the wonderful synergy that came from really listening to each other’s ideas. There were times I was taking direction from him. It was fun to work together as partners, with the parent- child boundaries beginning to blur.

This week we’re Scuba diving and the roles are completely reversed. An aspiring Scuba instructor, it’s clear he’s got more confidence, competence and commitment than me for this sport. I’m mostly there to play with the fishes (and take great pics). I do whatever he says and follow his underwater hand signals no questions asked. I feel safe under his leadership. It’s fun and fulfilling to tread some water and follow your child as they lead the adventure.

Introducing A Parent’s Guide To Leadership

Today, I’m pleased to share with you the Parent’s Guide to Leadership: How To Inspire Leadership in Young Children which I’ve co-written with Alli Polin with a guest chapter from Matt McWilliams, This is a free e-book available for download. Click here to get your Parent’s Guide to Leadership and you’ll receive an email with a link to download. This won’t subscribe you to my blog (you’ll need to do that separately if you want to join the fun). This list is just for folks interested in leadership and parenting. We’ve got a children’s picture book in the works as well, and we’ll keep you posted when that’s published.

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 to share your stories. Thanks for helping us grow the next generation of servant leaders.