What it takes to become a leader

By Janis Meredith | Posted 11/28/2018

When my kids were playing sports, they always wanted to be voted captain, or to be recognized as a leader on their teams.

We always told them having a title was not what made them leaders and they could lead by example, by encouragement and by enthusiasm.

Your child may not think it’s possible to lead because they are labeled as “the leader” or “the captain.” But they don’t have to wait for those positions they’ve been hoping for in order to begin leading.

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I recently heard another great insight about becoming a leader from Clay Scroggins, author of “How to Lead When You’re Not in Charge.”

He suggests that if you really want to be a leader in your school, on your team, (or parents, in your workplace), you must begin by leading yourself first.

“You’re in charge of you. You’re in charge of your emotions, your thoughts, and your decisions. It’s the law of personal responsibility, because everyone is responsible for leading something, even if that something is just you,” says Scroggins.

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If your child can begin by leading his or her own self, then it’s good practice and preparation for leading others. An athlete who cannot control their own emotions, actions or responses, is not leading themselves. How can they expect to lead others if they cannot lead themselves?

There’s lots of “leaders” and people in authority out there who have no clue how to lead others because they are still struggling to lead themselves. We see it in coaches, in teachers, in politicians and in employers.

Leading yourself is the first and truest step to becoming a real leader. Don’t let your child overlook it in their hurry to be the “leader.”

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Leadership starts right now, wherever your child is. They have everything they need to lead. They have the examples of those around them.

“Leadership is not about waiting to lead until people call you a leader. It’s about doing everything you can to lead from right where you are.”

Janis B. Meredith is a parenting coach. She provides resources to help parents raise champions. Learn more about how she can help parents Raise Champions.