Leadership and the Young
I was driving my daughter’s school friend to my home last weekend. She was straight off the plane from Tokyo, where spent the last 3 months in her new school. A World School. 16 years old and a ‘Force for Change in the World’. Articulate, Impassioned and Vocal!
Three months had changed her, from when she was a ‘Regular’ at an International school here in India, and now. What was this magic ingredient? On inquiring, this ‘World School’ does things a little differently; and there’s a big focus on leadership. Familiar terms such as ‘Leading Self’ and ‘Leading Others’ cut across our conversation. Ah-ha: question answered! They are grooming young leaders. And with great results.
This brought me to thinking:Why do we wait for people to hit their mid 20’s and 30’s before we start developing their leadership skills?
Focus on leadership can happen at any age, and in fact, the younger the better. Then they have more time to use it over the course of their lives. An example would be the tool frequently used with adults in leadership development programs: Behavioural Styles (DISC, People, Interaction, Social Styles etc.). A wonderful tool that can be used every day, to develop self-awareness, understand others, and work with a wide range of people more effectively. This is the ‘stuff’ children should be learning at a young age, so it can be harnessed helpfully in their times of need, and not waiting until they are in ‘Corporate’ and ‘leaders of people’.
We need to incorporate this in the Curriculum, as everyone, at all ages, and in every sphere, is a ‘leader of people’. Long live Youthful Leaders!