Recently I posted a thread in the group Wholehearted Leadership on Linkedin, asking If you had to explain leadership to a 10 year old child using 5 words, what would you say? The response was amazing, educational, and a little frustrating. It has been an awesome thread as a whole.
I learned invaluable lessons from this! A few of the standout lessons I learned is that the majority of adults that consider and call themselves leaders are probably not. The most frustrating lesson was that the majority of adults do not follow directions! The amazing lesson I learned (re-learned) is that people are truly awesome and have hearts the size of Texas! This thread inspired me to take it further. I am currently writing a book involving this topic. I asked some teachers to have their 4-6th grade classes tell me what leadership means to them. I did not put a word limit on it. The responses received were shocking to me. Some made me laugh, a couple made me cry, but all inspired me.
The following are responses I received. I am not going to fix the grammar or punctuation (which is going to drive me nuts). This is exactly how it was written. I will state their age, not name.
10 yrs old – To me, leadership means when people stand up for someone and not for fame not for a gift not for anything just because they want to.
11 yrs old – To me, leadership means to help your team and too be loyal to them it isn’t about being bossy its about teamwork.
11 yrs old – I think leadership is when a good person will take the lead and put all of us on the path or winning whatever it is they’ll make sure that we can do it.
10 yrs old – To me leadership means to be a role model and to be a good influence to evry one around you.
10 yrs old – What leadership means to me is the power of being brave, honerful and respectful.
11 yrs old – Leadership means taking responsibility and taking bigger challenges than the followers.
11 yrs old – I think leadership means to lead a group or followers who want to achieve a goal.
Those are just a handful of responses I received. Most of the kids wrote about accountability, being trustworthy, setting the example, and inspiring your followers. The answers I chose to share come from a very affluent area school and a school in the middle of a low income area. The beauty is that you would never be able to tell which answers belong to which school!
Leadership qualities really do not vary too much from children to adults, but the delivery does! Kids have a beautiful way of simplifying what adults complicate!
What is your simple way to describe leadership?
Make it a great day or not, the choice is YOURS!
Trifecta Executive Placement and Coaching