Transformational Leadership: Parents You Can’t Lead Your Children Where You’ve Not Gone Yourselves

You may have ever been in a situation where you needed to go to a specific place, such as a shop, restaurant or doctor’s office but weren’t sure exactly where it was. It is possible that you have an idea of the exact location. However, you may not be able to recall exact directions. Even though you may be certain you can get there, it might take some time to get your bearings. You can search the route with a variety of map apps or GPS, but that doesn’t give you the feeling of adventure.

If you don’t have the right direction, it can be difficult for parents to navigate leadership. You must first mentor your children and guide them to positive growth. John C. Maxwell said, “We cannot lead fathers unless we have been there ourselves.” If you don’t grow your leadership skills, it will be difficult to lead your child in places you have never ventured.

What steps can you take to help your child’s leadership development? Although the steps may not be easy at times, they require consistency from the guardian or parent. These steps are: Extend, Explain, Experience, Encourage.

Expanding – Expand is a call for personal growth. Children learn from their parents. You will struggle to take your children places you haven’t been. To expand your self, you need to know where you are at the moment in your development and growth before you can map out where you want it to be. Robert Greenlieaf, the founder of the modern-day servant leadership movement, noted another aspect of awareness. Greenleaf states, “Awareness helps one understand issues involving ethics or values.” This allows you to see most situations from a holistic, integrated perspective. You can expand your personal development and leadership skills. Then, you can start to share that knowledge with your children. This is a key element of how parents influence their children’s behavior.

Explain – Your child will need to understand what a leader is and the important values that go with it. It must be explained in a way that they can see themselves as a leader. It would be a good idea to help them imagine themselves as a servant leader as they grow up, as they get older. Robert Greenleaf says, “For anything to emerge, there must first be an imagination, a vision of what might be.” A great dream is necessary for something great to occur.

Experience – Your child must have the opportunity to see you lead. They must see you demonstrate it. They must see you put it into practice on a regular basis. John Maxwell once said, “You should set a high standard for excellence.” Do not lower your standards and set high standards for others. When my children were younger, I can still remember. I used to take them shopping. It was a wonderful time. When I returned home, I found that the cashier hadn’t charged us for any of our items. I got my children in the car, and then took my receipt along with the unpaid items to my local store. I explained the situation to the manager. I explained to him that I wanted my children to see me doing the right thing. My children were told by the manager that they should be honest and follow their father’s example. My kids know that I am not perfect. The words of the grocery store manager really resonated with me. It was then that I was reminded of the importance of my example, and how I model my life for my children.

Encourage – Your child’s home environment is more important than their school or friends. Encourage your child to find friends who are positive and self-motivated. Otherwise, they might gravitate towards peers or friends with low self-leadership skills and moral compasses. You must also model the level of leadership your child/teen should strive for. You risk your child/teen falling prey to lower expectations from their friends, which could lead to them becoming less capable of leading. Jim Burns, a CBN writer, wrote that “Knowing your teenager’s friends will certainly provide insight into what morals and family values are influencing your child or teen.” You will also learn a lot about yourself by getting to know your teenager’s friends. Open your home to your child’s friends is a great way to get to know them. Invite your child’s friends over to your home to play, do homework, and have sleepovers.

These are the steps you should take to improve your leadership skills and your parenting skills to help your child succeed in their leadership journey. Although it is not always easy, the four steps of Expanding, Explaining and Experiencing will require consistency in order to raise the next generation leaders.

We would love to hear from your and can add value to your organization. This includes adding value to your family, as guardians, grandparents, parents, foster parents, and single parents.

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