Leadership is often thought of as the ability to influence others and help them to take action.
In our personal lives, leadership is often much more simple. Being the first to stand up and do the right thing provides leadership to your peers. Living your own values sets a great example for others and often spurs them into action. This “lead from the front” style requires confidence in your own abilities, the ability to communicate (like being able to speak when everyone is looking at you!), and the wisdom to know when to talk and when to listen. Arm yourselves with the tools you will need to lead others to greatness!
Leadership is very involved subject and many, many books have been written about it. Simply put though, Leadership isn’t about “bossing” people around and telling them what to do. Rather, it is the ability to share a vision, inspire action, and motivate individuals to act together to accomplish a common goal.
The best leaders don’t demand trust and respect, they inspire others to want to trust and respect them. In a family, that means setting clear expectations for how family members should behave and then inspiring your family to want to achieve that behavior. Keep in mind, demanding a certain behavior is likely to be ineffective. Live your values and focus on building a strong relationship with your kids. If you have a strong relationship, you’ll be amazed at how much your kids will want to follow your leadership example.
Often, the most effective leadership is simply living your values. When your kids see you choose a more difficult right over an easier wrong, it will impact and inspire them. For example, if you found a wallet and then spent the time and effort to find its rightful owner, your kids would have a memory of how you behaved and they would likely do the same thing if they found a wallet. Leading by example is a great way to create young leaders out of your kids.