3 Ways to Encourage Your Children in Leadership
- Guy Hatcher The Legacy Guy
- Updated Apr 28, 2016
Growing Leaders: Three key leadership traits we must instill in our Children.
There are three key character traits we must teach our children in order to help them build strong leadership skills. As parents we have been given the opportunity to instill God’s legacy within our children’s hearts. As believers God’s legacy should be our legacy—a legacy of leadership built upon integrity that points our children toward a relationship with him.
Motivator and Leadership coach Zig Ziglar said, “I don't care how much power, brilliance or energy you have, if you don't harness it and focus it on a specific target and hold it there, you're never going to accomplish as much as your ability warrants.
On a bright Saturday morning in the spring of 1974 I learned firsthand just how true this statement is. About to discuss a difficult decision I had made with my mom, I entered the kitchen quietly to observe her mood. She seemed calm, cool, and collected. So, I gathered my courage, got my mother’s attention and began to leverage my position.
After telling Mom what a great mother she was, I casually lowered the boom, “I have decided to drop out of Boy Scouts.” The room went silent as she paused for a moment to collect her thoughts before responding. She calmly looked me in the eye and asked a simple question, “Guy, why do you want to do that when you are so close to earning your Eagle Scout?” After another long silence between us, she said she would discuss everything with my Dad and then we would talk together about the decision.
The next morning I joined my parents at the breakfast table where the discussion continued. Sitting there, I thought back over my years in Boy Scouts of America working up the ladder from Tenderfoot, to Star, to Life, and finally to the highest possible rank in Boy Scouts, The Eagle Scout Award.
Dad began by pointing out the benefits of completing the Eagle Scout Rank. Mom pointed out the fact that Scouting instilled strong character and discipline that would benefit my entire life, my future family, and my eventual career.
When we finished our discussion, my desire to move on to other pursuits seemed trivial. That morning, I listened to the wisdom of my parents and made the decision to stay in scouts. In the fall of that year I was awarded the rank of Eagle Scout.
Without fully recognizing it, over many childhood discussions my parents passed forward a legacy of integrity. They taught me leadership through modeling leadership in how they responded to my questions and guided me through my youthful decisions. There are three key character traits we must teach our kids in order to help them build strong leadership skills.
1. We must teach our children the gift of Pause.
My Mom had the wisdom and restraint not to react to but to respond to my request. She asked me a question that encouraged me to think through the decision I was about to make. Pause allows the Holy Spirit to open our kid’s hearts so they will hear the wisdom of God and the wisdom of those he has put in authority over them. Psalm 46:10 says, “Be still and 3know that I am God.” When we react to our kids they close their ears to our words, when we respond they are much more likely to open their hearts to God’s wisdom. Leaders understand the value of Pause and its place in guiding them to give Godly wisdom.
2. We must teach our children the gift of consultation.
Mom taught me the importance of being united with a partner. She consulted with my dad. It is important for our kids to understand as parents we are a united front. Leadership is about standing unified when major decisions are on the table. As they mature they will have the opportunity to lead alongside other leaders and one day they too may marry. They need to see and learn the value of being united with their spouse, business partner, etc. As God’s word tells us in Ephesians 4:12 “Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” Leaders respect other leaders and understand the importance of respecting one another when faced with confronting a difficult decision.
3. We must teach our children the importance of understanding and following God’s call on their lives.
By encouraging me to follow God’s call, my parents provided me with needed guidance. The impact of my decision to follow their lead and complete my commitment to scouts made all the difference in my life from that point moving forward. Earning my Eagle was a milestone I needed to cross as I pursued God’s call in my life. Today, I find myself working to instill that same legacy of integrity in my girls. God places a call on the heart of our children and it is our job, as parents, to guide them as they pursue God’s call. Leaders pursue God’s call on their lives. Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
God calls us to lead our children to His feet. As parents we have been given the opportunity to instill God’s legacy within our children’s hearts. As believers God’s legacy should be our legacy—a legacy of leadership built upon integrity that points our children toward a relationship with God.
Guy Hatcher: The Legacy Guy® – is passionate about helping families plan their legacy. His book, Your Future Reflection: How to Leave a Legacy Beyond Money, is available at amazon.com. Follow him on twitter @guyhatcher or contact him at www.guyhatcher.com
Publication date: April 19, 2016