Creating leaders by Kratika Trivedi
By Volunteer Kratika Trivedi, FHI Lucknow
I observe, I understand, I learn, I experiment, I lead.
Leadership today is not an innate skill but a dynamic one, that can be developed by observing, understanding, learning and experimenting in their surroundings. The firm belief of leaders being born has been subsided by a truism that is LEADERS BEING CREATED.
If I ask you to look around for the leaders, you can come up with the names that are leading YOU at your class, your nation, your house, your job but did you count yourself in it? Did you see yourself as a leader?
From a young age, the conditioning of a child is done in a way that they are given ideals to follow instead of being one themselves due to which the ability to follow overpowers the ability to lead which turns out to be a disadvantage for the children in their later growth years. Right parenting during initial growth years of a child makes them self-independent so that they don’t rely on others for the fulfilment of their own needs. Parents should be giving their child some freedom and control in making their own decision instead of completely taking the charge of it but, they should also be guiding and monitoring them at each step so that they understand how a particular situation can be tackled. Parents who tend to provide more practical life experiences to their children are more likely to make them more confident and independent in comparison to others. Even in schools and institutions focusing on cultivation of few skills like empathy, teamwork, communication skills, understanding, decision making skills, confidence, creatively thinking, moral values, emotional quotient, courage and providing them opportunities to experience, learn together and explore will definitely bring the best leaders out of the cluster of kids because growth comes from experience and the ability to lead comes from growth
The real challenge, however, is enabling children from economically challenged backgrounds to become leaders. But, as a matter of fact, the best leaders emerged from economically challenged backgrounds. Be it APJ Abdul Kalam, Narendra Modi, Nelson Mandela, Abraham Lincoln, Barack Obama and the list goes on. So, it’s necessary that we-
EDUCATE THEM about themselves, their surroundings, developing awareness inside them about leaders who emerged a force from challenging backgrounds and took over so that they develop a willingness in themselves to lead.
HELP THEM UNDERSTAND THEIR LIMITATIONS through surveys and activities and decode what is obstructing them from leading, why are they not thinking of being leaders. To understand their perceptions about themselves and help them develop self-worth and confidence in them by letting them know their capabilities and potential that is untapped.
ENGAGING THEM IN GAMES & SPORTS is surely the best way to bring the leaders out because this is a field that tests their spirit and ability of performing in teams, taking decisions, being honest and other required leadership skills.
DEVELOPING CHARACTER AND SIGNATURE STRENGTHS- Character strengths are the strengths of an individual and signature strengths are the topmost strengths (top 3) from the character strengths of an individual. So, helping kids discover their strength and polishing them to make them their signature strength and then using it to lead will help them become successful leaders.
GIVING EXTERNAL MOTIVATION- Helping them in setting goals for them, making them realise the importance of achieving goals and giving them an external motivation will help them perform better and be better version of themselves
CREATIVE THINKING EXERCISES- Like provide them with a hypothetical situation and ask how would they act, react. What do they think of that case, possible solutions according to them, what will they do if they have to lead in that case etc.
Most importantly make them realise that FAILING IS NOT LOSING, it’s just another chance, so not to be afraid of failure and help them in cultivating other basic skills of a leader because unless you work on the foundation, you won’t reach the summit.