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Leadership in Action by Roshni Subramani

By Volunteer Roshni Subramani, FHI Kolkata

“Tell me, and I Forget. Teach me and I Remember. Involve me and I Learn.” – Anne with an E.

To begin with, I was surprised at the way Google defines Leadership.

Google defines Leadership as “the action of leading a group of people or an organization.”

But what if leadership is defined as an act of a leader, leading with a group of people by giving predominance to the concepts of collaboration and participation? From an early age, children are taught about good and bad, right and wrong, white and black, and so forth. However real education lies in the inclusion of certain aspects of life that helps an individual to think, feel and act in a given situation or circumstance. A significant characteristic is that of leadership, which helps children to gather grit and determination to succeed in life with positivity. With the advent of the 21st century, came the advent of competition, and with that came stress, anxiety, and depression. Talking about implementing leadership qualities in a child, I would like to do the same by writing out certain measures that can be adopted in the execution of the same.

1. Teach your child to believe. Belief and Faith must never wither away with time.

2. Teach your child to have the courage and be kind. Kindness and Bravery are like two sides of the same coin.

3. For economically challenged children, first and foremost remove the line that demarcates between the rich and the poor when it comes to education, as it should belong to all. Education should be made a birthright for children from all strata of the society, the accessibility of which should be made easier as each day passes in the modern age. Because they are viewed as “other” children, it becomes easier to subdue them and never teach them leadership thus taking away opportunities to prove themselves. This can be done by genuine organizations reaching out to the underprivileged without the thought of profit. Teachers around the globe must then not just teach within the four walls of the classroom but must take a step to “involve” these children in day to day activities, just like normal children do.

4. How do you prove you are a good leader? A good leader is a good listener. Who listens to the problems of his organization or his group of people with whom he/she runs a company. Children must then, as leaders learn to coexist and collaborate with their classmates and playmates without taking advantage of one’s position, which then shall prove to be an example of dishonesty and oppression.

5. A good leader should then definitely pick up the art of engaging in conversations and talking, which then leads us to one of the main points – communication. The communication between a leader and his team must be clear of misunderstandings. The more you talk, the more you listen, the more you act.

6. Finally the hierarchy between leader and team should be blurred to make the team feel comfortable, which brings me to the concept of – comfort.

7. The vision of the leader must be the vision of the team, the vision must be shared by one and all, with determination. The changes on the way must be adjusted to, with time, and without conflict.

Leadership, should then, definitely be a subject in the curriculum, which will then prepare children to boost their confidence and prepare them to be good individuals soon. This can be done by dividing classes into groups, giving them projects, and assigning them leaders, who change every week, so that each child gets the opportunity to display their skills of leading the group.

For the economically backward children, they should undergo the same with their teachers educating them by dividing them into groups, assigning leaders for the same, and on a rotational basis, so that each child stands a chance.

I would also recommend a mentor for the groups, which could be a senior or a teacher herself/himself. The Child Leader then is mentored by his/her senior and educator.

Apart from all the above-mentioned points, our education system definitely should undergo a change, which will then help children to free themselves from the mechanical ways of learning to newer concepts of involving and engaging them in classes, to then make, better leaders out of them soon.

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