How to Raise a Leader

by:  Claire Carver-Dias and Darla Campbell, School of Leadership

The earlier in life a child has a positive leadership experience, the more successful they will be when they grow up.  Here are a few things we can do as parents to help our children have those positive experiences and learn essential leadership skills early on. 4860198_x250

  • Foster a growth mindset:  According to Dr. Carol Dweck, a growth mindset is essential for learning and becoming the best we can be, whereas a fixed mindset creates fear about learning new things. Encourage a growth mindset by praising your child’s efforts, not his/her traits. For example, say, “I really admire the work that you’ve put into that assignment,” rather than “You are so smart.”
  • Effective feedback: Giving feedback is an essential part of life, and a key responsibility of parents and educators. 

    Why not give feedback using a style that celebrates progress?  Try the feedback sandwich:

    a. Begin with a positive comment;
    b. Suggest what can be done to improve next time, and;
    c. Finish with an overall positive comment. 

    For best results, give feedback within 5 minutes of completing the task.
  • Enroll your children in programs that emphasize values: Choose programs and camps that go beyond specific hard skill training and offer your child building blocks to be effective leaders in life.  Look for programs that emphasize team-building, communication, organization and problem-solving skills that can be applied in school at home and with peers.


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