Bullying Vs. Leadership
Any parent who has watched children playing together know there are dynamics that take place within the group.
Many children follow directions well, others don’t. Some always want what others have, are more interested in picking on others, or are spending their time instigating spats. There are always some, however, that stand out. These are the children who are helping others, either by example or by explanation; these are the youngsters who will be the leaders of tomorrow.
The drive for leadership is not something that children learn. They can strive to be better or be the best, they can learn to memorize, and they can be taught to bark orders, but those qualities do not lead to effective leadership. Whether the child is 12 or 20, leadership means he or she knows how to win the trust of others.
Leadership involves trust and example, as well as an understanding of a group goal or intent. Most children who possess leadership qualities take initiative at every opportunity. They enjoy organizing neighborhood events (albeit on a small level), have the best ideas for fundraisers at church or school, and have creative ideas.
Gifted or talented children may create better-finished products, but the leader thought of the idea. Part of the leadership drive is the knowledge of how to best use available resources. For example, a student who organizes a charity bake sale may know that a particular student is good with money and suggest that he or she handle the cash box.
Being a Leader
The drive toward leadership involves wanting to be a leader. Pushing a child to be the best at something does not guarantee that he or she will be a good (or a great) leader, even though they have an authoritarian title attached to their names. A drill sergeant has earned that rank, but the rank does not make him an effective leader. A Cub Scout or Boy Scout may earn a merit badge, but that does not make him a future Cub Scout leader. In actuality, being a Cub Scout Leader does not guarantee good leadership.
However, a Boy Scout who has the drive to reach his rank of Eagle Scout, manages and designs his own project, enlists the monetary or in-kind contributions of local merchants and citizens, goes before the governing agencies of all towns involved, and achieves the rank of Eagle Scout has a very good chance of becoming a leader, if he has not shown leadership qualities already.
Once the Scout has reached the rank of Eagle Scout and is over the age of 18, he is likely to be a popular candidate for Scout Leader anywhere. He has exhibited the leadership drive and will not hesitate to take the initiative when an opportunity presents itself.
In The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, John Maxwell has combined insights learned from his thirty-plus years of leadership successes and mistakes with observations from the worlds of business, politics, sports, religion, and military conduct. The result is a revealing study of leadership delivered as only a communicator like Maxwell can.