I asked the people on Educating Today’s Facebook page, “What makes a leader?”

They overwhelmingly said that it’s a person’s influence that truly makes them a leader and leadership is more than just a title.

Leaders are Influencers

• A good leader has a positive influence on others by motivating and empowering them.
• A leader can be in a variety of positions. He’s not always the head honcho.
• A person put in a position of leadership will fail if he doesn’t have influence.
• A true leader needs to have a vision bigger than himself.
• A good leader’s position is a “servant-leader;” not an authoritarian.
• A good leader is a good listener.
• A good leader feels and shows empathy for others.
• A good leader is a community-builder.
• A true leader listens to, responds to and supports others.
• A true leader wants to help and serve.

Not everyone wants to be a leader. However, we need to remember that a leader can assume a variety of positions. They don’t always have to be the top-dog. I think a person can have leadership characteristics without being the person in charge.

What Do We Really Mean?

When we talk about wanting our children to be leaders, what do we really mean? Chaplain Peter Marshall said, “If we don’t stand for something, we shall fall for anything.”

• Stand for what’s noble and true
• Know how to say no
• Focus on inspiring and motivating others.
• A boldness to speak up for what’s right
• Speak effectively to others

What You Can Do To Help

1. Choose to be a good role model and live the kind of life you want your kids to follow.
2. As your children grow, empower them to make their own decisions.
3. Give them opportunities to lead, but don’t overwhelm them.
4. Be a good listener when they talk about their fears, dreams and ambitions.

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