Leadership Lessons: When Leaders Act Like Children

May 25, 2017 4:22 pm

happy child kids group have fun and play at kindergarden indoor preschool education concept with teacher

Leadership education comes in a myriad of forms – from Universities to Kindergartens with children often overlooked as being those we can learn from.

  1. Children are inclusive.
    I watch how kids include one another until they learn the art of rejection. They see one of their own playing individually and will often initiate contact and make friends easily. They work together to accomplish tasks.
    Good Leadership is about personnel inclusivity and fostering team participation
  2. Children are curious.
    Children have a penchant for learning, for asking a million ‘why’ questions – they’re curious about what things are and how things work.
    Leadership is about continuous learning and curiosity.
  3. Children attempt new things. 
    Not given to mundane living, children are willing to try new things. From lifting the impossible to taking a first step to jumping on (and falling off) their first bike.
    Leadership is pushing the boundaries of ‘what is’ to ‘what could be.’
  4. Children help others.
    Until they learn the art of selfishness, kids are prone to help where they can even if they can’t really be of assistance. It’s an active demonstration of generosity on their part coming from an innate desire to be helpful.
    Employees respect Leaders who are seen to be helpful; who demonstrate a willingness to upgrade their (employees) skills, provide additional assistance in whatever area is required.
  5. Children are playful.
    It seems that we were born to play but as we grow older we sometimes lose the art of having fun. One of my children grabbed a stick, held it skywards and yelled: “God, touch the end of this stick.” I’m not sure whether God did but it was sure fun to watch. There is a simplicity in the way they have fun without regard for what others are thinking. They’re not concerned with looking cool.
    Leadership is about being responsible AND having fun along the way – both in our personal lives and with the people we lead.
  6. Children are dreamers.
    While kids entertain unrealistic daydreams at times, their little minds are free to explore.
    Leaders don’t allow the past or present to determine the future. They intentionally allow their minds to wander in order to discover. 

Children. Little people who have much to teach us big people about life and leadership.