As we head into the primaries every eye is on candidates. This is important! The election of a leader is very important, and we should all be involved. Having said that let me also say that what is really important is not the next leader, but leadership.
We need to be training leaders. We can’t elect and then sub-contract out the leadership of our future to an elected official. We need to be leaders, and we need to train tomorrow’s leaders.
It’s the job of every parent to train their children to become leaders rather than followers. No one is a born leader. Many are born aggressive, but that’s not leadership. In fact, aggressive self-centeredness is the opposite of leadership. Who will follow them for very long?
One of the overriding goals of parenting needs to be to help our children stop following the crowd and start leading the crowd.
Learning to lead myself
Leadership begins with the process of learning to lead myself. I have to be able to lead myself away from distracting temptations. The temptation to have something I don’t have, or the desire to do whatever it takes to be liked by my peers only makes me a follower. If my peers like me and applaud, I will play for that applause. If the acquisition of a material object causes me to momentarily applaud myself, then I will fall victim to the latest techno gadget.
It’s a matter of training a child to know Whose applause is the right applause and then the training to lead himself to stay that course. A child or teen can’t learn to lead himself until he is given the reason… the motivation. Who has the best plan for me? That’s the overriding question to be answered.
Do my peers have the best plan for my future? Or is it my desires? Do those temptations I desire really offer the best plan for me?
An audience of one
Leaders know why they are here because leaders are trained about who put them here. Our children become leaders when they learn that God has a plan for them and then parents give them the personal discipline to live life for an audience of one. Young men and women trained at an early age to love God and then to have the personal discipline to follow God. This makes them leaders because they know where they are going and refuse to get distracted. We need more parents training more boys and girls to be leaders like this who live for an audience of one.
If this country is to be turned around, it’s leaders that we need. If this country is going to move in the right direction, parents need to accept the responsibility to lead their homes in a way that would train leaders.
The two-part formula for raising a leader? Teach you children that God has a plan for their lives and then train them to be disciplined enough to lead rather than follow. Teach them that “No” means “No” so that you give them a great personal power. The power to say “No” to their urges and the power to say “No” to their peers. That is the formula for training your child to be a leader. That is also the formula for raising up tomorrow’s leaders. And that too is the answer America is looking for.
Yes, I believe we should be very active in this coming election. Yes, I believe we should support the right candidate. But I also know this. America will never be changed by the White House. America needs to be changed by your house and my house. It’s about training leaders today for leadership tomorrow.
Visit parentingonpurpose.org for more advice from Dr. Bob Barnes and Torrey Roberts.
For more articles by Dr. Bob Barnes and Torrey Roberts, visit goodnewsfl.org/author/dr-bob-barnes-and-torrey-roberts/