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.
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 and 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?
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.
There’s an amazing amount of almost messianic buzz right now about a young man named Tim Tebow. Tebow is not the phenomenon – his parents who trained him are the real story. This young man was trained at an early age to love God and then to have the personal discipline to follow God. This makes him a leader because he knows where he is going and he refuses to get distracted.
It’s not more of Tim Tebow that we need. It’s more parents training more boys and girls to be leaders like Tim Tebow.
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 your 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.