Good evening parents. I believe your week is going on as planned.

This article is actually a re-post to remind us all of some things as caretakers and nurturers of the next generation. Parenting is a huge responsibility.

Leadership is a topic that is increasingly being researched for insight. Some authors have tried to enlighten us on this relatively new concept. Sir Peter Parker says, “leadership is one of those elusive priorities, an area in which there is no absolute, nor guaranteed model. So it turns out to be not only vital but also fun to talk about “what makes a leader”.

There are two theories that tried to tell us how a leader emerges. The first is the trait theory, and the second is the functional group approach. The first approach assumes that leaders are born and not made. These leaders have inherited characteristics which distinguish them from followers. It is also known as the great man theory.
The functional approach believes that the skills of leadership can be learnt, developed and perfected. This approach has been proven over time by organizations that have sought out people with leadership potential, and exposed them to career experiences designed to develop that potential. Today the saying that “Leaders are born not made” has been changed to “leaders are not born but made”, so everyone can do it. I will not totally discard the first, rather say “leaders are not only born but can be made too”. This is because I have seen genetic inheritance of leader traits in people. Children from primary school through secondary to the tertiary institutions are exposed to leadership development either by positional authority like prefectship or assigned tasks. They are being made to understand that, someone does not have to be the boss to be a leader.
When I teach leadership, the very first place I start is ‘Personal Leadership’. I started doing this long before I saw this topic by a Harvard professor ‘Why should anyone be led by you?’. People will willingly follow people who know where they are going, the professor says. So one should start by waking up and taking oneself somewhere first, then some people will want to follow you. Note I said some, not all. Mike Murdoch said ‘You are not called to everybody’. Be relevant to those God has called you to. Do not try to be someone important to everybody.

The children God gave us to partner with Him to care for need to be taught “Personal Leadership.” We need to teach them as they begin to enter their teen years how to be able to wake themselves up and take themselves to where they want to go. If we do not, we will continually be in their faces, and when we are not, since we need to continue with our own lives, someone else gets in there and takes them off course, which we do not want to happen. However, if they have learnt to be their own leader, starting from small areas that eventually affects the bigger areas of life in future, they will at least be in some form of control.

Parents today want their children to school abroad, very good.
However, remember the cost of ticket now to visit so you can monitor them. If you were his monitor in Nigeria/home country, who will you assign that role to abroad. We hijack the leadership traits our children were born with by paying people to lead them and wonder what happened to the children when those people are no longer there. We parents must know when to pull back and allow our children to navigate, make some mistakes and even laugh at themselves. I often talk to myself too to do this. If we do not do this, they will not be able to develop initiative and creativity in handling what concerns them. Consciously leave them to take up challenges and map out work plans on how to deliver, providing guidance from a reasonable distance. That way, they can learn some problem solving and decision makin skills.
A friend and his wife visited Nigeria sometime ago from Canada and mentioned that I needed to see how some children fall apart in Canada having left the protective covers of their parents. Now, let us think together, what are those things we the parents do/put into the lives of our children that can hijack the release of inherent leadership traits?

Mercy Itama (FNIM)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.