Everyone wants their child to be happy. But parents also secretly hope their children will be confident, independent and self-starters. What does that look like? How can you foster it? While it can be frustrating to try to imagine your child’s future, if they demonstrate these signs, they’re sure to be a leader no matter what path they choose.
1. They have lots of interests.
If your child has a busy calendar full of different interests, or if they’re always “dabbling” in a new hobby, they’re on track to be a great leader. Their willingness to try new activities shows they are happy to take risks, adaptable to new environments and love a challenge — all signs of a leader-in-training. So, next time your cheerleader wants to try tennis or your football player wants to ditch the field for the dance studio, let them give it a whirl.
2. They’re self-sufficient at a young age.
Children who are able to assume responsibility at a young age have serious leadership potential. If your child is able to start and finish daily tasks without being bothered or able to complete long-term homework assignments without anyone getting on their case, they should have no problem setting and reaching goals later in life. Independence — especially when it comes to intention setting — is critical in leadership roles, and your child shows a proclivity for it.
3. They’re social butterflies.
Empathy and social competence are extremely valuable to leaders. These traits help them gain buy-in for their ideas, and maintain positive relationships with the people on their team. If your child is a good listener who shows signs of empathy – especially genuine kindness to other children — they may make a great leader. If they are outgoing and already fine-tuned to social situations, they have the social skills necessary for leadership situations.
4. They trust their intuition.
If your child can make tough decisions, that’s a sign they will be a leader, according to Duke University’s Talent Identification Program. The ability to make a decision based on instinct and stick by it is a sure sign of leadership ability. Think of how many leaders (and billionaires) got to where they are today because they trusted their instincts and invested in themselves.
5. They’re flexible.
The ability to adapt to different situations is a leadership skill. When a child can adapt their strengths to different environments and different groups, they show the plasticity of a good leader. Plus, as aforementioned, the ability to stay cool and collected in the face of stressful, new situations is a sign of leadership potential.
So, how can you empower your budding leader to be the best they can be? Encourage them to explore their passions, take on leadership roles throughout their school years and participate in leadership camps or seminars. Work with them to keep their childhood leanings towards leadership alive.