As the leader goes, so goes the nation”– a familiar saying I was reminded of while teaching a junior high Sunday School class. We were discussing good leadership during a lesson on Moses. I was honored to be among a wise group of kids. The compiled list of “What Makes a Good Leader” included people who

  • Take initiative
  • Are trustworthy
  • Persevere
  • Volunteer to take charge
  • Are kindson and father
  • Have courage
  • Have patience
  • Include everybody.

Out of the mouth of “babes” profound truth is revealed.  These 6-8th graders know a good leader when they see one.  While leadership in the government, workplace, and community is important, leadership is most influential in the home.  Every parent is a leader to their children, influencing the development of tomorrow’s leaders and future generations.

The influential role of parenting is slowly eroding in our culture. Helicopter parents, hands-off parentsdistracted parents , absentee parents–leadership in the home is increasingly off balance. If only children could tell you when you bring them home from the hospital that parental leadership is a significant influence in shaping their development.  In a year of elections, you’re bombarded with reminders of good and not-so good qualities in presidential leader. 

But kids don’t get to choose who leads them.  They are trustingly placed in the hands of their natural leaders, those who have a profound influence on them – you–their parent. This is a mighty calling.

Some questions to consider as a parent-leader:

  • How can you be more trustworthy to your children? 
  • In what ways do you need to persevere when children are challenging?
  • How can you be more patient when patience is needed? 
  • In what ways do you need to display courage to your children, and when do you need to step up and take charge for a positive influence in their lives? 
  • How can you show more kindness to your family? 
  • How can you be proactive to include each child in a fair, yet personal relationship?

You don’t get a declaration coming home from the hospital with a new child stating “You are now the most influential leader in the life of this child!,” let alone an instruction book on how to be a good leader.  But being aware of the power of parenting is crucial in calibrating your senses to be the best leader you can be for your children. 

Pope John Paul II said, “As the family goes, so goes the nation and so goes the whole world in which we live.”   This wisdom validates the leadership qualities compiled by ten very wise teenagers.  Perhaps we can be intentional this election year by being world leaders, one family at a time.

Where can you lead well today?

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