Some readers will be aware that I have recently published a book titled, Ten Leadership Lessons You Must Teach Your Teenager.
A few have asked me, Why did you write this book, Tim? The urge to write this book has been growing for forty years. During this period, I’ve had the privilege of teaching many thousands of students in both hemispheres of the world. However, I become increasingly aware that although the mandated school curriculum is useful, it is not as useful as timeless wisdom taught in the home.
I was also aware that too many children seemed to be living grey lives devoid of purpose or challenge. Sometimes, this was due to indulgence. Sometimes, this was due to neglect. Either way, I was meeting too many directionless and undiscovered teens. This was tragic when so many of them had a latent talent, a hidden strength that, if developed, would have proved a blessing to themselves and the broader community.
Furthermore, many had formed a dependency on others that rendered them invisible as people in their own right. They had developed a chameleon conformity.
Examples of good leadership, servant-hearted leadership and brave and principled leadership were becoming ominously rare. However, they can be found and used to inspire our children with what is possible.
At a time when too many teens are becoming victims, too many are becoming discouraged and too many are frittering their lives away on the trivial and self-serving, we need an antidote that challenges them to fulfil a destiny worthy of them. That antidote is the caring parent, someone who loves their child enough to want them to flourish.
We cannot have our sons and daughters remain in a state of perpetual childhood. There are countless ways they can contribute to society and enrich it in a way that causes them, and those about them, to not only be the best they can be, but to take pride and pleasure in achievement. Taking the initiative, accepting responsibility, exercising a generous heart, these are skills that can be taught at an early age.
Each of our children is a miracle of creation. Each has unique abilities. Each is called to be a leader, if not of others, then of themselves.
Leader? I hear you say. Why leader? There is quite enough hubris and grandstanding going on in society. The world has little use for advice that is going to assist precocious children to nurture ideas well above their station. What about the virtues of being a follower? Little is served by refining the hopes of those hell-bent on securing a life of privilege and power for their offspring.
I agree! But this is not a book to satiate the spoiled. It is a book on how to raise the servant-hearted leader, someone who can take the initiative, who has the courage to get involved.