I was teaching at a school the other day about Roosevelt when I decided to ask them about their perception of the current political turmoil. This is a pretty common discussion among my adult programs, but I had never brought it up to 3rd and 4th graders before.
I decided to get the conversation started by asking them what they thought made a good leader. Like all classrooms, hands shot into the air:
“Good at giving directions”
“Tells people what to do”
“Has a following”
The words were painfully shy of the words and concepts I teach when I do Corporate programs on Leadership:
“Looking out for other’s best interests”
It made me realize that we are not teaching our children the baseline of what is important – the skills that make each of us not only influencer’s in our small local world, but leaders the greater world. It concerns me when Honesty is not on a child’s list of important attributes for a leader. Shouldn’t we start there if we want to have the best future for our next generation?
We teach our children how to compete in almost everything they do – perhaps it is time we find a way to make honesty a competition instead of an anomaly.