As we continue our series on the 15 Laws of growth, I have a very special guest host – Amy Malay and her adopted son Jebastin Malay, from India. Listen and hear real life application of the Law of Intentionality within the Malay family
In the year 2003, Amy began sponsoring Jebastin, a young child enrolled with Compassion International in Chennai, India. A few years prior to that, Jebastin lost his mother due to a heart condition and his father was absent in his life due to alcoholism. He was accepted into the child sponsorship program at age five. As an orphan, he “claimed” Amy as his mom when he received her first letter. Little did either of them know that almost 20 years later, and after many letters and texts, they would meet in person. And not only would they meet, but that a true mother-son bond would be realized. As parent leaders in the home, you likewise must hone in on who you are, as the parent. And you need to hone in on what you desire to do regarding yourself & your family.
John Maxwell wrote, “The Law of Awareness says you must know yourself to grow yourself. What that means is that in order to achieve growth, leaders must hone in on who they are and what they desire to do. As parent leaders in the home, you likewise must hone in on who you are, as the parent. And you need to hone in on what you desire to do regarding yourself & your family.
We are continuing series on the 15 Laws of Growth, by John Maxwell, and we’re going to apply these Laws to parenting. I think you’ll get a lot out of this. I think that it will help grow you exponentially. I believe it will enable you to move further forward as the best version of yourself as a parent and as a person.
Parents, parenting is a huge challenge and another huge challenge is personal growth. When you avail yourself of the opportunity to grow your self you will increase your potential to become not only a better person, but become a better parental leader in your household. We are continuing series on the 15 Laws of Growth, by John Maxwell, and we’re going to apply these Laws to parenting. I think you’ll get a lot out of this. I think that it will help grow you exponentially. I know it will enable you to move further forward as the best version of yourself as a parent and as a person.
Parents, parenting is a huge challenge and another huge challenge is personal growth. When you avail yourself of the opportunity to grow your self you will increase your potential to become not only a better person, But a better parental leader in your household. We are beginning a series on the 15 Laws of Growth, by John Maxwell, and we’re going to apply those 15 LAWS to parenting. I think you’ll get a lot out of this. I think that it will help grow you exponentially. I believe it will enable you to move further forward as the best version of yourself as a parent and as a person.
Parents and guardians, we all forget things from time to time. For example, what were the three things I needed to get at the store? But some kids seem to forget things “ALL” the time.
If your child has trouble following directions and remembering lists, you’re not alone. Some parents and caregivers feel like they have to keep repeating themselves because their child can’t remember what mom or dad said the first two, three or multiple times you have reminded them. This episode will provide you, mom and dads, with some tools and things to do to help your child/teen not be so forgetful.
Parents, I want to challenge you to “Expect to live your best life.” Many of us have negative expectations which turn into a negative self for filling prophecy. Parents focus your thoughts on doing your next possible little step, which will enable you to move your mindset to one that Expects, Your Best Life To Show Up.
Parents, never doubt or diminish your ability to influence your child or teen’s behavior and self-leadership through the power of parental iInfluence. A child or teen, properly influenced, will develop the ability to not only to lead themselves, but to lead their peers as well. However, parents, it starts with your leadership. And the leadership of the mentors which you allow into your child or teen’s life. They are important as well. When you find an effective teacher, coach, Sunday school teacher, or other mentors, establish a relationship with them. Partner with your child’s mentor to positively influence your son or daughter.
Parents here is some great parenting advice. Leadership is simply you positively influencing your son or daughter. Let me give you an example of positive influencing. Each summer I work with a group of teens at a leadership camp in Oklahoma. When the young men graduate the camp, they will have earned a saber with their name and favorite scripture engraved upon it. I and my assistant camp commander, who we call Graybeard, teach them servant leadership. We also teach them how to drill and march with their saber. It is all silent drill with no cadence called. It is essentially one big team building evolution, as they not only learn a routine, but how to work with each other.
Graybeard and I, both tell and demonstrate what is expected. Then we allow the teens to do it themselves. Without a doubt some, if not all, will say how frustrated they are. How they will never learn the routine. Graybeard and I are patient. We explain, demonstrate and have them do it over and over until a key segment of the routine clicks in their actions. And when it does, that is when things really get interesting. I stop them in their tracks and have them fall in in front of me. This is when my “I believed in you, even when you didn’t” speech starts. Loudly, I go up and down the line praising each and everyone for their part in making the particular section of the routine work.
One by one I repeated what that individual said they could not do, but ended up doing well. I told them how Graybeard and I always believed in them. They only had to believe in themselves. Then we ask them what they were waiting for? Get back out there and show us again why we are right to believe in you. It’s basically a very loud, personal praise fest where we positively wind them up and set them back to the task at hand. And it works every time. The teens will jog back to the parade field and repeat the routine.
When mistakes are made, they are the ones to catch it, explain how to do it correctly, demonstrate the correct way to do it and try again. They often praise and edify each other. Graybeard and I find a comfortable chair to pass the time. Eventually a teen will run up and want to show us how the team is doing. By graduation day, the routine has come together and they contribute it all to myself and Graybeard. We have to remind them we only showed the way. We led them through influence. Then they made the journey to success by influencing each other and leading themselves.
And it is important to take the time to identify the mentors in your child’s life and team up with them to influence your child or teen. When I was a pre-teen, I had a wonderful mentor in a boy/teen Christian mentorship program called Royal Rangers. Between my dad and my Royal Ranger leader, I could not get away with anything. They exchanged verbal notes on me on a regular basis. I was positively influenced coming and going. I did not make it easy on either one of them. I frustrated both of them many times. Never-the-less, they never stopped being a positive influence and I eventually learned to led myself and others.
My father and my Royal Ranger leader established a very solid foundation for me. And even with all the temptations and distractions of this world; I never strayed too far from the path of common sense. Even when I left home and joined the military. And when I did find myself straying from the path, there was that strong lighthouse. The one my father and Royal Ranger commander had established a lighthouse upon a strong foundation.
The light from that lighthouse was the memory of what they had taught me and of what they had lived out by personal example. Today, I’m a Royal Ranger leader. I explain, show and allow my boys and teens to lead. Then I, publicly, acknowledge excellence the moment (or not too long after). I have adults who are amazed when they see a junior high pre-teen take charge of a group of elementary aged boys. And that the boys actually obey and follow the pre-teen. Parents working with their child’s mentors is an important element in your child and teen pathway to becoming self-led.
Parents, single parents, guardians, grand parents, foster parents, etc. I want to challenge you today to set a new standard for yourselves. Use the power of parental iInfluence with your child.. Determine in your mind that you are going to be a daily positive influence on your child. Take the time and build the patience to explain how to do things. Demonstrate what you want done and then have them do it.
And when, they get it right let them know it. They may not have put the dishes and pots away like you would. But they are not you. The main point was it done. Take the time to positively acknowledge all the things that went right. Then work with them on what could be better and how you know they are going to get it right. How you are looking forward to when they get it just right. And parent, in the end, if you take a step back; the way they organized the dishes & pots and pans may actually be more efficient than your way.
Believing in people is critical to a leader’s level of influence. Believing in people is also key to the success of both the leader and their team reaching their true potential. However, a leader cannot have influence without believing in their people. Belief cannot exist without trust. And while trust needs to be a 360 degree commitment between a leader and their team, it starts with the leader. John Maxwell says, “Here’s the bottom line; people will more likely follow and be loyal to leaders who can correctly demonstrate the answer to these 3 questions. Do you care about me? Can you help me? Can I trust you?” So how should a leader go about answering these three pivotal questions?
The first quesThe first questions is “do you care about me?” This is a very important question for any leader who wishes to be successful. A leader’s success comes from the people they lead. The leader needs to become aware of who their people are and their unique giftings. Leaders need to care enough to understand how well and how efficient their people do their jobs. These are basic tenants of leadership. So, why is it so hard for some leaders to understand that if people don’t think their leader cares about them or understands them; they don’t give their best effort. Why? It is because there is nothing to motivate the team to put forth their best work other than their own work ethic or fear. And understand, people can become so worn down in a negative environment their work ethic will erode over time. As for fear, it is a toxin which fuels motivation only for a moment in time, only to destroy it in the end.
So what does caring look like? It starts with becoming aware as a leader. Becoming aware of who your people are is the first step towards positively influencing them. In Maxwell’s book, “A Leader’s Greatest Return, he quotes David Augsburger, noted author. Augsburger says, “ Being heard is so close to being loved that for the average person that they are almost indistinguishable. Listening draws people to you, which works better than trying to push your leadership upon them. Empathy builds trust.” Leaders need to understand who their people are. This is accomplished by listening to them. And this does not mean focusing on how one is going to respond to what is being said. It means listening while trying to put oneself in the speaker’s shoes. It means trying to see things from the vantage point of those you lead. Listening opens the way to understanding. Understanding leads to connecting and connecting forges trust.
The second question is “Can you help me?” This question points to one of the foundations of servant leadership. Helping people requires serving them. Robert Greenleaf, father of modern servant leadership, encourages leaders to ask themselves the following questions: “Do those served grow as persons? Do they, while being served, become healthier, wiser, freer, more autonomous, more likely themselves to become servants? A quality leader needs to ask their people how can they help them grow? What do they feel they need for personal growth and professional development. Leaders should seek out the little things which makes their people feel appreciated and accepted in the workplace. But it does not stop there because servant leadership is a 360 degree effort. In his book, Infinity Game, Simon Sinek ask us to “think of an organization as a plant. No matter how strong it is, no matter how tall it grows, if it cannot make new seeds, if it is unable to produce new leaders, then its ability to hire for generations is nil.” In short Greenleaf and Sinek are saying competent leaders will encourage their people serve others in the work place. This is yet another way a leader’s level of influence is enhanced. When exerting influence in this manner, the leader is reproducing themselves. They are creating leadership seeds as their people serve others in a 360 degree fashion including: subordinates, fellow peers and even their leaders.
The last question is “Can I trust you? Will you as the leader be there for me? John Maxwell points out that, “Without trust, influence is nothing more than coercion and manipulation. Integrity cannot be purchased on a whim; rather, it’s shaped by each ethical decision you make. Your integrity is your responsibility. It’s an inside job, the cumulative effect of your choices in life. Integrity matters, because it’s the gateway to trust, and only by establishing trust can you gain the right to influence others.” Too often, managers and supervisors default to using coercion and manipulation, as well as fear, to motivate performance in the work place. Coercion and manipulation erodes a leader’s level of influence. While there may be some temporary success, in the beginning, it is short lived. People working under the yoke of coercion, manipulation and fear simply have no incentive to do more than the minimum to get a task or project done. “When leaders are willing to prioritize trust over performance, performance will follow.” (Simon Sinek). With this in mind, leaders should endeavor to make trust, in the work place, a leadership priority.
When a leader successfully answers the questions: Do you care about me and can you help me they open the doors which lead towards answering the last question; can I trust you? Remember listening draws those you lead towards you as a leader. Listening gives way to understanding. Understanding promotes connection; which gives the leader influence. Positive influence yields trust. And trust is critical to leader and subordinates alike. Choosing to take the time to listen, to understand, to intentionally connect, “without manipulation” are choices which determine the leaders’s integrity. And while integrity is the leader’s gateway” to gaining trust. It is also the means for a leader to maintain trust, as well. So trust and believe in your people, so you can begin to positively influence them in integrity.
When we speak or hear about leadership, many will immediately think of the work place, as well as various charity groups like: churches, civic organizations, youth organizations, etc. And while many of these places do practice leadership, there is another important area of our lives where leadership should be practiced, the family. Some of the best parenting advice anyone could give you is on the importance of leadership development in the home. Hopefully, by the end of this article you will know that anyone can learn to become a leader, that leadership is all about the process and that the time to learn and practice leadership is today, not tomorrow.
The first piece of parenting advice is that everyone is capable of learning leadership skills and practicing those leadership skills. This includes your children. Granted a 5 year old would not have the same capacity level as a teenager, regarding leadership, but both can be taught the skills to be self-led. In fact you want your 5, 6, 7…year old to begin taking steps to become self-led, but more on that later. It is important to the child to see leadership modeled by the parent. In other words, the parents actions and accompanying words, greatly influences what a child learns. Every child is like a sponge when it comes to learning. If the parent is living out leadership via their actions and words the child will soak it up. They will soak up the positive or negative influences seen and heard in your daily example at home. And because kids are learning sponges, they are going to soak up things which will effect their self image. How they see themselves in this world. And if your child is not learning from you or you are not pouring leadership traits into them; then they will take their directions from someone else. And that someone else might not share your values. So take control over your child’s leadership development, with the knowledge they can be a self-led leader.
The second piece of parenting advice is that, while leadership is a complex skill, learning leadership is all about the process, parents. Meaning it will not happen overnight and you children are not going to be perfect at it. And to be clear, it is not a matter of “if” they will make mistakes & missteps, but rather when. John C. Maxwell said, “This is true for the development of any skill. really .. and it’s particularly true of leadership .. it’s a process .. it evolves .. you don’t read one book and become a great leader overnight. You don’t attend one training program and become a great leader overnight. It takes time and commitment and a certain investment in yourself to develop your leadership skills.” Like, Rome, your child’s leadership won’t be built in a day. It will take years, so be patient. And parents don’t overlook your own need for leadership development. Also, none of us can ever know everything, so personal leadership growth should be ongoing. After all, you are a primary example to each of your children. If you make the investment in yourself as a parent leader, you can pour out your leadership example into each one of your children. This will result in both parent and child enhancing their respective leadership skills.
The last piece of parenting advice is that the time to engage in developing leadership skills is today. In his book Today Matters, Maxwell says, “The only guarantee about tomorrow being better is if you do something today.” Therefore if you want to guarantee that your child’s leadership skills grow, along with those in your household, then you must start today. Again, leadership is a learnable complex skill that takes time to develop. And just because it takes time does not mean that you should take your time to begin starting the process. Tomorrow, next week, a year, 5 years are not guaranteed to any of us living today, so start now! Besides, that 5 year old will soon be 11 and then 18 years old, so get started now. And if you have a pre-teen or teen, don’t let their age stop you. They can still learn from you and be guided by you, even as you are developing your own personal leadership skills.
Again, I believe these three points are some of the best parenting advice regarding teaching your son or daughter to be self-led. There’s an old saying but it’s every bit as true today as it was when I was a kid, success occurs when preparation meets opportunity. Preparing your child, in the home, to become self-led prepares them for life’s opportunities. Therefore put your processes in place now, so each child of yours, can embrace opportunity when it presents itself. We all have the capacity to lead, but it takes a long, and consistent process to develop the complex skills needed for leadership. And it is a process we parents must initiate in the home and give children, pre-teens and teens the space to practice being self-led. And the space needed for recovery and growth from the inevitable errors and missteps they will make.