4 leadership lessons we can learn from children

4 leadership lessons we can learn from children

1. Let Leadership Come Naturally

The kids who are most likely to emerge as leaders are those who are always willing to lend a helping hand. They are the ones who try to find solutions, propose new games and mediate conflicts.

As adults, we tend to think this is what a leader must do once they’ve been given the authority. But children teach us that these things are what make a leader, in fact.

2. Establish Rules and Stick to Them

What’s so interesting about kids when they play games is that they all stick to the rules, once they are established. That’s what makes these games work. Once everyone agrees on the rules, they will no longer change mid-play. Children might revise or adapt rules, but never in the middle of the game.

This consistency is what makes everything works. It’s up to the leader of a group to make sure everyone observes the rules they agreed upon. And most importantly, they cannot use their authority to bend the rules for their purposes.

3. Have Fun Outside Your Comfort Zone

Every new activity a child starts is going to be outside their comfort zone. Since they have little life experience, children don’t possess the same ability to predict possible outcomes as adults do. When you look at it from this perspective, you realize that children are real risk-takers.

So when you find yourself stuck in a rut, try to forget everything you know about a particular situation and see as if it where for the first time. Take this challenge as a fun, new learning experience rather than a problem that has to be solved.

4. Never Stop Asking "Why?"

Probably during the school years, we tend to stop asking ‘Why?’. And when we do it feels as if we are criticizing the other person. Many people actually use this question as a form of criticism, implying not that they want to understand something, but that they’ve already dismissed it as an option.

Kids don’t have these concerns. They are genuinely trying to understand why things work the way they do. It can get a bit frustrating for adults, but this simple question is an invaluable learning tool for children.

As a leader, you need to be able to understand the reasoning behind your team’s proposals. And you need to make sure they’ve thought it through as well. Asking ‘Why?’ in all earnestness is going to help you understand the process behind a decision, and it’s also going to make your team members think critically about their proposal.