Leadership..tough job

Nothing is more heart breaking than having a kid feel like they have been signaled out or excluded from an event. Too often you see this scenario repeated in schools and extra circular events. Someone is bound to get their feelings hurt.

My concern is, what is left for those kids who have been left behind – for whatever reason. Is there a good enough reason? I don’t think so. Adults who lead often become so absorbed in the actions of an event that they lose sight of those kids who are falling between the cracks.

Compound the fact, with juvenile peer pressure, and you have a real situation on your hands. Some actions, or lack of actions, can have a detrimental effect on a young mind. I’m not talking just hurt feelings, but a total loss of self esteem.

Adults who are in charge need to lead everyone, not just those who are draining their attention. It’s the student who is non-attentive, that is often over looked – the one left behind.

School outings and events aren’t just for the social elite, or those who have money and can buy their children a spot. Events are for everyone. I’m not being rude or ignorant, I’m telling you the truth.

The answers people will give you when they know they are caught in a lie, not towing line, etc., will baffle  you. Here are a few:

It was a paper error.
It was coach error.
It was a volunteer error.
It was the drama mama.
It was the Captains.
It was – “oh it just happened. Well, we will do something with them when WE get back”.

So why didn’t someone fix it? How devastating is that to a child? Not just to the child, but to their entire family sometimes.   You may think you are a leader, a teacher, a parent volunteer – or whatever. You may think your child is a leader. But, if you leave one member of your team behind you failed the test. You failed to lead.

Students tend to bully other students who they perceive as inferior. Where is the teacher during all of this? It is the adults who fail to lead which help to potentially place those very labels on kids.  The most typical answer is “girls will be girls”, or “boys will be boys”.  Not real imaginative.

Is your community failing the test? A child can’t lead but through example. What type of leader are you?  What example are you setting. A child is watching.

Real leaders are leaders who listen, observe, and then make decisions.  Don’t open your mouth too quickly, and thus burn bridges – rebuilding is rough, and can take years.

If you tell the truth to being with –  there is a better sense of trust that is developed.  Hiding or fabricating your experience is not leadership – far from it.   It is what it is – a lie.

Good leaders know that it takes everyone on a team to be successful.  If you leave someone out,  then resentment and turmoil usually follow.   The younger your team, the more chance that a student will mis-communicate your words to family and friends.  Most just do not have the training and experience that they will need to rationalize out a difficult situation.

Sometimes leaders have to step up to the plate and give  bad news to a dancer(s). It is only through maturity that a dancer will learn to handle constructive criticism.

By listening, and actually hearing what your students or team mates are saying, you are giving them the best gift you can give them.  You are recognizing  them as a person.  You are respecting what they have to say.  It is always important to hear both sides of a situation before you make a decision.

There does come a time when you may need to shut down the rhetoric and move on.  That is the hardest time for those in leadership positions.  It is here that friendships can, and will be tested.  The truth hurts sometimes.  Sometimes we have to tell our friends no. Leadership doesn’t involve picking favorites.   Leadership involves  picking the most talented individuals.  If one of the most talented is a friend – good for them – good for the team. Same goes for family members.

Did your ego get hurt when you took on the role of “leader”?  Was it automatic?  Did you expect that to happen?  So quickly?  Welcome to being a leader.  It is now your job to sort out all the problems.  As you learn and grow in your leadership position – it will hopefully get easier.   Everyone has a learning curve.   Some of the best leaders are listeners.  Lead by example.


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