Teaching your toddler to be a future leader

Every now and then you have a conversation that sticks in your mind. The one I had recently was about we can support our toddlers to become future leaders.
The discussion started with how Asian men – while having brilliant ideas – are not usually successful in winning over clients because they have trouble expressing themselves.
And that many agencies will put a Caucasian up every time for big pitches simply because they have a persona and a presence that appeals more.
It’s an example how traditional family values can get in the way of a kid’s future potential.
My colleague explained that most Chinese parents choose the best schools they can afford and push their child for academic achievement.
They want their kids to be engineers, doctors, accountants, teachers – something tangible.
And when you think about it – you don’t have to express yourself or really present your ideas and sway a crowd in any of these given paths.
So when it comes to many Asian men, self-expression is never taught and so never learned let alone honed as a core business skill.
Leaders don’t need to be engineers or doctors, they just need to have a vision and have the ability to make that vision a reality through leading others.
“I don’t care if my son gets average grades at school,” said my colleague. “I don’t actually use anything that I was taught at school.”
Then I realised the same goes for me.
I finished university without being able to write. Science, algebra, biology, languages…nup. Not using any of that stuff.
How to solve problems, how to develop an idea, how to present that idea and how to work with and lead others…how to fail and pick up and try again…now that would have been more useful!
So the conversation turned to how to help our kids to be great leaders when they grow up.
My colleague’s answer was simply to send his son to international schools from age 4 to forever and let him live in other countries so he could learn from other kids charisma, social skills and self-expression. He doesn’t want his son to take a backseat while a Caucasian steps forward to present his ideas.
What about Caucasians?
We love our son, we have raised him to be confident, feel loved and to be happy. We travel a lot, live in different countries. But is that enough?
I’d be interested to know what other people are doing to build their little ones to become future leaders. I’m pretty sure it won’t have anything to do with having top grades at school!


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