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While writing professionally about complex scenarios aimed at teaching adults in a particular profession leadership skills using increasingly complex scenarios under high stress levels, I came across a European competency framework for leadership that appears to be usable as a framework for organizing and perhaps teaching children leadership if adjusted for their age level and abilities. Although in the Eurozone they split adult leadership competencies into levels, with kids I think we’d have to adjust for age capacities. My initial thoughts are as follows:

Children up to age 11

  • Focus on becoming. Teach attitudes, understanding, and values
  • Learn confidence in a martial art or sport or activity. Do something well. Set up or attend Camps with chances to lead their peers for a period of time, like Boy Scouts does.
  • Grow a garden to help the child learn that nurturing works for plants and people
  • Parent or guardian be a mentor and example the best you can
  • Help them learn the value of each person

Young people 12-17

  • Help them increase in confidence in formal leadership roles in youth organizations or sports teams
  • Any leadership role is practice
  • Progress from simple roles to more challenging and difficult roles
  • Help them influence leaders and peers as informal leaders in any organization
  • Look for opportunities to speak publicly
  • Find a mentor
  • The adult mentors need to help them see what was effective and ask how they felt that went and what could have gone better (based on the After Action Review method used to help US Army leaders at junior levels, mid levels, and even senior levels reflect, and reuse successfully used skills and attitudes.)

Young adults 18-21

  • Encourage them to lead student organizations
  • Join service organizations and offer to lead when needed
  • Influence peers positively, encourage, lift up
  • Find a mentor with higher capability
  • Progress to more complex challenges

Adults 21+

  • Look for employment or volunteer in organizational leadership roles

Adults 30+

  • Start organizations and lead them

Although we can imagine age relevant scenarios for kid leadership, they also need the experiential lessons gained from these types of real interactions with followers.

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KW Lanham


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