Wisconsin State Law mandates that we identify and serve gifted students in five areas: intellectual, academic, creativity, visual and performing arts, and leadership. While many districts do a reasonably good job of identifying and serving academic and intellectually gifted students, leadership talent is often less well understood, and less frequently developed in our schools.
The literature on leadership suggests that great leaders (young and old) possess certain skills and dispositions. Some of them are: strong convictions, great listening skills, self-confidence, communication skills, a willingness to work hard and to expect others to work hard, organizational skills, a commitment to follow-through, a working knowledge of content, process, and product when designing and executing a project, energy, interpersonal skills, and a commitment to moral and ethical grounding.
While some children may exhibit innate leadership skills, these skills can be developed in children, and enhanced and refined by educators, parents, grandparents, coaches, family members, and the community.
While preparing to work with educators and parents in Southeastern WI on developing leadership talent, I turned to one of my favorite leadership gurus on Twitter, Lolly Daskal, President and CEO of Lead From Within. In her article 10 Simple Ways to Develop Leadership Skills in Your Children, Ms. Daskal asserts that there are many things adults can do to develop children’s potential for leadership, and I’ve added some of my thoughts to hers. They are:
The curious and fabulous thing about leadership is that, like in most performance fields, we never fully arrive. Great leaders (children and adults) are constantly refining their skills, learning and growing into their potential. It is my fondest wish that we pay more attention to fostering leadership talents in all of us; our world needs this talent.
As always, I look forward to hearing from you. Thank you for this foray into using other perspectives to helping us understand giftedness.
Past President, WATG
Gifted in Perspective
A column designed to link the gifted perspective to other perspectives, and to make you think.