Tag Archives: leadership

5 Tips To Help Your Son Think Like a Champion

Champion 

“Champions aren’t made in the gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them – a desire, a dream, a vision.”-Muhammad Ali

Growing up, I remember Wheaties cereal being a staple on our breakfast table. I’ll admit that I hated the cereal but loved the tagline: Breakfast of Champions. Yeah, they sold my parents on that concept and my parents were shortchanged (well not my brother, just me).  But seriously, we love the idea of being a champion yet some of us believe that it’s reserved for those high achievers in life.  What if we didn’t talk to our kids about being champions but instead gave them the tools to develop a champion mindset. You’re probably thinking: “What’s the difference?”

The problem is that our society has distorted the concept of championship. We focus on the outcome but not the hard work, sacrifice, and dedication it takes to be a champion. Most people who are champions are not slackers, or have a sense of entitlement. What they have is strong work ethics and a way of thinking that helps them to accomplish their goals.  If my sons have a champion attitude, imagine what they can do in life.

What do champions do differently?

  • They set priorities. 
  • They set realistic and attainable goals.
  • They have organized thought patterns.
  • They analyze their action plans. 
  • They trust their instincts.
  • They are intrinsically motivated.
  • They align their actions with their strengths and values.

Here are 5 tips that can help your son develop the mindset of a champion. Keep in mind your son’s temperament and level of motivation. Most champions are passionate about their work and dreams. You can use these tips to guide your son to doing his best for whatever he is most passionate about.

1. Pay Attention to the Details

Olympians do not wing it or make assumptions. They take into consideration their strengths and their weaknesses. They also do the same for their competitors. Besides the hours they spend practicing, they also review what they need to do to excel.  Help your son to pay attention to details by asking him open ended questions that utilize his critical thinking skills. For example, If your son failed his science test, ask him “What could you have done differently to pass this test?”   “What will you do to ensure you pass your next test?”

 

2. Avoid Negative Distractors

Our  kids have so many distractions, that it is easy to get sidetracked and lose focus. As adults, we know how social media or television can distract us, so imagine how much more challenging it is for kids. Keep your son focused by setting limits and helping him create a plan for work and for play. Get him tools that will help him to organize his time .

 

3. Envision Winning

This is pretty simple.  You don’t win by envisioning yourself losing. Help your son create a vision board for what he wants to achieve. Help him set short and long term goals. Olympians always have the end in mind.

 

4. Role Models and Mentors

Champions do not work alone. They have family, friends, coaches, and mentors that keep them motivated. In order for your son to excel, he needs to have a support system. Having a trusted mentor is one of the best resources for your son. A mentor can help him better understand his strengths and weaknesses.

 

5. Have Passion For What You’re Doing

One of the mistakes we make as parents is not paying attention to the difference between encouraging our sons to succeed and pushing our sons after they’ve lost passion for an activity or hobby.  When your child is no longer interested in something, forcing, bribing or threatening them to continue only creates a power struggle. It’s not about us, it’s about them. we have to help them identify if they have lost  their passion because they feel discouraged or they lost it because they develop new interests. Champions practice, study and work hard because they love what they do.

 

 

 

Raising a Servant Leader

Hands

In our world, it’s easy to get caught up in the pressure and competitiveness of raising a child who is personally and academically successful. Our society does not allow for mediocrity and slackers. From the time our child is born, we are flooded with images and messages that encourage us to raise leaders. We enroll our kids in various programs hoping to either awaken their latent leadership skills or reinforce the leadership qualities we see exhibited in them. Our society glorifies fame, power and wealth. No longer are we satisfied with living a comfortable life, we want things bigger and better than everyone else.

We become so concerned with giving our kids the tools they need to lead, we sometimes forget to equip them with the compassion to give back. Our future lies in the hands of the next generation. They will be the adults making key decisions, implementing laws and policies that affect our lives. We can’t just focus on raising kids that lead successful lives, we have to focus on raising leaders that empower others and lead with love rather than power.

Great leaders are honest, empathetic, loving, humble,  kind, respectful, influential, confident, fair, flexible, open-minded, and brave.  However, when we talk about leadership, we often omit the words: loving, kind, humble, empathetic. It’s as if they represent a weakness in leadership. Yet, some of the greatest leaders who walk on earth embodied these characteristics. If we look at the leadership style of Jesus, we would see that Jesus was led with love.  So, why is it that we neglect to impress upon our children the importance of love in leadership.

It’s easy to get followers if you’re charismatic or powerful enough to convince people of your vision or plan. Yet, it’s more effective to get supporters who share in your vision and plan because they know you care about them. It’s a message we need to share with our children about leadership. Our goal in raising men and women of character is to ensure that we are not encouraging our children to become egotistic leaders.

The one way we can do this is to help our kids balance their greatness by using their heads and hearts. As parents, our role is to model the behavior we want to see in our children. Taking the time to reflect on our behavior, helps us become more aware of how we lead as parents.  Think about your characteristics as a leader. Do you use your power for personal gain? Are you fair and flexible when others make mistakes? Are you more concerned about looking good as a leader than doing what’s right? Are you clear about your motives?

If you want to raise a servant leader of tomorrow, you must start to live as a servant leader today.