I’ve been having shameful thoughts! I hear myself blaming society for the leadership we're not experiencing. I feel that everywhere I turn, Leadership is referenced, yet there are no apparent demonstration or modelling of the behaviours we associate with the many styles of leadership which we write and talk about.
Am I alone having these thoughts?
My kids drop the ‘L’ word in their playground as frequently as you hear: “you’re it” and “where is my hat?” At the end of each year, their school hold leadership elections; their peers listen to the many speeches and then vote them in and out! I think ‘they get’ leadership especially when my son highlights the incongruent behaviours of his peers in leadership roles– swearing with their mates in the playground!
I have a greater confidence in the educational system especially when I read ‘Ten leadership lessons you must teach your teenager’ by the controversial Dr Tim Hawkes – who has over 35 years’ experience working with our teens here in Australia and England. His book has the best take on leadership I’ve read for some time. When I grew up, this ‘handful of wisdom’ would have been a nice follow-up to the books on ‘sex education’ slipped to me when I turned 12!
Tim Hawkes pours his knowledge, experience and foresight of the changing world into this informative and interesting book. Whilst it’s aimed at parents/adults, I suspect that any mature teen would enjoy the multiple stories and history lessons which are shrink wrapped into bit sized pieces.
If anything, reading this book would help any parent converse with their teens studying Politics and in particular American and European history. (My appreciation for the many ‘names’ in history has increased exponentially.)
The Ten Lessons are a thoughtful choice which will put many young people in good stead for life. Whilst there are no surprises, the information is prepared for you to have conversations with your teen: questions to explore, stories which build context for each lesson and helpful models to recall the information from each lesson. VUCA, SWOT, Strategic Thinking, Styles of Leadership, Dealing with Difficult People, Writing Resumes are among the useful subjects incorporated into the ten lessons to help young adults make decisions and choices about what they say and do.
The lessons include:
The Choice you make – an attempt to determine why people choose to lead and follow others
A Discipline to learn – identifies what’s required to develop extraordinary skills in life to create whom you will become
An Example to follow – defining the different styles of leadership, when these styles work best and an emphasis on the importance of adults demonstrating these different styles at home
A Calling to hear – how to arrive at an understanding of why you are on earth and how you will help society
An Ending to have – addressing the need for resilience courage and persistence to finish what we start out to do and to accept that failure in life is just as important as winning
No matter what is happening in your home, and what role you play, we all wish to see a change in the behaviour of young people who cause anxiousness, concern and frighten the public. To create a change, we need to help all teens learn about leadership which is essentially making sound decisions. It appears that too many teens and young adults are creating havoc and destruction in our society. If our young can learn from this book, we no doubt will see the change being sought.
This book is very different to the many I have purchased in the airport bookstore. It’s uniquely practical and I rate it in my top five reads. The key to making this book work for you, as a parent or as an interested adult, is to model its content. I believe you’ll learn as much as your teen will learn – about yourself, each other and of course, about Leadership.
I’m endeavouring to read 52 Business/Professional/Personal Development books in 52 weeks. Yep, that’s one a week. As I read each book, I’ll share my thoughts, learning and recommendations. If there is a book that you’ve been meaning to read, let me know and I’ll read it for us!