Yesterday I went on a tangent about “redshirting” and holding our children back, and although I did want to share all of that, my initial intention was to talk about what true leadership is. The entire premises of “redshirting” was that it is a key to success where our children could feel confidence and step into a leadership role.
However, I pose that to teach our children to be true leaders we must, instead, allow them to fail and supply them with the tools of how to be able to get back up again. For a child to live with the illusion that they are a leader will only harm them in the long turn when they ultimately fail and they are unfamiliar with the notion of failing, because then they won’t know how to overcome it. Some of the best success stories came from the worse hardships. Of course we don’t want to have our children have to go through “what we went through,” but we should allow them to live in an illusion of reality either.
Today was my son’s t-ball end of season party. It was his and my first experience with t-ball because from where I come from we just play soccer, but I’m letting my son try a little bit of everything to see what he enjoys most. Must say I was rather pleased. Although it seemed normal for kids this age to be more interested in the dandelion next to them or the airplane flying by, he only had a few outbursts of not understanding why he couldn’t bat the entire time. He’s got a great swing and a great throw, but if there’s one thing I want my son to excel at, in and out of the field, it’s a type of leadership that requires a different type of muscle training, it’s not a muscle in your arm or leg… it’s the most important muscle in my opinion – your heart. Now an athlete that plays with their heart is the best type of athlete and they have the type of leadership that never fails.
Here’s a recent story of just that, an athlete that exemplified leadership and heart. Meghan Vogel a High School Junior of West Liberty, Ohio showed true leadership by carrying a fallen track-mate to the finish line. Vogel had already won the 1,600-meter title at the Division III girls state and only had about 20 meter to go in the 3,200, but she didn’t hesitate to show true leadership by making sure that her track-mate was not left behind. Now that ladies and gentlemen is character, the type of leadership quality that you don’t need to hold your child a year back to teach… the type of lesson that one is never too young or too old to learn.
When I shared this story with my husband all he could say was, “where would the world be without Disney and Pixar,” clearly referring to the famous Lightening McQueen who gave up the Piston Cup to push the injured car. Can’t say that’s the first thing that went through my mind, but Vogel display of leadership is clearly one that they can make (in this case, made) a movie about.