So much of early childhood focuses on the classroom. How is a child doing in school? Are his or her grades okay? Those are certainly valuable and necessary, but do grades really make successful person? Is someone at the top of the class guaranteed to make a difference later in life? History shows that leaders such as Albert Einstein and Henry Ford struggled greatly in traditional schooling, yet they became well-known leaders. Their ability to go further in life took more than a strong mind. It took a personality that propelled them forward. As you work with your youngsters, keep that in mind. Here are three character traits to foster.

Compassion

Many companies and foundations began because people saw others in need. People in charge don’t have to walk over others; rather, they can use their money, power and communication to improve society. Those in authority should demonstrate thoughtfulness position and avoid boasting or hurtful words. Think of it as a kindness butterfly. One action begets another. 

Confidence

Someone could have a wonderful idea, but if not presented well then it falls flat, getting nowhere. Compare employees in a major corporation. Both staff members worked diligently for weeks, creating presentations. Their data is clear and precise. The slide shows are meticulously created. The first concept seen is thoughtful and inventive, yet the speaker is quiet and shows doubt that it might work. The second employee stands up and discusses a new approach with vigor and enthusiasm. Your second presenter feels assured the idea can be successful. Which person is more likely to be chosen? Feeling good about oneself and ones ideas is vital. Start these practices young, encouraging children to trust their decisions.

Motivation

Is there a finish line? Leaders may not think so as they constantly climb to reach new heights. Allow kids to understand that a goal is only short term, replaced by something more when it’s accomplished. Work in baby steps. Do your children like sports? Initially focus on finishing a season playing all of the games. The next year encourage them to select a skill to improve. Maybe they want to score, improve hitting or get better at defense. Who knows, but the idea is that in life people grow and improve. It’s a never ending journey.

Leadership begins in childhood, so spend time cultivating these traits. Model the behaviors often, concentrate on taking the high road, feeling assured and conquering dreams.

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