Child Leadership

My 15yo was promoted to sergeant last June. This rank brings with it leadership opportunities. She very much wants to be a leader in her squadron, but it’s hard. Leadership is difficult in general, and in a youth setting it’s no easier. 

For clarity: Her cadet unit, like all others, is built around youth leadership. The officers (reservist adults/CIC members) train the senior NCOs (sergeants and up) on how to deliver the program to the junior cadets.

This year she is captain of Range Team 1, which is composed of the top shooters, and she is very likely the best shooter (by scores). Since June I’ve been working with her on what I consider good leadership. 

To prepare for that I read Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink. What a fantastic book! Get it, read it, then teach it to your kids. 

To get things started today she was late to range. Right away she went to the coach and apologized, then told him it wouldn’t happen again. BAM! Chapter 1: she took ownership (of being late).

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Jocko Willink on Parental Leadership – You Can’t Help Your Kids

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Go ahead and watch/listen to the entire video, it is best to get it all in the proper context. But, if you’re in a hurry, here are some shortcuts to key points:

Ben: What’s the #1 thing you look for in a leader?
Jocko: Take Ownership (of the problem) @ 15:56

Ben: Are there times where you just HAVE to “chew someone out”?
Jocko: There are very few occassions @ 19:36

Ben: What do you do with kids (the challenges)?
Jocko: You gotta give’em guidance, but you have to let them brush up against the guardrails of failure @ 21:18
This is where Jocko discusses NOT helping your kids.

Jocko: Your kids aren’t going to be who you want them to be…
They’re gonna be who they ARE @ 24.37.

After this point the focus is less on kids and more on leadership, so go ahead and check it out.