I recently witnessed some great leadership behavior from our 10 years old and thinking about that the next day this 400 years old quote from Pierre Corneille, “la valeur n’attend point le nombre des années » came to mind.
In a nutshell, it means that you don’t need be all grown-up to display your ability to impact the world around you, i.e. to display your ability to lead.
Let me rewind a bit to explain myself here.
A few months back our family started an informal “family game night” where we would spend an hour or so playing different fun games (cards, board…) together. Our youngest loved it the most and, as other day-to-day priorities took over in the new year, she started to remind us that we were late for our monthly game night.
What came after this, while not earth-shattering, was to me a display of leadership skills that our daughter intuitively demonstrated on a topic close to her heart:
- First, she gave herself a clear goal: get these family game night back on track => goal setting
- Then, she decided to come to us with a choice of possible dates for the game night on little cards for us to fill. => strategy definition (made us chose the date but not whether we’ll do it), hard work (made those hand-crafted voting cards), communicate (went around giving them and explain what was expected from us)
- When several of us did not reply she came back, and went out of her way (such as picking the card I had left on my desk upstairs) to ensure we were filling them out => determination, focusing on getting what she needed even if it meant going the extra mile
- She then tallied the results => Did the grunt work
- Called-up a “family meeting” to discuss the results and offer 2 options for the night (once again, not doing it was not an option) => results and action oriented, communicate directly
- When we pushed back on length, hour and day, she took all our inputs in without missing a beat and then adapted to offer a new option => listening to feedback and focused on a pragmatic solution to reach the goal not on her particular way to reaching it.
- And finally got us to agree on the day and hour => drove to decision and action.
Thinking about this as I wanted to praise her on this great work she did leading this to resolution I realized she had been intuitively going through steps many leaders take years to recognize:
- Decide on your goal
- Select and build your strategy to get to this goal
- Communicate and get feedback
- Work hard
- Come with a clear action plan
- Get feedback and drive to decision
Interestingly enough, two days later I stumbled on this article and found several similarities with what she displayed: www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/20130822180103-15454-a-short-story-about-leadership
I quote the beginning of this article: “The Less Simple Formula for Assessing Leadership = Identify the Problem, Find a Solution, Develop a Workable Plan, Inspire Others, Deliver the Results”