Leadership Advice from a Couple of 13-Year-Olds

Group of four cartoon young people.Last week my daughter and niece—both 13 years old—attended a Student Self Leadership course that was offered to employees here at The Ken Blanchard Companies. I was curious about what they would think about the program since we were basically teaching them an accelerated, age appropriate version of the class we teach to aspiring leaders around the world. So I took the opportunity to ask them what they learned.

They talked about how it’s up to the individual to manage their development and get the direction and support they needed.  They shared that self leadership is about setting goals and achieving them.

Next, I asked what advice they would give to a first-time manager who was stepping into a new role of leading others. They came up with three things.

  1. Learn what’s expected. What is expected of someone in the role of a manager? What does a good job look like?  Where does formal training fit in the plan?
  2. Observe other good managers. Observe what a good manager does. For example, the star player on an athletic team shows their talent in many ways for the team to see.  Teammates know what good performance looks like by observing what the best player does in practice and during the game.
  3. Talk to your guidance counselor. In the same way a guidance counselor provides direction and support for a student’s needs to help the student reach their goals, a new manager can look to their boss, an experienced peer or mentor, or a professional coach for guidance.

I was surprised by the good, simple, straightforward ideas they took away from the session—and what a great reminder this advice was for me. How about you? I welcome your thoughts.

About the Author

Joni Wickline

Joni Wickline is Vice President, International Growth with The Ken Blanchard Companies. You can read Wickline’s posts as a part of Coaching Tuesday here at Blanchard LeaderChat for ideas, research, and inspirations from the world of executive coaching.

3 thoughts on “Leadership Advice from a Couple of 13-Year-Olds

  1. Excellent, simple, and very good advise. Now if only they don’t complicate it or get biased as they grow older.

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