By Umer Raza Bhutta – Chartered Member CIPD UK
Yesterday I had the opportunity to attend a program in the school of my daughter. The school took a satisfying step in inviting all the parents of their students to come and participate in interactive workshops on different topics. Amongst them was a workshop about “How to Raise a Leader”. This included tips, techniques and also interactive discussions with the parents about how they can effectively raise a leader in their home. How we (parents) can develop a good kid and make him a leader. The theme was wonderful and besides having a day out at school we learned a lot from the teachers of our kids.
At the same time we were fortune that the kids of a popular anchor Mr. Talat Hussain also study at the same school. Mr. Talat organized a program at the venue, through DAWN News, where a healthy dialogue was arranged amongst the teachers, parents and perhaps the students as well. The topic of discussion was “how to raise a leader”. I also got through and was seated there. It was a panel discussion. On the panel were teachers and parents were the audience. I had the opportunity to raise my hand and ask a question. I felt later that it was a stupid question. The right question came to my mind later, but by then it was too late and I was already away from the venue and everyone was gone. Hence I thought of sharing that question here and see if there are any opinions and answers here.
We as a nation are out word looking people. We try to see towards others and not ourselves. This program was a reflection of the same thing. We were trying to raise our kids to become a leader, thus again looking outside and trying to develop and teach others. We were trying to find out ways and means as to how we can best put our roles as a model, how we could take the best tips from the program and then practice those with our kids. We were trying to find out solutions to problems that our kids face. At the same time we were oblivious of the fact that these problems are our problems and not those of our kids. If we could get ourselves in order our kids may not have those issues that they are facing.
To me it was us who had to learn and practice leadership skills and lessons. Kids present great lessons to become a leader and they have all the essential qualities of a leader. They have the basic ingredients of leadership. Instead of teaching them for leadership, or to try to raise them as a leader, we should learn from them and present to them a role model in ourselves. Let us see some basic qualities of leader that our kids possess. They (Kids) are not afraid of anything- they can put their hand even in fire, They tell the truth, their likes and dislikes are very open and honest, they do not hide their emotions, they dislikes and get away from people whom they see as bad, badly dressed, badly mannered, people telling a lie, shouting, behaving badly with their mother (father) or their loved ones, they are honest and transparent, they are energetic, they love to test and check new things, they love to experiment, they think out of the box, they question the statuesque, they make a queue, they know what is their’s and what is not their’s. They already have these qualities. They only do the opposite of these qualities when they see us doing otherwise. What we need to do, is to learn from them and put these qualities in practice. Only then we will be able to raise a leader. There is no other shortcut. At the end let me also share my stupid question, that I asked at the venue, however, now I think it was not as stupid as I think it was. I asked that why we are so conscious about this fact to raise a leader, in today’s school the kids are over protected and are also a victim of over attention. They must be given a free will to decide about themselves, with only a toping of guidance from their role models i.e. parents.