- What do you mean by teens as leaders? (Ans. Everyone is a leader either by
choice or by default, yet, most teenagers don't see themselves this way
unless they hold a leadership position like captain of a team, president of
- What does as "teen-as-leader" look like? (Ans. We all play many different
roles in life. Even teens do. For example, they have a role as a
son/daughter, student, friend, they could be a team-mate, co-worker, etc.
The question is:
"how are they showing up in each of these roles?" Are they exhibiting
leadership qualities that we all have within us, such as accountability, belief,
communication? Or, are they living at the effect of life (as so many teens do -
filled with victimhood, blame, anger, etc.
- As parents, how do they help their teenager tap into this? (Ans. There is no
one-size-fits-all answer, as every teenager is different. However, there are
things parents can do to help their teens. One of the biggest is accountability.
This is hard for some parents. Holding our teens accountable for their actions
might mean we have to sometimes let them (or watch them) fail. This isn't
easy for parents to do, as many parents are "fixers." But, the biggest lessons
come from learning from our mistakes (even if that means failing a class or
losing their job). And, with accountability comes consistency and follow-
through. It's easier to help teenagers who are the more natural leaders tap
into their leadership qualities.
- What about the teens who are not natural leaders, those kids who really
struggle? (Ans. This is a real thing, and a lot more challenging, BUT, self-
leadership can be learned.) Let's talk about executive function. Executive
function is the part of the brain that helps us execute complex tasks (pre-
frontal cortex). Things like cleaning their room, getting homework done,
getting a job or drivers license can be extremely challenging. Executive
function includes things like planning, organizing, regulating emotions,
forgetfulness, impulsivity, ability to focus, processing speed, and more. Kids
with ADHD usually have weaker executive function skills, but other can too.
For some kids these skills aren't developed until 25 or even 30. These are the
kids who get frustrated, overwhelmed, and often fall through the cracks. BUT,
EVEN KIDS WITH WEAKER EF SKILLS CAN TAP INTO THEIR OWN
LEADERSHIP ABILITIES. They just have to be taught differently. There are
tools and techniques that can be learned for ALL kids. It's about figuring out
what your teen needs specifically, finding them the right person to help, and
starting to get these kids some wins. Some kids may need therapy or
medication, while others will thrive with a coach or mentor. The key is in
recognizing that "Everyone is a leader either by choice or by default,"
including your child. It's about figuring out what YOUR child needs, so they
can become the best version of themselves and maximize their potential.