Parents most important asset: Strong character

word of month character

Parents are leaders. This series of posts compares typical leadership with parental leadership.Tony Robbins once spoke about why some individuals do not have continued success once they gain a measure of success.  It was likened to a thermostat that allows the heater to work, but when it reaches a pre-destined level,  then it shuts off.   Why is it,  that some find themselves unable to sustain, and in fact sometimes fall apart completely?  It can be fear of success, or it may be as Dr. Steven Berglas  suggests, a lack of bedrock character.

I have found it interesting as a parent / leader that the very beginning of parenting many times makes us feel so successful.  We get the compliments of many who tell us what a great job we are doing and how great our children are.  Then as one psychologist said, “Every parent must morn the death of their perfect child.”  One day we are shocked by something they do or say and we wonder where did that come from?  No matter what, it happens to all of us, some sooner – some later.

One thing is for sure though, having great character as a leader / parent is important.  All of us must continue to examine our personal character, matching our words and actions, as this is the most important asset that we have in business or family.  If we say we are going to do something – do we complete it?  Are we there for our children in their moments of glory and disappointments?

Children, our own children know us better than virtually anyone else.  They know the real us,  even if we think that we are doing a good job of putting up a great face. Without a word being spoken, I have seen them recognize when dad has lost his job, or parents are not getting along well.  They feel the emotions, they know the character and we as parents cannot disguise who we really are as leaders.  Even more important they are learning as they watch us and developing their own character, many times copying their parent / leaders actions – not their words.  As a parent leader our character is our most important asset.

Reinforcing character building in our children is one benefit of the martial arts at Balanced Life Skills.  In the month of February we will be discussing FAIRNESS with our students.

Leadership: skills & 3 types of leaders

word of month character

One of the most important skills that a leader needs is one of communication.  Communication is made up of two parts both of which are very important, but the first one is vital to the second.  That first skill is listening.  The focus and attitude for listening can really make the difference in a leader that is respected by others or not.  

How do we teach our children about listening.  There are several ways of showing that we are listening to others including, looking at them in the eyes, nodding from time to time, being able to repeat what they say back to them, keeping our bodies still and not fidgeting, and not being distracted by electronics, noises, others, or even worst – our own thoughts.

When I was talking to our students about this subject, I told some of them that sometimes I find my eye wandering to see who is next in line to speak to me.  Have you ever done that?  Well I have and I am working on practicing keeping my eyes, attention and thoughts on the person and the message they are delivering to me. 

Being a good communicator also includes being able to speak well.  For many of our students it may start with speaking loud enough for others to hear them.  Now when we get the volume up we have to think about the attitude of the voice and person.  Which of the following 3 types of leaders are they;  passive, aggressive, or assertive?

A passive leader is one that seldom does the work and finds it difficult to make decisions.  They may even agree with everyone but not want to be responsible for making a call or decision.  The aggressive leader is full of opinions, generally their own, and are more than happy to push them on everyone around them.  They seldom are good listeners. 

Then there is the assertive leader.  This person is a good listener, willing to hear out all opinions and ideas before drawing a conclusion and making an advised decision.  This assertive leader would ask others to help them in a kind way and would always be willing to say thank you.  They would recognize to others the work of his group and be willing to share the rewards.  This is the kind of leader most of us would like to work for, this is the kind of leader we all want to be. 

Teamwork responsibilities

word of month character

Being on a team brings with it certain responsibilities. We have the responsibility to carry out our assignments and to do the best we can with them. There may be times that we do not enjoy doing the assignment we have, but we do them because it will help the team. This may happen at home with chores we have agreed to perform, or in school on a project that we are working on a team. If everyone only did what they wanted to do or liked to do, it is likely that our goals would not be met. In fact we may have to compromise at times and agree to do what is best for the team. However there may be times when we should not go along with the team.

Continue reading “Teamwork responsibilities”

Acts of Kindness

word of month character

In the next 6 weeks what can we accomplish as a school?  Can we work as a group and accomplish doing and being the catalyst for 1000 acts of kindness?  Can we do even more than that?  Who will step up and show their leadership skills and ask their classmates to join them and do 10 acts of kindness with them?
We are putting together and absolutely amazing day of activity when my instructor comes into town to visit and train with us.  I can honestly say that visiting with him for 15 minutes will inspire you for a very long time to be the best you can be.  And the only thing he has asked is our school put forth our best effort and accomplish 1000 acts of kindness before he gets here.
Join me in our quest to meet that requirement.  Then feel free to ask others to join you.  They are welcomed to come and visit on that day also.  Record all acts here on our website and we will have the results on a weekly basis posted so you know what we have accomplished so far.