7 Leadership Skills to Pack for Back to School

I don't think Leaders are born. Well, yes, they're born, everyone is born, but I think leadership can be enhanced, they can be developed, and I think that it's important we do that, particularly with our youngsters. Pat Williams


It’s Back To School Time!

Is your child going back to school? Regardless of their age, these 7 Leadership Skills are some of the tools every child should take with them when they go back to school.

When Pat Williams is an expert in leadership. The above is a quote Pat Williams is famous for and also one that I believe is true and I want to talk about today.

I found my notes from a meeting with Pat Williams I attended when several years ago. One of Pat Williams quotes talked about how important leadership is and how it should be a part of the curriculum we teach our youngsters. We have to build great leaders. We should give them these tools before they head off to school continue educating them with this knowledge as they continue through school.

As we prepare our kids for going back to school and we start packing up the backpacks with the necessary tools, we must pack their mind with these 7 Key Leadership Skills.

Vision – Great leaders have great vision.

Vision is like the Why in goal setting I speak about. If you want to get the goals you set you have to know your why. Why do you want to achieve that goal?  A leaders vision is the same thing.The vision is the reason, the why, a business does what it does. Knowing the vision will

A. Keep you focused.  Knowing where you want to be will keep you on track.
B. Keep you fueled. If you want to stay motivated, know your vision, your why. Knowing your why, your vision for doing what you do to achieve your goals will keep you going when it gets tough.

Communicating the Vision – a good leader will be able to share the vision with the people.

A. People must have Hope – communicate the possibility for better, for greater.
B. Communicate with Optimism – People won’t want to follow someone that doesn’t speak with optimism.
C. Inspiration is key to keep people motivated. You can’t motivate people, they have to motivate themselves, but, you can inspire them and help them keep that motivation.
D. Speak verbally. Emails and social media alone won’t get the picture needed to see the vision. Speak to people about your vision. Let your emotions tell the story. Learn public speaking skill and never turn down the opportunity to have the stage.

People Skills – a great leader knows that their people are their biggest asset.

The company I work for, First Republic Bank believes in it’s people. In our Human Resources Department, the letters on the wall reads “There are no businesses, only people.”

There are no businesses, only people. Jim Herbert First Republic Bank


Our CEO often states that we are a customer service company that happens to be a bank. I believe that is true. I believe our leaders and our people share that vision that Jim communicates so well. Great leaders have people skills.

There are no businesses, only people. ~~ Jim Herbert, Chairman and CEO - First Republic Bank Click To Tweet

A. Be Visible – there’s a management methodology called MBWA, Manage By Walking Around. It’s not about walking around checking up on your people, it’s about being visible and available.

B. Listen – a good leader is a good listener. We have many leaders that talk, few that listen. People will believe in and remember the leader that listens. A point Pat mentioned was that Listen and Silent are made up of the same letters. Remember – 2 Ears, 1 Mouth.

C. Empowerment – Give your people the power to make mistakes and successes. When given the power to make decisions and do what is right, people often do. Uplift the people that work with you.

D. Delegating – Hire good people and get out of their way. Delegate to the strengths. You are not alone and cannot do everything yourself.

Character Counts – good character is a characteristic of a great leader.

Pat made it a point to mention that you can have leadership without character. However, he offered a great quote by Coach John Wooden of whom he wrote a book.

Reputation is what other people think you are. Character is what you do when no one is watching. ~~ Coach Wooden

Pat Williams believes that character includes your values, principles and morals. He touched on 3 characteristics of character.

A. Honesty – telling the truth no matter what you are

B. Integrity – consistency in one’s life – they walk the walk and talk the talk and they match.

C. Humility – having a humble spirit. Great leaders have humility. Pat shared a quote from the great evangelist and speaker Billy Graham’s daughter, “In daddy’s mind he’s just a farm boy from North Carolina.”

Competence – Great leaders are good at what they do.

Many people believe that leaders are born. However, skills can be learned and enhanced. Some of the key skills great leaders must possess are:

A. Problem Solving – when people stop bringing you problems, your job is over.

B. Team Building – finding and hiring great people and then empowering them. Even the Lone Ranger had Tonto.

C. Teacher – Pat mentioned a quote by the great Green Bay Packers coach, Vince Lombardi, “They call it coaching, but it’s really teaching.”  Pat stressed that you can’t be a life long teacher if you are not a life long reader. You must continue to read, to exercise your brain. It’s a muscle, too.

Boldness – at the end of the day, you must decide what to do.

Pat told the story about the advice is father gave him as a child. “Be Bold. Be The Boss.” Leaders have to make decisions. You get one crack at leadership.

A Servant’s Heart – A great leader gives up the need to control.

Have a serving spirit. It’s about others, not you.

Who’s going to lead today? Raise your child to be a leader. Send them back to school with the right tools in their backpack along with their lunch. When they get back to school, encourage them to take leadership roles, to be bold.

Check out Pat Williams book on leadership here:

[amazon template=image&chan=goalgettingpodcast&asin=1634097912]

About the author, Tony

I am the founder and host of Goal Getting™ Podcast. GGP was launched February 25, 2015.
I live and work in the San Francisco Bay Area. I am a professional speaker and you can find out more about what I speak about and hire me to speak to your organization by visiting www.TonyWoodall.com

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