As I was cleaning out my attic a few weeks ago, I found a little blast from my past.
When I was about 10 years old, my best friend and I decided to start a Welch’s Grape Juice Fan Club.
We wrote to the Welch Company and told them of our plans. We hoped for free samples, but what we got in return was a recipe book for cooking with Welch’s Grape Juice. That did not stop us from dreaming – we could see a national organization, members, dues. It was destined to be BIG!
Our parents did not share our vision for greatness (umm, grapeness?) I often wonder what might have happened had they encouraged our aspirations. What if they had said “Go for it! Make it all it can be!” Instead they rolled their eyes and our vision died on the vine—pun intended!
My friend and I were trying to be leaders and innovators. We had an idea and we were bold enough to pursue it!
Do you encourage or discourage your child’s early, often awkward, efforts into the world of business? How are you preparing them to be managers and bosses one day?
Three Strategies You Can Implement to Help Your Child Be a Boss
Here are three strategies you can implement today to promote leadership skills in your child:
- Help your child sort through the process of running a business. Let’s think about the lemonade stand. The boss comes up with the idea, decides when and where the lemonade will be sold, determines the price, and makes the product. This is a super opportunity to make it fun and a great learning experience with your child.
But that’s not all. Your child also needs to show up and sell the lemonade and make the signs advertising the stand. In short, your entrepreneur needs to have a work ethic.
Now, your child is probably too old for the lemonade stand. But all the same principles apply to whatever your child comes up with today.
- Encourage your child to develop managerial skills. Whether it’s working at McDonald’s or at an office job, encourage your child to start acting like a boss. Does your child get to work on time? Do they stay until the job is done? Are they curious about learning every aspect of the job? Do they volunteer for more responsibility?
- Help your child problem-solve like a boss. Help your student understand how to make decisions as though they were the boss. Teach them to have empathy for the people they work with and for. Show them how to solve their own problems.
Learning to resolve an issue for the greater good of the company will help your student understand why it is necessary sometimes to walk in someone else’s shoes in order to arrive at the right solution.
Help them to solve problems where there is no obvious answer and no obvious person to ask for the correct answer. These problems come up all the time, and if your child can find creative ways to find their own answers, they will be well-positioned to solve thorny issues as the boss.
Watch Leaders Lead.
If your child wants to be a boss or leader one day, he or she needs to watch how other leaders lead. My most valuable lessons have come from working for people and knowing that I did—or did not—want to become that kind of boss one day.
Make every business opportunity (even a Welch’s Grape Juice Fan Club!) a learning opportunity for their future. It’s never too early to start helping your child find their place in the business world.
Now it’s your turn. We want to hear from you! What ideas do you have for teaching your child to be the boss? Tell us below.