Last week my son and I attended a panel discussion sponsored bythe Boy Scouts on the subject of leadership. The panel included five men who hold senior-level positions in our state government, a local company, a branch of the military, a national non-profit and a large religious organization, respectively. Much of what they said went straight over the Super-Mario-Bros-filled head of my tween and I imagine most of the other boys. I can’t blame them; most adults have a hard time articulating what they do in a relatable, understandable way to someone who doesn’t have the same experience.
I got something out of the session, though. Not only do I understand adult-speak — blargh, pass me one of those acronyms* already! — I have to be a leader as a manager and a parent. I’m supposed to set goals and expectations, give clear directions, listen and generally help my peeps problem-solve their way through tricky situations. Having that kind of responsibility kinda sucks sometimes, but after hearing these guys I at least felt that I’m on the right track, even if not always successful in my efforts.
After the session I asked my son what he thought made someone a good leader.
“It’s hard,” he said.
Why, yes, son — being a good leader is hard!
“No, I mean it’s hard because I didn’t understand most of what they were talking about.”
Allow me to lead by example by taking a Tylenol.