Sunday, February 28, 2010

What about the Kiddos?

When we think of our own journey of learning to become leaders, we invariably look back on the influences we had as children. Examples, good and bad, helped to influence our own development as adults and as leaders.

Today, and every day, we should be looking at what influences our kids to become leaders. I submit that too few of us actually look at what it takes to instill leadership in our kids at an early age. Service to others is a key ingredient to developing leaders, especially at a young and impressionable age.

One organization that does a great job at developing young leaders is Rotary International. Their Interact program for young children is an excellent way for kids to learn about leadership through service to others and partnership with their local Rotary Club.

Here's an excerpt from their website:
http://www.rotary.org/en/StudentsAndYouth/YouthPrograms/Interact/Pages/ridefault.aspx

"Interact is Rotary International’s service club for young people ages 14 to 18.
Interact clubs are sponsored by individual Rotary clubs, which provide
support and guidance, but they are self-governing and self-supporting.

Club membership varies greatly. Clubs can be single gender or mixed,
large or small. They can draw from the student body of a single school or from
two or more schools in the same community.

Each year, Interact clubs complete at least two community service projects, one of which furthers international understanding and goodwill. Through these efforts, Interactors develop a network of friendships with local and overseas clubs and learn the importance of :

-Developing leadership skills and personal integrity
-Demonstrating helpfulness and respect for others
-Understanding the value of individual responsibility and hard work
-Advancing international understanding and goodwill

As one of the most significant and fastest-growing programs of
Rotary service, with more than 10,700 clubs in 109 countries and geographical
areas, Interact has become a worldwide phenomenon. Almost 200,000 young people are involved in Interact."

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