We examine the present in light of the past
so as to better understand the future.
John Maynard Keynes

* With apologies to Karl von Clausewitz

Out of the mouths of babes: what children think of leadership

Out of the mouths of babes, wisdom comes. Actually, these weren’t babes as such; they were children from a primary school aged from five to eleven. They were asked to come up with three words that would describe a leader, and were encouraged to sit with their eyes closed in order to think hard about the words they would choose. Here are the words and phrases they came up with:

‘In control’
‘Determined and caring’
‘Strict and miserable’
‘A lot of power’
‘Despotic and psychotic.’ This pupil was thinking particularly of Vladimir Putin. Tough luck, Vlad; even children don’t like you.

And how is this for a definition of leadership? This pupil, musing on experience as a former captain of a rugby team, said that as leader they ‘had to do what you expect other people to do.’

There’s not really much more to be said, is there?

Post your comment - Your email address is required but won't be published

RSS Feed
Latest Comments
Adi Gaskell commented on
Management Consultancy

Pradee commented on
Oh, no, not another book on management!

Laurie commented on
Another one bites the dust - reflecting on my new book on management failures