We also surveyed parents about their children’s activities and looked at the impact of these outside-of-classroom endeavours on leadership potential. What we saw was a correlation between holding an elected position of leadership and the likelihood of demonstrating many of the indicators of potential, including Motivation to Lead, Receptivity to Feedback, Bringing Out the Best in People, and Navigating Ambiguity.
Elected Positions are the Best Opportunity to Hone Leadership Skills
Nearly two-thirds of high school positions occupied by males
Most children gain experience in elected leadership at high school
Unfortunately, our results also show that males attain 60 percent of these high school elected positions. This may relate to the earlier finding about female motivation to target and win these roles, and be a reflection of the glass ceiling awaiting later life. What we do know is that, gender notwithstanding, only a handful of students will be elected to lead. Therefore, parents can look for ways to give their children a preview of leadership by encouraging their involvement in the management of household or family activities. Getting this kind of sample “taste” may foster leadership skills, including Receptivity to Feedback or Navigating Ambiguity. Similarly, within organisations, companies can identify opportunities for less “official” leadership positions earlier in the pipeline (e.g., department or division representatives), thus offering exposure to leadership expectations and providing a preview of leadership responsibilities before promotion.
From Classroom to Boardroom
Early identification and development of leadership potential.