Could you be a leader?

Episode 41 in Part 3 of our Introduction series: Getting to know others.

Habits:  Ongoing Learning | Growth Mindset

Skills:  Leadership | Self-awareness

Description:  In this episode, we ask if you could be a leader? Do you have the skills to be a leader? We review Daniel Goleman's 5 skills of leadership; self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy and social skill; comparing these skills to the many lessons shared over the course of Passion Arena's introduction series. The conclusion: No, it's not that you could be a leader – you already are a leader.

How this lesson might be discussed with your child

This episode dives further into what it means to be a leader, asking students if they're capable of being leaders based on the 5 emotional intelligence skills that make the best leaders according to Daniel Goleman. As a refresher, these are:

  1. Self-awareness

  2. Self-regulation

  3. Motivation

  4. Empathy

  5. Social Skill

We outline some of the lessons previously covered in Passion Arena episodes to demonstrate how student's already have all the skills they need to be great leaders, but we encourage them to keep building these skills by working on them.

In discussing this episode, some questions might include:

  • Of the 5 leadership skills, which one would you like to work on the most? Why?

  • Which leadership skill do you think you're strongest in? Why?

  • Do you feel like you're capable of being a leader? Why/Why not?

  • If leadership is about helping others to get better, why do you think self-awareness the first leadership skill?

  • If you have poor self-control or willpower, does that mean you can't be a leader? Why/Why not?

  • If you find it hard to get motivated, will that make you a worse leader for someone who also has low motivation? Why/Why not?

  • How can improving your empathy make you a better leader?

  • Why does Social Skill matter if you want to be a good leader?

  • Are there other skills that aren't included in this list that are needed to be a good leader? If yes, what are they?

Some specific discussion points

As always, discussion of any literary works, historical figures, celebrities or characters who display leadership qualities offers an opportunity to discuss how each of the 5 skills might impact different people/characters and their ability to lead themselves and others? 

Questions may include:

  • Can you think of someone (a celebrity, TV, movie or book character) who you think is a good leader, but who doesn't seem to be strong in one of the 5 leadership skills? Who/What skill?

  • What makes you think they're weaker in that particular skill?

  • How do they make up for their lack of that particular skill to still be an effective leader?

  • How do you think improving in the skill they're weak in might make them a better leader?

  • Can you think of someone (a celebrity, TV, movie or book character) who you think is a poor leader, but who is strong in one of the 5 leadership skills? Who/What skill?

  • What makes you think they're strong in that particular skill?

  • Do they use that skill in anyway that makes them better at what they do? How?

  • Do you think they could use that skill to be a better leader? How?

  • Do you think it's possible for bad leaders to become good leaders? Why/Why not?

  • Think of someone you consider to be a bad leader – What would they have to do to become a better leader?

Discussing the quote from this episode:

"Leadership is lifting a person's vision to high sights, the raising of a person's performance to a higher standard, the building of a personality beyond its normal limitations." — Peter Drucker

Possible areas of discussion may include:

  • Do you agree with this definition of leadership? Why/Why not?

  • Why do you think Drucker says we need to lift a person's vision and their performance?

  • Are you still a leader if you only life vision or performance, but not both? Why/Why not?

  • What do you think Drucker means by 'building of a personality beyond its normal limitations'?

  • What limitations do you think you might have that leadership could help you to stretch?

  • When you read this quote, does it make you think that leaders should do this for themselves or for others?

  • How could lifting your own vision, performance and personality make you a better leader?

Further information on this topic

If you'd like to dive a bit deeper on this topic, you might be interested in reading:

What Makes a Leader?
by Daniel Goleman, Harvard Business Review, 2004.