If there were only one point motivating Be the Boss by 12 (there are several, but if...), then it would be to teach a gifted child how to overcome any social barrier to direct control over life, starting with size. Studies continue to show that taller people dominate the leadership roles in all walks of life. Most of these tall people don't have the needed intellectual horse power to lead what they lead, but basic human wiring generates powerful, yet nearly invisible social trends that float bigger people toward the top.
Let's face it, bigger animals are just plain stronger. Even among animal groups that don't have the use of language, “bigger” and “stronger” generate simple forms of social power. These animal “traditions” pervade almost everything in human society, from unwanted sexual aggression in the workplace to good, old-fashioned, nuclear brinksmanship in international politics.
Common experience also shows that size isn't the only source of social power. In addition to size and strength, we've identified around ten other highly visible, non-verbal attributes (just as if we were animals!) that can confer social power onto the user of these attributes. The trick is to figure out which of these attributes maps conveniently to the natural-born skill sets of the gifted kid. Once identified, these attributes can be practiced while social power is being built.
The people of Digital Clones would love to present to you topics on preparing gifted and talented children for their adult futures.
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Be the Boss by 12 is a series of ebooks designed to help any gifted and talented child grow into a successful adult. The gifted child can add the skills of leadership to other gifts and talents. Such kids can build social habits that make school a richer experience. In their futures, the powers of leadership enable the gifted child to engage future decision-makers on a peer-to-peer footing to negotiate great career paths and compensation.
Erik Lenderman: ...Let's move on to Chapter Three. And so again I'm here with Tom Meylan, former NASA scientist, Ph.D. in astrophysics. We're talking about gifted and talented kids, ahh...training them to be leaders. And the third chapter here is called, “The Problem: Everyone Looks for Big and Strong Bosses”. So, I think this may relate to those body cues. But tell us, what do people look for? How do you train kids to be the boss?
Tom Meylan: Well, the specific problem that this speaks to goes to the gradeschool environment. I was the biggest kid in school until I was like in fifth or sixth grade. When you're the big kid, everybody can spot you. I mean, you're big! You stand out. There's no avoiding the attention you attract to yourself when you're big. And because of the way mammals in general are wired, it's generally presumed that the big guy in the room is the boss.
“Boss” is used very explicitly in this book as this emotional response. It's basically a persona, and it's usually thrust upon the big person. Now, usually the big person gets used to that. So, through twelve years of grade school and high school, those big kids get really used to thinking of themselves as the boss, because everybody else has behaved like they've been. Nobody voted it. Nobody elected it. But all of society keeps kind of...“Well, you're one of the big guys. So, we're gonna work this out and you're gonna be the boss”. It just happens non-verbally, just like any pack of wolves, or herd of deer.
Erik Lenderman: Great, great. So, it looks like, then, Chapter Three is basically explaining to the teachers and parents, and the kids how this social system comes into being. Is that accurate?
Tom Meylan: Yeah. Yeah, it's all non-verbal. It's all basically instinctive habits. And, so what I'm trying to do is to give the gifted and talented child of ten to twelve years old their first start at building that persona of being the boss, because they're basically five-six years behind all those big kids. So, they've alread got to make up lost ground when it comes to seeing themselves as the boss, and then projecting that persona outward. So, we're trying to play catch-up ball here real fast, and we're trying to encourage the kids to use their brain to figure out how to make up for that time.
Erik Lenderman: That's great, that's great! So, covering Chapter Three, what the social cues are that cause people to think that someone's the boss. Size is a big one, and teaching folks more about the cues that they can control.
I was 25 years into a successful IT career before I realized it was not my passion. I was able to shift to something that played to my talents and my desires. I wish I had learned to be my own boss at a much younger age. It certainly would have helped. John Robinette, Entrepreneur, Leadership Coach
The gifts will mostly take care of themselves.
Build emotional toughness
into the child's inner dialog.
Teach the child to project
the social cues of "The Boss."