Leadership is a set of skills that a gifted and talented person uses to make life work. Sometimes that means finding good and motivated people to help on a big project. Sometimes it means keeping a lesser gifted person from messing your life up. On the bottom line, leadership requires a deeply rooted conviction that it's always up to you to make life work the way you want. You can never leave it up to some one else.
It is often the case that if your child has prodigious talent in one area, your child is also going to be quite a bit above average in severel other areas. Those other "above average" capabilities can be pulled together to generate important leadership skills that don't appear to be related to the big and obvious gift for which your child is known. These can include skills to divide up a big project into manageable pieces, and the ability to identify the kinds of people your child might need to carry the big project off.
The relationship between confidence and genuinely great leadership cannot be over-emphasized. We all have experienced the pain of having insecure people in leadership roles. Confidence and self-assurance work in any context. They can help your gifted child lead a team to great success. They can give your child the strength to stand up against those who want to be an obstacle.
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 will be a game changer for parents as well as gifted and talented kids. This ebook series will open up a deep level of collaboration within many families.
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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: All right folks, so we're talking about Tom Meylan's book, and it is Be the Boss by 12. Tom, I just wanted to ask you a few questions. Start us off on Chapter 1, “ It's Good to be the Boss: Be the Boss and enjoy your whole life more.” Can you tell us what that chapter's about, and what it's going to teach kids in the Montgomery County, Maryland region?
Tom Meylan: The main point there is that gifted and talented kids in particular...they attract attention of one kind. They are noted for being smart, or being gifted musicians or artists, or these various things, and then teachers and parents basically aim them very explicitly, and sometimes, overly forcefully, into "Study hard on this, or practice hard on that, or this or that or the other"...whatever this interest and gift happens to be. And that's fine; I mean, developing that talent is absolutely correct.
But, there's another part to life that is...that involves taking charge of your own career, and taking charge of the way you're able to build a lifestyle out of this gift or talent. And that gets lost on many people, school people, parents, whomever, that this kid does not merely need to be good at their gift, but they need to be good at life, as well.
One of the big motivations on this, and I go into this in another chapter in the book, is that I know tons of world-class musicians. Some of them are house-hold names; many of them aren't. They all live together in the Hudson River valley. Great bunch of people. They are very frustrated (a lot of them my age, some of them older) at having worked very hard on their skill, and never had gotten any recognition, either artistically or financially. And basically, they were waiting for somebody to discover them.
The point behind this first chapter is to get parents and, especially, the children reading this, aware that, you know, if you're really going to make this gift or talent work for you as a human being in the future, you've got to take charge of it. So you've got to be The Boss of your own careeer. And that's probably going to mean you're going to have to learn how to be The Boss relative to all of the people around you. And you should learn how to do that as soon as you can in life.
Erik Lenderman: Great, great! So it looks like the first chapter here, “It's Good to Be the Boss” is educating the kids and the teachers and the parents as to why a gifted and talented kid would want to learn the life skills to be in charge of their own destinies. Is that accurate?
Tom Meylan: Absolutely, absolutely! And also my personal trajectory speaks to a lot of that as well. Had I been able to find a mentor in my junior high or high school years, I would have had a much better notion of how this professional life unfolds, and probably saved myself a small number of years trying to figure out how to make my scientific capabilities work better for me in the professional realm.
Erik Lenderman: Great, great! So, these are very small, bite-sized chapters, just a couple pages so that the kids in Montgomery County, Maryland, can really easily process them.
Gifted children are not immune to harmful cultural messages about what our society expects from them based on gender. Parents and teachers are increasingly looking for antidotes to these toxic lessons. Tom's work empowers bright kids to understand themselves better in order to make the most of their passions and abilities. Jo B. Paoletti, Author of Pink and Blue: Telling the Boys from the Girls in America
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."