Definitions of leadership are as numerous as there are people. Those who lead and those who are lead (which is all of us) fill in our individual “blanks” with preferences based on personal filters. We all experience varying degrees of leadership in our lives that shape our definitions and expectations. Often, leadership paradigms are relegated to the commercial and political arenas of life.

What is leadership in the home?

Dee Dee Myers, White House Press Secretary under President Clinton, insightfully said, “I am endlessly fascinated that playing football is considered a training ground for leadership, but raising children isn’t,” (Kruse, 2012, p. 94). Tom Peters, business writer on management practices said, “Management is about arranging and telling. Leadership is about nurturing and enhancing,” (Kruse, 2012, p. 75). Vince Lombardi, the famed football coach of the Green Bay Packers provided insight on the idea of born leaders. He said, “Leaders aren’t born, they are made. And they are made just like anything else, through hard work. And that’s the price we’ll have to pay to achieve that goal, or any goal,” (Kruse, 2012, p. 66).

What is your home leadership style?

This is a deeply personal question that is worthy of reflection. While adults perceive leadership in commercial, political, and social environments, children perceive leadership in the home, at school, extra-curricular activities, day-care, and among their peers. Their leadership paradigms are shaped daily; who influences them primarily? Is the home environment that of arranging and telling, or of nurturing and enhancing? Is emphasis place on activity or personal development? Are children expected to naturally become something or are we paying the daily price to develop their character, thinking, and skill sets?

Seeing our children as future adults rather than “kids” should alter our home leadership paradigm. We must however, allow our children to be “kids” while we lead them through their maturation process into adulthood. They are watching us as they shape their own leadership paradigms. As parents (or caregivers), we have the unique, most powerful position to demonstrate genuine leadership in the home.

For a list of inspiring quotes on leadership, visit

Kruse, K. (2012, 10 16). Forbes. Retrieved from 100 Best Quotes on Leadership: