Kids and leadership

02 octobre 2021
Veerle Seymus
Veerle Seymus
  • Nelle

  • 🥇 What should a leader do to get respect? 🥇

    🎙️ We give the floor to the 18-year-old Nelle, a relative of our colleague David.

    Nelle is very straightforward. To get respect, a leader should:
    💥 Be good in what he/she does
    💥 Treat his/her people fairly

    As a leader, you want to get respect from the people you lead. How can you do this?

    People respect you if they have enough proof that you do your job decently
    💡 Demonstrate passion for the job you do
    💡 Lead by example
    💡 Don’t break your word
    💡 Know what you talk about
    💡 Dare to admit that you were wrong or don’t have the answer
    💡 Continually invest in your personal development

    To get respect, you have to give respect
    🎁 Treat your team fairly and show them that you value them
    🎁 Listen actively to their concerns and do your best to address them
    🎁 Seek out their feedback
    🎁 Communicate clearly
    🎁 Reward them for their accomplishments
    🎁 Have their backs in case of troubles

  • Sam Farasyn

  • 🗡️ Four straightforward leadership competencies 🗡️

    👦 In our series on how kids and youngsters think about leadership, we present a statement made by Sam, the 13 years old son of our mentor Wim Farasyn.

    Sam is very sharp.

    A leader should
    🧭 Motivate people to follow
    🧭 Keep the group together
    🧭 Make sure the group is focused
    🧭 Deliver top-notch results

    Let’s elaborate further on that:

    💥 Motivating people is better than convincing them. If you attempt to convince, you will more likely get defensive reactions: (1) I don’t understand; (2) I am uncomfortable with it; and (3) I don’t like it.

    💥 A high-performing team is more than the sum of the individuals. Keeping the group together requires (1) the right hires; (2) alertness for egos; (3) a clear view on the greater goal; and (4) a desire to learn from each other.

    💥 Maintaining focus is easier said than done. As a leader you should (1) set crystal clear expectations; (2) avoid distraction from the goals; and (3) critically evaluate how time is spent.

    💥 A leader is ultimately judged based on the results he and his team deliver. Top results require that the leader (1) puts the bar high; (2) doesn’t tolerate mediocre performance; (3) creates a feedback culture; and (4) sets a tone of continuous improvement.

  • Kiran

  • 👷 Some people must learn harder to become a leader than others 👷

    Today, we give the floor to Kiran, the 12 years old son of Ambits Mentor Muriel Van Gompel.

    🥇 Leadership is not easy. For some people, it is more challenging than for others.

    🥇 Kiran refers to what we could call natural leadership. Some people seem to be born leaders, whereas others have to invest much more in developing leadership skills.

    Let us nuance this:
    ✌️ Leadership can be learned.
    ✌️ Leadership is not only about leading a group of people or having a management position.
    ✌️ Leadership can be developed in every position, even when not managing people or just embarking on your career.

    According to the Ambits Leadership Guide:
    ⚒️ Leadership always starts with leading yourself, irrespective of the position you have
    This is about showing drive and purpose, raising self-awareness, showing self-control, being empathic,…

    ⚒️ If you can lead yourself decently, you can move to lead others
    This is all about inspiring, empowering people, delegating, communicating, building relationships, developing others,…

    ⚒️ Once you master leading others, it’s time to lead an organization
    Here we talk about managing change, making decisions, innovating, building networks,…

    ⚒️ You could even move to lead a society

    👷 Important to know is that it starts with the basis, leading yourself. If your leadership basis is not solid, it won't be easy to lead others or your organization (don’t even talk about society).

    👷 For some people, it is easier to move from one leadership level to another. Others will stick to good self-leadership without necessarily leading others, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t good leaders.

  • Elien

  • 🏆 A leader always takes responsibility 🏆

    👦 Several of our mentors have interviewed their kids about leadership. It has resulted in lots of interesting material that we will share in the upcoming weeks and months.

    You will see that kids have a surprisingly clear view of what a good leader is.

    Today, we take off with Elien, the 12-year-old daughter of mentor Suki Maesen.

    💣 She comes with a clear statement: the leader must take responsibility.

    ⚔️ Taking up a management position is very appealing, but don’t accept a leadership position if you don’t want to take the responsibility. This is often overlooked.

    What does responsibility mean?

    💡 Being responsible goes further than being accountable.
    Being accountable means you are answerable and willing to accept the outcomes or results of a project or activity. Responsibility goes much further. It is the mindset that says, “I am the person who must make this happen.”

    💡 It is a willingness to take charge and not shirk from decisions
    It means giving up being “one of the group” and accepting the role of the leader.

    💡 It means staying on top of problems
    Don’t assume someone else will solve the problems.

    💡 It means having a results-based view of the leader’s role.
    The responsible manager ensures the group successfully drives for results.

    💡 It means acting as a buffer from pressures that come from above
    Manage the criticism from upper levels, fend off unreasonable demands, and inform the higher levels of how performance will be improved.

    💡 It also means doing things for which there is no immediate reward, but that are in the organization’s best interests.

    💡 It means using company resources with even greater care than if they were your own.

Struggles of a manager

Managers are

  • new in this role


    • lack self-confidence
    • don’t know how to go from being a colleague to being a boss
    • need to loosen up on the command & control leadership style
    • must let go of the (technical) expert status
    • cannot give or accept constructive feedback
    • feel pressure to perform as manager
    • have difficulty building relationships
    • want to be liked by everyone or want to be the ‘bad boss’
    • play the hero
  • are struggling


    • stay too involved in operations
    • have trouble prioritizing
    • cannot delegate
    • fear conflict situations
    • disconnect from the team
    • deal with flawed strategic thinking
    • do not relate to higher management
    • lack clear communication skills
    • remain not self-aware
    • avoid difficult conversations
    • miss political antennas
    • ...
  • capable of more


    • need mental preparation as successor
    • need to be able to lead big changes ahead
    • need to learn to be emotionally resilient and in control
    • need to learn to make big decisions fast without all the information
    • must become persuasive presenters
    • need to learn how to cultivate their own personal brand
    • need to learn how to lead by example
    • manage by trust, not by fear
    • need to overly develop empathy
    • ...
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