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  • Writer's pictureAlpana Shitolé

Nurturing Leadership Mindsets in Adolescents

Updated: Sep 9, 2022

Ever thought of what’s behind the stupendous success of BTS? Theirs was a story of resilience paved by trials and tribulations right from their teens. Had it not been for self-love, expression, and resistance to criticisms and expectations, this globally successful band wouldn't have made it big in the vast music industry.

While we grow up believing that academic scores are everything, we eventually discover this is just the opposite.

We all assume that Math as a subject needs to be perfected right from the elementary years and onwards. What if we added the values of resilience, assertiveness, perseverance, empathy, and creative thinking to that equation?

According to Dr. Tony Wagner, an Expert in Residence at the Harvard Innovation Lab Change, "well-intentioned K-12 schools have turned into college prep factories, leaving the vast majority of kids ill-prepared for the competencies needed for future careers or lives".

This is where the leadership mindset comes into play. We strongly believe that every child should also be empowered with the mindset to continuously strive for, achieve, and exceed their potential - despite all setbacks. It is rightly said that "Leaders are not born, but made". And parents can help their children strengthen these mindsets by nurturing the right traits in them.

So what contributes to building this leadership mindset?

The top 4 traits that contribute to building a leadership mindset:

1. Emotional Intelligence or Quotient (EQ): High EQ makes students resilient by keeping the intensities of emotions in check even during a setback. It helps them forge ahead by making good decisions instead of acting impulsively.

2. Perseverance: Perseverance is a meticulous mastery of skills such as goal-setting, optimism, and expert practice. These help a child to sustain the motivation that is necessary to accomplish a goal even when it becomes mundane or an uphill task.

3. People Skills: Having strong people skills means being sensitive to the needs of others without judgment while still communicating your needs assertively. This balance is the foundation of building authentic connections.

4. Creative Thinking: The only thing constant is a change. In this fast-paced world that is constantly changing, we NEED to have the capacity to adapt, redefine, take risks, think outside the box and look beyond what is our default.

A Harvard Business Review research shows that EQ alone accounts for nearly 90% of what sets high performers apart from peers with similar technical skills and knowledge. While there are many avenues to develop academic excellence in children, there are virtually none that teach them how to deal with setbacks or develop authentic connections.

How does Frolific help fill this gap?

At Frolific, we understand that building a mindset is a lifelong process that should start early. Our programs are designed to be interactive and focused on the practical application of the learnings.

Our upcoming programs are focussed on ‘resilience’ and ‘assertiveness’, which is aligned with our mission of enabling every child to become a fearless and compassionate leader.

Our unique programs are already creating a dent in this direction. We are not only research-based but parent-approved; built with inputs from over 300 parents, educators, and children around the globe. We also enjoy strong backing from the Walton Family Foundation and the Charles Koch Institute through their VELA Education Fund.

Kat (age 14), a student at Frolific for the past two years says: “When I started losing in a squash match, I used techniques I learned at Frolific to get myself out of my panic zone by not letting my opponent's performance affect mine. It was a sweet come from behind victory for me!”

Anoushkha (age 10), another young student at Frolific, speaks about getting out of her comfort zone: “Because of Frolific, in a school project, I chose to get out of my comfort zone by partnering up with someone I didn’t know instead of partnering with my friend.“

If, at ages 10 and 14, these students are getting out of their “panic” and “comfort” zone by intentionally making changes to their reactions, could they be on track for carving their own success stories like BTS?

Just like Kat and Anushkha benefited from learning about resilience, here are other real-life examples of how nurturing a leadership mindset impacts young children!

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