Tuesday, April 11, 2006

How Leaders Learn to be Leaders

On Monday nights it is often our (yours too, I’ll bet) misfortune to watch the bumbling efforts to practice entrepreneurship on “The Apprentice” on TV. The winner gets a job in management, something they all (almost all) seem woefully inept and ill-equipped for. We seem to be raising bunches of overweight followers, trained to move a mouse while sitting down and obeying electronically imposed rules. The really well motivated parents get their children out in the sunlight exercising by enrolling them in organized play on a properly lined play ground. But many just hang around and play video games or watch TV.

When the “greatest generation and before”, was young, they just gravitated to a group of like aged kids down or up the street and stood around until someone said “whad’ ya wan’ ta do?” The group chose a game or activity by strength of persuasion or muscle, or who owned a ball. They argued about who would be captain of the team, who would call the plays, what the out-of-bounds and goal lines would be. They chose up sides. It was their game, not “the after-school counselor’s”. It was “organized” only after they organized it. They practiced management long before they knew what it was.

Sorry, I guess I just bemoan the disappearance of: Hide-and seek, tag, two-hand touch, one-hand touch, hop-scotch- jump rope, bicycle racing, one-a-cat, two-a-cat, foot racing (aka known as “last one there is a rotten egg!”), pick up baseball and football, building a tree house, going skinny dipping, fishing in the creek. Even good old cowboys and Indians (PC be darned, besides the Indians won half the time.). Do today’s kids know what a skinned knee is? This is where leadership was learned and managers were born.


Archana said...

I think we have way too many forms of entertainment available these days which seem to make the need for additional play-mates superfluous ...

Marilyn said...

I agree! My Dad is NOT a handyman type. Even so, he somehow hobbled together a little 'fort' from scrap lumber under a tree in our backyard. We LOVED it. I have fond memories of sleeping in the fort with my cousin and playing Crazy 8's by flashlight. We didn't need videos and TV and iPods...we had imaginations...(and Lifesavers). :)