Is Your Child a Leader?

Written By: Dr. Steve D. Whitaker, Head of School


The core of our mission statement addresses our passion at TFA, which is to train Christian leaders. Developing highly effective student leaders is most likely to occur when the home and the school are working together. Today I want to offer three simple questions that might help us identify leadership potential in our children. Mark Miller, Vice President of Chick-fil-A, uses these questions in his organization, but I think they have application to our work as parents and teachers as well.

1. Do they already have informal followers? When a group needs organizing for a collaborative learning project, when the team enters the huddle to develop a game plan, or just before the actors hit the stage, there are certain students who others look to for encouragement and leadership. It’s not always the most outgoing child who is the leader. It may be the student with quiet strength. It might also be one that seems least likely to be a great leader. No matter their personality type or past history, Mark says, “They may be a diamond in the rough, but it’s better to start with a diamond than a lump of coal.”

2. Do you see leadership character traits in their life? Michael Lindsay, in his book View From The Top, says that when natural leadership aptitude meets strong Christian character, you have a Platinum Leader – a catalytic influencer who has enormous potential.

The H.E.A.R.T. of a high character leaders is evident because they . . .

Hunger for wisdom rather than behave like a “know-it-all,”
Expect the best rather than pessimistically anticipate the worst,
Accept responsibility rather than assign blame,
Respond with courage rather than reluctance, and
Think of others first rather than themselves.

While no one is suggesting that these behaviors are a guarantee of success, if these are missing, emerging leaders will find it virtually impossible to build true followership.

3. What does your gut tell you? I realize this question is terribly ambiguous, but it still matters. As parents and teachers, we develop a form of radar that helps us identify certain gifts and abilities. Trust your instincts as you seek to develop leadership in your children.

God has given us a high calling. He has placed precious children in our lives and has equipped us to mold them into men and women of influence who will impact the world through the power of the Gospel. What a joy and a privilege it is to be on this journey together at The First Academy.



Steve D. Whitaker, Ph. D.
Head of School