Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
List of questions. Scroll down for answers. Contact us if you'd like more info.
- What is KidLead’s philosophy of leadership?
- Can all kids learn how to lead?
- How did you come up with the 16 leader qualities that make up the curricula?
- Why do you have applications for LeadNow & LeadWell?
- Why do kids need one more thing to do? They’re busy already.
- My children are already in sports, music and dance lessons. Why should I consider leadership training?
- Can kids really learn how to lead?
- You state that the KidLead curricula uses accelerated learning. What is this?
- What is the vision of KidLead?
- How can I become an independent certified trainer?
- How can I find a KidLead program near me?
- What is the responsibility of parents in a LeadNow program?
- Do you have to take the 4 Modules in a certain sequence?
- How are KidLead’s training modules different than other leadership programs locally or that are a part of national organizations such as 4-H, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, Girls & Boys Clubs, Junior Achievement, LeadAmerica and People to People?
- I’m familiar with a few other programs referred to as leadership training for middle school age kids. How does KidLead differ from these?
- How is the training module tuition established?
- How does my organization provide a KidLead training program for our constituents and community?
What is KidLead’s philosophy of leadership?
Can all kids learn how to lead?
We use a more narrow definition of leadership as we just mentioned. This pertains more to organizational leading. Personal leading has to do with responsibility, taking a stand when needed, serving as a model to others, and influencing with your life in general. We believe everyone can become a leader in terms of personal leading. Managerial leading is a smaller category than personal leading. It has to do with learning skills that help a person lead a small group of people, whether it be a family, a class, small business, or an office or community group. But organizational leading is an even smaller category. This pertains to those individuals who are able to cast vision, to effectively create change, and who organize larger groups of people, helping them use their gifts and skills for a common goal. LeadNow (ages 10-13) training curriculum is effective with students who exhibit organizational leadership aptitude, so it is not for everyone. (Click here for a 1-page brief titled: "Elitism Vs. Uniqueness".) In over 7 years of research and design with very young leaders, we've learned that the younger you train, the more you need to focus on natural skill and talent. As we gain life experience, we can often transfer these into the area leadership.
How did you come up with the sixteen leader qualities that make up the curricula?
The 16 qualities reflect a summary of numerous best-practice projects from a review of leadership research and literature, as well as organizations such as the Center for Creative Leadership, Harvard, and other graduate schools and consultants. Half reflect character qualities (values and attitudes), and the other half are competency oriented (people and decision making skills). As you look over the list, chances are that you’ll think, “Wow, I’d like to follow a leader like that.”
Why do you have applications for LeadNow and LeadWell?
Every LeadYoung Trainer is independent and determines who gets invited to participate in a program. They are instructed that this caliber of concentrated training won't benefit everyone. KidLead programs are not exclusive as much as they are inclusive. We want to find students who are most apt to benefit from our training. While we cannot predict who will eventually emerge as a leader later in life, we do have a good indication of those who demonstrate the observable aptitude for learning leadership now. We recommend focusing on the approximately 20% of preteens and teens who tend to emerge as leaders, who possess organizational leadership aptitude. LeadNow is most effective with those who demonstrate a certain aptitude for influencing others to follow them organizationally, who typically rate 3.6 and above on the SIS score. We see little benefit for those scoring under 3.0 on the SIS.
Kids are already busy, why do they need one more thing?
My kids are already in sports, music, and dance lessons. Why should I consider leadership training?
Can kids really learn how to lead? It seems so unrealistic.
Those who are motivated and have the right aptitude really can. The amazing thing is that many of them, mostly those with natural leadership talent, are already leading. You can often detect leadership aptitude in early socializing, at preschool and even before. Teachers tell you that a few kids tend to have significantly more influence than others in their classrooms. This can be a benefit or a pain, depending if the influence is positive or negative. What we’re finding at KidLead is that we tend to significantly under-estimate a child’s ability to both learn leadership and to lead, because for the most part we haven’t developed it. Throughout history and in most cultures, adulthood begins around the ages 13 and 14. In American culture, where adulthood is often prolonged until the end of high school and even college, we often overlook the capacity of young adults. The Pygmalion concept teaches us that people become as they are treated. When you respond to a preteen with leadership abilities as if he or she is a leader, some pretty amazing things can happen.
You state that the KidLead curricula uses accelerated learning. What is this?
Preteens (8-12 year olds) tend to be concrete in their thinking. Conceptual thinking usually doesn’t kick in until the teen years. Therefore, it is important to learn concepts at this stage of development through actual experiences. Also, soft skill training such as leadership is far more effective when taught on-the-job versus in-the-classroom. LeadYoung curricula have 2-4 activities every lesson that are designed to do that. It provides multi-sensory experiences that include macro-motor skills, micro-motor skills, and engaging intellectual challenge—plus a media component. Kids enjoy this type of learning and research says that we learn more when we’re enjoying ourselves. Active learning isn’t just for kids. Research shows that people retain up to 10% of what they hear and approximately 90% of what they experience. Therefore, quality, active learning experiences are an effective means of teaching concepts to leaders of all ages, which is why it is included in adult leadership training programs such as the world renowned, Center for Creative Leadership (www.ccl.org) and ASTD (www.astd.org).
What is the vision of KidLead?
KidLead’s vision is to develop ethical, effective leaders when they are most pliable, in hopes of improving society by influencing the influencers. Our goal is to certify hundreds and thousands of qualified trainers to use the KidLead curriculum, in order to ultimately develop tens of thousands of young leaders around the world. We want to change the future and thus improve history in advance.
How can I become an independent certified trainer?
The three pillars of KidLead are the curriculum, participants and the trainers. People interested in becoming certified trainers should have three qualities:
1. Integrity in character
2. Passion for preteens and/or teens
3. Leaders who understand leading
People with these three basic qualities are welcome to complete an application that will lead to a background check and require two references with contact information. In order to use the KidLead curriculum, organizations can encourage their staff to become certified. Individuals can become certified as well, and can earn income as an independent trainer.
How can I find a KidLead program near me?
Most independent trainers work in organizations, many of which only allow their students to enroll. If you'd like to see if there's a program being offered new you, contact us at email@example.com.
What is the responsibility of parents in LeadNow?
KidLead strives to set the sails of young leaders, but parents and guardians are the ones who fill the sails. We encourage parent involvement. Parents can use our KiddieLead and Lead1st curricula, in additional to schools and other organizations. LeadNow parents, for ages 10-13, are encouraged to read "Growing Great Leaders" and are expected to participate in 3 hours of training in addition to visiting at least one club meeting.The first seminar, Developing Your Child to Lead (DYCL), is a free, public resource that trainers provide for parents with kids of all ages, as well as teachers and youth workers. It is also available on DVD. A 2 hour clinic called Raising A Leader has even more practical ideas and skills for honing a young leaders potential at home. Parents are also expected to supervise Leadership Challenges,15-20 minute activities between lessons that implements what was learned in the previous training session. The KidLead website has ideas on coaching your child in leadership along with Leadership Project examples. When striving to develop their KidLeader, the biggest challenge for most parents is to move out of the parenting mode and into a style of leadership coaching.
Do you have to take the four modules in a certain sequence?
No. Each module is designed to be a stand-alone training component that complements the other three. Therefore, a young leader can begin with any color module. Each is similar in style and format.
How are LeadYoung training modules different than other leadership programs locally or that are a part of national organizations such as 4-H, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, Girls & Boys Clubs, Junior Achievement, LeadAmerica, and People to People?
- Leadership Focused Content Just because someone calls a program or event leadership, don’t assume it is. A lot of people call their training leadership, but they are actually personal growth and character training. Look for content which has to do with what leaders do—influencing groups to work together to accomplish goals. Observe the program yourself to see if it reflects what leaders do in real life—forming teams, solving problems, and handling pressures. KidLead training modules are patterned after some of the most respected corporate leadership programs, but at a level that 10-13 year olds and teens can enjoy and appreciate.
- Certified Leadership Trainers KidLead requires certification for its trainers, who in turn develop small group “Koaches.” These people are selected on two primary characteristics: their ability to lead, as well as their heart for working with preteens and/or teens.
- Dynamic Coaches and Discussion KidLead Koaches are trained to ask strategic questions that engage the kids, instead of merely giving them the answers. Every activity includes short interactions where the Trainer or Koach and kids “unpack” the concept being learned. Koaches are trained not to talk more than 25% of the time, thus emphasizing the preteens' & teens' interaction.
- Trainer to Participant Ratio Large group “leadership training” programs have limited benefit. KidLead minimums are 1 Koach per 8 young leaders, but usually it is more like 1 to 4 or 1 to 6.
- Active Learning Curriculum Retention increases significantly when we engage in the process, not just lectured to or “talked at”. Each module includes at least 25 different learning activities that teach four of the sixteen total characteristics included in the entire program. By the end of all four modules, leaders experience over 100 projects, challenges, and activities designed for real-world skills. Each club meeting includes a take home Leadership Challenge to reinforce what was learned. A Leadership Project is also suggested after each module, so that the leader can further apply what he or she has learned, but this time in the real world. This method is taught by the American Society of Training & Development in their certification program and used by Fortune 500 companies.
- Qualified Applicants If a leadership program is offered to everyone who wants to enroll, it’s probably not going to be strong. A key benefit of KidLead leadership training is for young leaders to learn from each other. KidLead has three levels of processing we use, to help identify young leaders with aptitude:
- Initial application includes questions regarding leadership interest from parents and kids.
- Social Influence Surveys provide observable leadership indicators on each applicant.
- Module observations. Trainers see how a child interacts with teammates in KidLead training activities. Participants who benefit from the program are invited to attend the next module.
The goal of these processes is not to form an elitist group, but rather to make sure that participants possess leadership aptitudes, so that they can learn from each other in addition to the trainers, Koaches, and curriculum.
- Ongoing Feedback and Evaluation KidLead programs provide post-module feedback, and more if needed, to help parents see what trainers and Koaches are observing in terms of strengths and potential areas where further training might be beneficial. In addition, participants receive 1 minute coaching feedback after they lead an activity. KidLead certified trainers gather feedback from participants in order to retain their certification. This provides feedback for the trainers and KidLead to be assured that participants receive the best from the program.
- Unique Leadership Opportunities LeadNow graduates are placed on our national directory that provides ongoing opportunities for them to mentor and train others, along with using it as a reference for colleges and potential employers, as long as we received 2 SIS scores prior to atending and 2 SIS scores after all four modules are completed. Plus, we provide ongoing information through an e-newsletter and our website to help parents, teachers, and other youth workers to better understand and develop the potential of young leaders. As the KidLead reputation grows, being listed on this registry significantly benefits young leaders for landing quality, university and career opportunities as these become more competitive.
The recommended fees are based on typical group lessons for competitive sports, even though the enduring benefits gained at KidLead are lifelong and potentially far more valuable. Typically this is $200-400 per module (in the United States), similar to a subsidized summer camp program. Many organizations can find grants to subsidize this program, whether it is character, leadership, or at-risk funding. It’s amazing that you can provide world-class leadership training for such a low cost. KidLead is highly opposed to giving away this training, because research shows that people value what they pay for and our goal is for families to help implement this training into a young leader's life.
Long term, KidLead will strive to provide scholarship subsidies for young leaders and trainer certification. Parents or guardians interested in receiving scholarships for kids should talk to their certified trainers. Adults interested in receiving scholarships for trainer certification should contact KidLead.
How does my organization provide a KidLead training program for our constituents and community?
Our ultimate clients are the scores of people who benefit from the effective, ethical leading that KidLead trained leaders provide. In order to accomplish this goal, we primarily serve organizations that already serve preteens and teens, but want to provide this caliber of training for the young leaders within their reach. The best thing is to contact KidLead and discuss how this works. You’ll want to recruit one or more trainer applicants to go through our 1 day certification intensive. This can happen if there are enough local trainer applicants in your area (4-6 typically) for KidLead to provide a Lead Trainer. If not, you can send a trainer applicant to a scheduled certification in another area. Certification empowers a trainer to use the LeadYoung training curriculum as a part of your organization or as an individual. If you are an individual wanting to be certified, then you may want to talk to organizations in your area in which you can do the training. Finding an existing host is easier than developing your own club from scratch, but we can provide you ideas of how to do this as well.
If you have further questions, feel free to contact us through this website! We love what we do!