Parents, the best graduation gift you can give your child is thisStedman Graham
It’s that time of year when all across the country high school seniors will “move the tassel” and become high school graduates. For millions of these young men and women, the next stop will be college and preparing for their lives as adults.
And yet 25 percent of those who go on to graduate from college, according to Gallup, will fail to thrive in their overall careers and lives, because they are unprepared emotionally and experientially for the real world.
Mothers and fathers – the best graduation gift you can give your child is a set of keys—not to a new car—but keys to self-leadership, a trait that can make the difference in the quality of their personal and professional lives and their prospects for purposeful success.
What parent want his or her child to finish college unprepared for today’s world and then work below their full potential? No parent wants that.
Those who develop the self-leadership and self-actualization necessary to be an effective leader in today’s rapidly changing world, I call them Identity Leaders.
Identity Leadership is self-leadership based on the philosophy that you cannot lead others until you first lead yourself. Before deciding what to do in life, your children must first understand who they are, what influences their lives, and why they think and act the way they do.
For more than 30 years, I have written books, taught in colleges, worked in communities, led nonprofits and conducted workshops around the world. In all that time, I have come to be absolutely certain that leadership is everything.
Understanding the power of Identity Leadership has never been more important, especially given that we live in a time of great technological and social change, where traditional family values are being reshaped, globalization threatens jobs, climate change threatens the planet, and the exponential acceleration of technology is leaving many behind the competition.
The facts bear it out. Gallup estimates that American businesses lose $350 to $400 billion a year because 70 percent of the U.S. workforce is disengaged and not working at their full potential.
I’ve spent all my life trying to figure out how to realize my potential. Here is the 9-step process that I have found helps you learn how to organize your life, find purpose, work with passion and self-actualize your potential:
1. CHECK YOUR IDENTITY: Before deciding what to do in life, you must first understand who you are and what influences your life, thoughts and behaviors.
2. CREATE YOUR VISION: Your vision is your life’s destination. A well-defined vision helps you find meaningful and achievable goals. Design a powerful future based on possibility rather than circumstance.
3. DEVELOP YOUR TRAVEL PLAN: In order to fulfill your vision, you must create a plan of action. By working toward goals via a solid plan of action based on your identity, you learn to assert power over your life.
4. MASTER THE RULES OF THE ROAD. Guidelines keep you on track as you engage in the pursuit of betterment and learn to use the positive powers of honesty, hard work, determination and other solid values to guide you as you journey to achieve your dreams.
5. STEP INTO THE OUTER LIMITS. To grow, you have to leave your comfort zone, confront fears and take risks. Learn how to overcome fear and step outside of what has become comfortable and familiar to you.