Life Lessons

Life Lessons: Raising daughters to lead

Life Lessons: Raising daughters to lead

Who will be the next Hillary Clinton, Sheryl Sandberg, or Oprah Winfrey?

How do we raise a generation of girls to be strong leaders in public office, business, or the entertainment industry?

Experts say parents should plant the seeds early.

Kimberley Patrick started honing her skills early, growing up with four brothers.

"If you wanted something, you kind of had to exert yourself," Patrick said.

She is a leader in training and education for manufacturing and the trades.

Maybe it's non-traditional, but she says leaders come in all shapes, sizes and genders.

"It's a term that's used a lot today, but it's more about bringing out the best in other people," Patrick said. "So it's more about coaching and less about managing."

"Today's problems are more complex than in the past," says leadership coach Rhonda Hess.

"It's a big world, so why not take advantage of building relationships and connections with other people who have different natural traits?"

Experts say it's one reason parents should encourage their daughters to spend playground time with boys -- not to emulate them but to learn how to get along.

It's also important to expose budding leaders to different cultures.

Get them involved.

Girl Scout programming is geared toward evolving leaders.

If that's not for them, playing sports helps with team building.

Drama and music build confidence and presentation skills.

For Patrick, her most important leadership task is serving as a role model for her 16-year-old daughter.

"Caring for people and listening to people is the more effective way to get things done and you're not going to become the enemy in the process," said KimberleyĆ­s daughter, Emily.
Experts also say community service is an excellent way to shape young leaders by strengthening communication skills, group dynamics, and teaching empathy.

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