English literature, algebra, coding -- these are all important skills for our children to learn these days. But it takes more than good grades to make a leader.
In fact, budget cuts and rigorous testing prohibits most schools from developing what some say are soft skills, like communication and negotiation.
Now, one woman is changing the curriculum, changing the lives of 27,000 students in 195 schools, and making sure kids today learn “success” skills. These are the skills that can turn your child’s potential into performance.
Flo Brett, executive director and founder of the Effective Leadership Academy, told Ivanhoe, “We are providing our young people with the skills that they really need to be successful in that 21st century.”
Brett spent decades teaching leadership skills in the corporate world. She saw a desperate need to teach these success skills even earlier.
“We're providing skillsets to students that unfortunately they're not getting these skillsets in traditional education,” explained Brett.
She started the Effective Leadership Academy, teaching students beginning in fifth grade.
“You need to be an effective communicator. You need to be an effective collaborator. You need to critically think," she said.
Faith Boone, of the Effective Leadership Academy, said, “Being able to negotiate, being able to see both sides of a situation and understand how you can work with someone.”
Shaliz Bazaldjoo, a student at Effective Leadership Academy, shared, “I learned that you need to be able to make sure that you have a voice and to have confidence in that voice, you need to be an active listener and learner.”
Skills especially important for young women. Nationwide, women hold just 21% of senior leadership positions.
Hannah Palovich, a student at Effective Leadership Academy, said, “In society today, we don't necessarily get all of the recognition we deserve. So, taking a leadership program will be definitely helpful in the future.”
Brett said, “Imagine in 10, 15, 20 years time, how many strong leaders we're going to have out there with the right skills. Everyone has the potential. They just have to want it and they have to learn it and have to develop as an individual.”
The Effective Leadership Academy now offers virtual classes to students across the globe.