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How Do You Raise A CEO?
Article by Alejandro Cuéllar
All of us are born with our own star. Some call it personality; others call it natural talents. Regardless of the terminology, we know that we were born with certain capabilities that are “our own”. This is the nature side of things that makes us who we are.
Some people can change a kitchen faucet without any tools; some of us can’t, even with a DIY YouTube video and a plumber right beside us, guiding us through it. No one is better or worse, we just have different natural talents—we have a different star!
There is also the nurture side of things that we learn over time. Regardless of how many natural gifts we are born with, the nurture side is one where parents have a great influence, and that is ever so important. The way we nurture our kids today will deeply impact their “future value”. We know today that our parenting will have profound consequences on our children’s adult life, the same way that our own upbringing has had profound consequences in our adulthood.
When we raise successful children, we as parents tend to believe that it is a reflection of ourselves, when in fact, it’s only partially our doing. It’s true that if we work hard, the chances of helping our kids to do well in life increases. It is also true that if we have a child with natural abilities, it makes it easier to help them grow and achieve. Their success then is heavily based on their own natural talents, and not on our parenting skills alone.
It is easier to help your athletic, lean, 5’10 child to be selected for the basketball team than to help your two-left-feet child to learn the tango. However, you can teach your basketball star to be a fair and clean player on the court, and your dancer to find passion and joy in doing the tango regardless of the ability to dance well.
The secret is to differentiate and identify where our parenting skills can add real value to our children’s lives… Do you concentrate on helping them build upon their natural talents, or on helping them build their self-steam and value system? Is your goal to raise a healthy adult, or to raise a CEO? Are you looking for fulfillment, or for a trophy?
I was blessed with two amazing daughters. They were born with many natural talents, and that has made it easier to raise them both. However, there has also been a deliberate intent to nurture them well so that they can become healthy adults. Parenting children is much easier than raising adults.
I have been asked many times: “how do you parent an 11–year-old?” My answer has always been the same: “future value”. I am not raising an 11-year-old girl; I am raising a grandmother, who happens to be 11 years old today. I am raising a Prime Minister, a cook, a CEO, or a nurse, who happens to be a child today.
Our children’s “adult success” has a lot more to do with how we nurture them than with their natural talents. If we support our children’s natural talents, as well as reinforce their self-worth, support their “own” growth, help them think for themselves, and never forget they are adults that happen to be children today, we will raise stronger adults for tomorrow, and will bring lasting consequences for generations to come.
Let’s keep our sights on their future value… After all, if you look closely, it is not so difficult to see the grandmother inside their beautiful young eyes.