Boys' Rites of Passage

Our Sons' Futures

The Rites of Passage Program and Leadership Training

Posted by Thomas on February 18, 2012

This post has 479 words and will take you less than an estimated 6 minutes to read.

I want you to think about those in your world you admire most with superb leadership skills.


I want you to think about your leadership skills.

I have made the same considerations frequently of late in my life. I believe mastering leadership skills should be a self-development goal for every adult and something parents should actively teach their sons.


The times of working solo are vanishing faster than the hair on my head, and I’m bald, so, you get the picture. The way things get done has more to do with the collaborative efforts of groups than the single heroic efforts of one. Those groups need leaders, therefore, all of us should grow our leadership skills.

Naturally, I am not a leader. I’ve said this before in other posts, I’m the guy that is more than comfortable behind the scenes. Integral member of the team but more than happy to allow you to stand in the limelight out in front. That is my nature. Left to my own devises I would stay as I am. But the world demands more.

Seeing the lack of leadership skills as a deficit of mine I understood, on some primal level as a father, I needed to still expose my son to leadership training. His rites of passage program contained elements where developing better leadership skills were inherent.

For example, when he went on his Questa 21-day sailing trip in the British Virgin Islands—he had to get along with people from different cultures and life stations in order to operate the vessel efficiently. In order to sail they had to work as a unit.

Furthermore, throughout his life he heard me say “Be a leader”,  “You are the leader”, “Others are looking to you to lead”, or “Be a leader not a follower”. When he reached high school he was a member of the student government for his grade level and was exposed to the same crucible of having to work with different people with various backgrounds to complete projects—including the adults at the school.

He is a better leader than I am, in my biased opinion. But he got that way deliberately. His rites of passage program created the exposure to different experiences that grew his leadership skills. And eventually he chose to step into leadership roles (sometimes a bit reluctantly like his dad). Those skills will serve him a lifetime. The same holds true for your son.

Design your custom rites of passage program with identifiable elements that teach leadership. Let your son know growing in leadership skills is a lifetime journey of betterment. Now in my 40s I am a better leader today than I was twenty years ago but still have so much yet to learn.

I am also discovering, in order to get what you need, you will have to lead sometimes.



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