“You’re not a great captain,” our youngest hero (4 years old) earnestly remarked to our oldest hero (8 years old) during our morning circle. I had just announced that for the first time, the heroes would get to vote later that day on who their studio maintenance captains would be for next week.
“Yes, I am!” he retorted.
“No, you’re not,” the youngest continued. “You always leave and aren’t helping,” he calmly said, motioning his hands outward to show his passion.
As we moved on to the next topic, I noticed something. The feedback given by the youngest affected the oldest. Like how you take notice when there is a little rock in your shoe. Like when you find a piece of lint that keeps sticking to you, no matter how hard you try to get it off.
A little voice, when clear and strong and filled with truth, sinks deep and causes us to pause.
Oh, the beauty of our forming community. Our heroes are beginning to find their voice and discover what they value in a leader.
Yet the beauty cannot exist without pain and struggle – as these are the best teachers. In fact, our heroes are learning through experience what good leadership looks like each day during our studio maintenance time. The captains lead their small groups and get to work on their assigned jobs. Sometimes the groups are organized, working hard, and beat the timer. Sometimes they aren’t. Yet each time we sit around the circle and reflect on their experience, the groups acknowledge the habits that will help them be successful – focus and hard work. They own their mistakes and apologize to their teammates. These experiences, through the joy and disappointment, are etching character inside.
Learning to learn, learning to do, learning to be.
What a transformational journey!