Virtual Coffee Chat: Troy, NY

Does leadership happen from the top and work it's way down?  

Some residents of Troy, New York, a town undergoing a small business renaissance, think not. When interviewer Robin Young asked about the presidential primary, no one was particularly interested. Instead they focused on the fact that one young entrepreneur, Vic Christopher saw opportunity and others built on that.  Here is the full story from Here & Now

Hearing this story on the day of  New York state's primary, inspired me to virtually wander into the coffee shops, wine bar/restaurants and Market Block Books to discover for myself what is happening in this town. Troy thrived for awhile, then died and is now coming back to life again with a new kind of economy.   

The decisions made in Troy are an example of the leadership process in action. It is a grassroots, bottom up process where a person or a group of people see an opportunity and create a vision of what can be. These leaders are not looking for solutions from politicians, they are dreaming and taking action. 

 click picture for source

click picture for source

Also worth noting is that the dream evolves.  Some of the businesses started in 2012 have now evolved into new businesses.   

As leaders of kids, do we give them enough examples for this kind of leadership?   Do we share stories of innovators and do we allow time for kids to make and create

Cup of Leadership is...

a blog for people who lead children.
Deanne Bryce is a writer for young children and an advocate for personal leadership at all ages. This post is part of a series of posts where we engage in a virtual coffee chat. It is a chance for people who lead children to take a break and reflect on leadership strategies.  In addition we get to virtually visit coffee shops around the world in order to gain a fresh perspective. Suggest a virtual visit or leadership topic by connecting onFacebook or Twitter. 

Teaching the Art of Failure through Picture Books

When failure descends on us, like a sudden sickness, it feels bad. In the midst of a failure we think we won’t survive. Our memories of failure are so strong that we treat life like a game of dodge ball. We jump around in order to avoid the feared ball of failure coming our way.  Failure is part of the process of leading ourselves

Dreams are imagined, actions are taken, and failure happens. The next step we take when things don’t work out like we planned is the most important step in the leadership process.

What would happen if we as parents teach our kids that failure is part of the process?  Perhaps, a playful, curious approach before our little one experiences the pain of a situation can yield benefits when they are learning something that is difficult. We want them to keep trying because research is telling us that struggle is important to learning. 

Picture books are a great resource for pointing out actions or attempts that don't work. In Ella and Penguin Stick Together, a book just published this month, Ella wants to see her stickers glow in the dark. She is afraid of the dark. Her fears are keeping her from seeing the stickers glow. Resourceful Ella tries other options and fails in her first few attempts. 

Read the book and ask a few questions to help your preschooler see that not everything works out the first time. 

  • What was Ella trying to do?
  • What actions did she take?
  • What did she finally do?
  • What kept her from seeing the stickers glow. 
  • How did the story turn out?
  • Who helped Ella?

The last question is more important for you, the adult. Ella solves her problem without the help of an adult. It is a pattern that is evident in most well-written children’s literature

Do you allow your children to fail in order to learn?