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Monday, August 04, 2008

Eleven Plus Power Plays

Many of our Eleven Plus children will become leaders one day. There are many definitions of the word `leader’ – but in Eleven Plus terms we could think of a leader as a person with a status that allows him or her to exercise influence over other people.

A clear cut expansion of the word `leader’ can be seen over and over again in politics. Here a leader is offered status by followers who can withdraw the leadership in a variety of ways. A coup seems a popular method these days.

A different example of leadership can be demonstrated by Michael Vaughan. He will be remembered as the captain who led England to their greatest triumph in modern day cricket, when he won the Ashes back in 2005 in one of the best Test series ever played. Here he showed leadership and was a fine example to all in the land. He was rewarded with an OBE.

As a child I was fascinated by the story of Madame Curie. She overcame so much misfortune to become a revered Nobel Prize winner for her work on radium. She was so selfless that she gave away the money she received for her prize. She was a leader – but did not live in the limelight in early years. She simply worked and focused on the task in hand. The rewards and publicity came later in life.

So a leader collects followers because he or she is superior in some way. It could be financial – in the way that men with money have taken over so many football clubs in the Premier League. In spite of their financial clout the owners have had to find leaders to manage their football clubs.

A child has to listen to parents. The parents are still the leaders of the family because they are the adults. A child can not initiate a coup. They can’t go out and buy new parents. Eleven Plus children, however, do need to be focused and have a clear picture of what they hope to achieve.

So when a mother or a father says: “Go and work.”

The child has to say: “How high?”

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