Best Life: Program teaching leadership skills to children earlier

Published: Aug. 18, 2021 at 8:12 AM CDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio. (Ivanhoe Newswire) – English literature, algebra, coding -- these are all important skills for our children to learn these days. But it takes more than good grades to make a leader. In fact, budget cuts and rigorous testing prohibits most schools from developing what some say are soft skills, like communication and negotiation.

Now, one woman is changing the curriculum, changing the lives of 27,000 students in 195 schools, making sure kids today learn “success” skills. These are the skills that can turn your child’s potential into performance.

Teamwork, trust, problem-solving and a dose of healthy competition. Looks like fun, but these kids are learning skills that will impact the rest of their lives.

“We are providing our young people with the skills that they really need to be successful in that 21st century,” said Flo Brett, Executive Director & Founder of the Effective Leadership Academy.

Brett spent decades teaching leadership skills in the corporate world. She saw a desperate need to teach these success skills even earlier.

“We’re providing skillsets to students that unfortunately, they’re not getting these skill sets in traditional education,” explained Brett.

Brett started the Effective Leadership Academy, teaching students beginning in 5th grade.

“You need to be an effective communicator. You need to be an effective collaborator,” said Brett. “You need to critically think.”

“Being able to negotiate, being able to see both sides of a situation and understand how you can work with someone,” said Faith Boone with the academy.

“I learned that you need to be able to make sure that you have a voice and to have confidence in that voice, you need to be an active listener and learner,” said Shaliz Bazaldjoo also with the academy.

Skills especially important for young women. Nationwide, women hold just 21 percent of senior leadership positions.

Hannah Palovich, a student at Effective Leadership Academy said, “In society today, we don’t necessarily get all of the recognition we deserve. So, taking a leadership program will be definitely helpful in the future.”

“Imagine in 10, 15, 20 years’ time, how many strong leaders we’re going to have out there with the right skills. Everyone has the potential,” said Brett. “They just have to want it and they have to learn it and have to develop as an individual.”

The Effective Leadership Academy now offers virtual classes to students across the globe. To find out more, go to

Contributor(s) to this news report include: Marsha Lewis, Producer; Kirk Manson, Videographer; Roque Correa, Editor.

Copyright 2021 WMC. All rights reserved.