My son, obey your father’s commands, and don’t neglect your mother’s instruction.
Keep their words always in your heart. Tie them around your neck.
When you walk, their counsel will lead you. When you sleep, they will protect you.
When you wake up, they will advise you. For their command is a lamp and their instruction a light;
their corrective discipline is the way to life.
Leadership should have a purpose. It’s purpose is ultimately for the benefit of the followers and the leader.
Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother, in order that it may be well with you, and you may live a long time on the earth.” And fathers, do not make your children angry, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. (Ephesians 6:1-3)
Parents are instructed to be equipped with wisdom from God (i.e. parents must learn to follow leadership for their benefit), and impart them to their children. And children must learn to obey their parents, following wisdom for their own benefit.
Why is this the most important step?
Because when children learn to obey good leadership for their own benefit throughout the course of their younger years, they will also gain a sense of the importance and purpose of good leadership. This imparts a rationale and desire (or at the very least reduce the passiveness) to become leaders in the situations they face in life, knowing that leadership is a good thing. Put simply, no one will want to become a leader if they find no reason and purpose in leadership. And the first step to help one experience the purpose of leadership and taste its goodness is by following.
It is not easy to be a leader. One must first acquire a sense of the goodness of leadership to overcome the hurdle and sustain the willingness to be one. And for children, it begins with their parents taking up the responsibility of wise parentship, and requiring good childrenship from their young followers.
And in situations where there is no need for one to lead another, at least we will have helped children to be leaders of themselves – self-united and motivated individuals who will not easily despair.