Some thoughts on working with our greatest asset…our Children

I don’t know about you, but every time I look at this picture…several things happen:

First, I am reminded how tough many children have it all over the world, even here in the U.S. It’s easy to forget, that for many young ones – like the boy in this picture – the joys of youth are as foreign as the distant stars they gaze at during their quiet moments. So many kids simply don’t get the chance to be kids because their environment is so harsh that there is no room for the innocence of childhood.

Second, as I reflect on these harsh realities of how kids are treated,  that I saw over the years as a Green Beret, I am also reminded of how blessed I am that my boys have had the chance to experience a safe and loving childhood, where they can dream and grow into the men they want to become – without the overt fear of violence, hunger, or suffering. What a blessing that I too often take for granted. How about you?

Third, this picture smacks me in the face that our children are our greatest asset within human society – and their childhood is so fragile, yet vital. Yet, the forces of evil are targeting our kids even here at home, where the  environment is supposedly safer with more opportunities.

Our kids are subject to conditions we never knew as kids, and frankly we don’t understand many of the challenges they face.  For example, the escalation of youth violence, bombardment of hard-core content in social media and television, and the brutal social pressures of peers are massive. To get through these times our kids need leadership.

Let me be more specific…Our kids need your leadership. We forget that too often. We are so busy talking to and working with adults on leadership, we often forget about our greatest national treasure – our kids. Who is teaching them how to lead? It starts with us…at grass roots, family levels.

Try this…the next time you find yourself exasperated and cursing the direction of the country and lamenting on how all is lost in our society, take a look at your interaction with your kids and the kids around you. Are you involved with them? Are you guiding them? Are you sharing stories and also conducting deep listening to the challenges they face. Are you helping them prepare for the rough seas they will navigate when they take the helm and lead us.

Leading kids never goes out of style. Sure, America and civil society continues to modernize, become more connected, and develop globally…but some things don’t change. Kids are kids. And they need our patient leadership to cope with and prepare for the rigors that await them.

Unless we are actively leading them down that path…we’re really not leading at all.

Until next time, thanks for what you do.

Scott Mann.




About The Author

Scott Mann has spent most of his entire adult life leaving tracks, and his mission in life is to help others do the same. His Dad, Rex Mann, refers to this as giving back to causes higher than yourself. He doesn’t know why he loves it so, but he does. He has served our great country for 23 years in the U.S. Army, most of that as a Green Beret doing missions all over the world. He fought three combat tours in Afghanistan, as well as in many other conflict zones such as Iraq and Colombia. His last few years in the Army, he was an architect and original implementer of the Special Operations Village Stability Operations (VSO)/Afghan Local Police (ALP) programs in Afghanistan. He also designed and implemented the popular SOCOM Academic Week training courses. Scott has commanded troops at several levels. At his last rank, lieutenant colonel, he made the tough decision to pass on his promotion to colonel and pursue other passions. It was one of the toughest but most rewarding choices he ever made. He is now the founder and CEO of the Stability Institute, where they broker knowledge and connecting stability professionals on complex stability issues around the globe. In concert with Institute President Howard Clark, he has built a vast network of stability practitioners who collaborate on unique solutions for government organizations, large corporations and even small businesses and individuals. As an entrepreneur, he built a multimillion-dollar real estate portfolio and property management company with his brother, who is his best friend and partner. They buy, turn around, and operate mobile home communities all over the state of North Carolina. He is blessed to put his entrepreneurial experience to use by mentoring transitioning Green Berets and other veterans in reaching their goals and dreams in the civilian sector. As an advocate, he is also the founder/CEO of Patriot Families, a nonprofit organization helping military families and wounded veterans at a grassroots level cope with the rigors of military deployments and family stress. He serves on the board of advisors for Stay in Step Spinal Cord Rehabilitation Center in Tampa, Florida, and Spirit of America, a nonprofit supporting our warriors and diplomats with stability missions abroad. He graduated from the University of Central Arkansas with a degree in Political Science. He has a Master’s Degree in Operational Art and Science from the U.S. Air Force Air Command and Staff College. He lives in Riverview, Florida with his wife Monty and their three boys Cody, Cooper, and Brayden

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