5 Leadership Lessons I Learned From Children

There is so much to learn in this world. On my journey to Hyderabad, I relearned these 5 leadership lessons that we adults often overlook!

I saw children on a train turn a simple journey into a lesson in leadership. Drawing butterflies, they taught collaboration, innovation, communication, appreciation, and diversity — a powerful metaphor for effective leadership.

Settling into my seat on the train from Hyderabad to Bangalore, I couldn’t help but be captivated by the lively atmosphere around me. As the rhythmic hum of the wheels blended with the murmur of conversations, I found myself in the company of a trio of energetic kids.

Amid mobile screens and torn tickets, these children embarked on a journey of collaboration, innovation, and diversity that mirrored the beauty of butterfly leadership.

As screens flickered with the colourful glow of their favourite shows, the children were in their own little worlds, absorbed in the digital delights before them. However, an unexpected twist arrived with the intrusion of parental phone calls, temporarily reclaiming the coveted devices and leaving the kids at a loss for what to do next.

At this moment of uncertainty, their eyes wandered, and smiles emerged as they engaged in spontaneous conversations, observing the world outside the digital realm. It was as if the train itself became a canvas, waiting for the strokes of creativity to unfold.

5 leadership lessons I learned from the children

Among the trio, one child revealed a drawing book adorned with a spectrum of vibrant colours. The presence of this book sparked a collective idea to channel their creativity. The decision was unanimous: they would draw butterflies, symbolic of the colourful transformation awaiting them.

The journey had become more than just a physical transit; it had morphed into a shared experience, a testament to the innocence of childhood and the profound lessons we can glean from the unscripted moments of life.

Collaboration in colour

The children faced the challenge of divergent ideas, mirroring the complexities leaders encounter in collaborative ventures. However, with the suggestion of a technicolour butterfly, the stage was set. Each child took ownership of a wing, choosing distinct hues, and introduced Pinky and Titi to the canvas.

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Read more: 8 Reasons Why Women Should Collaborate With Other Women

Innovation and new-age thinking

Amidst the strokes, Titi challenged the conventional wisdom of butterfly aesthetics, introducing the concept of asymmetry. This instance mirrored the essence of new-age thinking in leadership, where embracing innovation and breaking stereotypes leads to unparalleled creativity.

Read more: 11 Things I’ve Learnt About Time Management As A Serial Entrepreneur

Setting boundaries, avoiding conflict

Learning from the children’s example, they defined clear boundaries on the canvas to avoid conflict. This act symbolized the importance of transparent communication and the establishment of responsibilities in leadership to ensure harmonious collaboration.

Read more: Instead Of Devoting Our Lives to Others, Why Aren’t Women Taught To Set Boundaries For Ourselves?

Appreciation and encouragement

As the butterflies took shape, a crucial element of leadership emerged — appreciation.

Each child admired the other’s creation, fostering a positive environment that encourages growth and creativity. Butterfly leadership thrives on acknowledging the strengths and contributions of each team member.

Read more: The Beauty Of Mentoring Is In Encouragement!

Diversity and inclusion

In a final stroke of genius, the children introduced a smaller, diverse butterfly into the scene.

This gesture echoed the vital role of diversity and inclusion in leadership. Embracing differences not only enriches the collaborative process but also adds unique perspectives to the collective vision.

Read more: Why Ideas Like Diversity, Equity, And Inclusivity Need To Be Taught At A Young Age


The train journey unfolded not just as a physical transit but as a metaphorical exploration of butterfly leadership. Through the lenses of innocence and creativity, these children showcased the core principles of collaboration, innovation, transparent communication, appreciation, and diversity — all vital facets of effective leadership.

As adults, there is much to learn from these young minds who, with a simple drawing book and colours, unveiled the transformative power of butterfly leadership.

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Image source: CanvaPro

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