KF: Over the years, you've helped many children learn valuable leadership skills. What are three things parents can do to help their own children be good people and strong leaders?
TR: I think the first thing you have do is you've got to be in the situation where you are honest with yourself, and you've got to lead by example. You'll never get your kids to be better leaders if you're not…They look at the communication of our behavior. One of the beautiful things is, when I became a father—and I became a father instantly when I was 24, and I had a 17-year-old son, an 11-year-old daughter and a 5-year-old instantly and then a son on the way—it made me grow at that stage in my life like you wouldn't even imagine, because it made me raise my standards for myself. The first thing you can do for your kid is raise your own standards. Most of us will do more for someone we love than we'll even do for ourselves.
Number two is stop having an idea of how your kid is supposed to be, and wait and find out what their nature is and reinforce it. I was talking to a man actually from Time magazine, and he's a new father, and he's a great, great guy. I really enjoyed this man, and he was talking about how he wants to make sure he's ready for [his son] to be a man's man, and I said, "You know what? Why don't you wait and see what he's like?" All you have to do is love this child completely and totally. You have to have some standards, but you have to say, "Is this child going to be more artistic? Is this child going to be more athletic? Is this child going to more intellectual or quirky?" And you've got to love that part and let them take that part, whatever it is, to the highest level possible.
I think the third piece that you've really got to do is you've got to make sure you get them around other people who will inspire them. We think it's all us as parents, but they look at other role models. Who you spend time with shapes who you are. Who you spend time with shapes your children, so I'm a big believer that the environment plays a huge role.
I really believe life is about two things: It's about growing and giving. If you don't grow, I don't care how successful you are. I don't care how much success, money, respect, whatever accolades, whatever people think is success, you're going to feel empty if you're not growing. What makes people happy is progress. Growth, on the other hand—if you grow and you don't give anything, it's all about you. Life's not about me; it's about we.
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