being. But maybe you have loftier goals for your offspring. Maybe you want your
daughter to be the CEO of a big company; maybe you want your kid to be Prime
Minister of Canada.
Sure there are some costs attached, but the 100 highest-earning CEOs
on the TSX Index made an average of $7.7-million in 2011, according to the
Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. If you’re still raw about it decades
later, ask your kid to throw you a million-dollar bone from
So aside from dressing him in sweater vests and cultivating a love of
cats, here are some ways to raise a big shot.
Get them to the green: Ninety per cent of the Fortune 500 CEOs
reportedly play golf and according to a Pompeu Fabra University study
of CEOs, golfers earn more than non-golfers and the better your game, the more
Aside from the hobnobbing and chitchat between swings, perhaps the focus and
discipline required for a good golf game transfers to the corporate field.
The National Golf Academy in Calgary begins teaching kids at six years of
age. Introductory group instruction costs $99 for four one-hour sessions;
private instruction is about $60 per lesson.
“The younger you can learn this game, the better,” says Terry Carter, the
academy director. “It’s almost like riding a bike. You get those fundamentals
early and you don’t lose them.”
Not sure if your child will swing the golf clubs or ride them like imaginary
ponies? Test out their interest with mini golf ($8.50 for 12 and under at
Cultivate his curiosity: Adam Bryant, who has interviewed more than
250 CEOs for his “Corner Office” column at the New York Times and has
written a book about success, identified five qualities that leaders share.
One is a “deep, relentless, questioning mind.”
“The best way to challenge corporate orthodoxy is to ask simple questions
like, ‘Why do you do that that way?’ They’re almost like the kinds of questions
the relentless five-year-old ask, ‘Why? Why? Why?’ But CEOs do that.”
So encourage your inquisitor: Take her to the Vancouver Aquarium ($14 for
children 4-12, $25 for adults) or the Ontario Science Centre ($13 for children
3-12, $22 for adults) or The Manitoba Museum ($7.50 for 3-17, $9 for
Teach him to speak up: Oprah Winfrey was a National Forensic League
state champion in high school. Both John Kerry and George Bush were on the
debate team in university. CBC journalist Ian Hanomansing and Federal Labour
Minister Lisa Raitt were debaters in school.
“In an ever changing world, the skills that you really need to develop are
critical-thinking skills and public speaking — the skills to communicate,” says
Tracey Lee, a world officer with the Canadian Student Debate Federation.
Encourage your kid to join the school’s debating team at no cost (provided
that the school has a team registered with the provincial debating league). As
alternatives, look for after-school programs. Dale Carnegie Training in Calgary
offers an 8-week leadership program for teens ($1,895). In the summer, Debate
Camp Canada runs one-week programs in Toronto and Windsor, N.S., $425 and $895,
Then, prepare for vociferous debate about chores, curfews, homework, dating,
Encourage her because she’s a girl: Let’s face facts.
According to Statistics Canada’s 2011 National Household
Survey, 80% of Canada’s one-percenters are men; more than 94% of
the CEOs of Canada’s top 500 companies are men, says Catalyst, Inc., a nonprofit
organization that promotes opportunities for women and business.
“Women are desperate for access to female role models,” says Carolyn
Lawrence, president and CEO of Women of Influence Inc. “For girls, between the
ages of 9 and 13 are the most critical in terms of developing potential
leadership skills. The earlier you give girls examples of female leaders, the
Find your daughter a mentor (Cybermentor, matches girls with women who have
careers in math, science and engineering, at no cost) or enroll her in a
leadership workshop. The YWCA’s GirlSpace programs for 9- to 18-year-olds offers
a variety of free programming in your area. FearlesslyGirl offers a $350 spring
and a summer leadership one-week day camp for girls aged 8-12 in Toronto.
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