People often say "Leaders are born, not made." However, if you look at some of the most successful leaders around like Bill Gates or Narayana Murthy, you will realise this is far from the truth.
These global leaders didn't shine spectacularly in school. What both did however have in common was, surprisingly, that they were both children of school teachers - and, much more important, that they had a vision.
One of the most important things you can teach your child is to believe in himself and in his ideas, visions and abilities. The best way you can do this is to encourage him every step of the way, and not to scoff at his goals. When your child tells you that he wants to be the richest man in the world, don't laugh him off as if that is something beyond him. Instead, ask your child what he plans to do to achieve that goal. Let him know that nothing is beyond his capabilities.
A leader is a person who believes in himself. It is only when someone believes in what they are doing, can they convince others to follow the same path. Most children have goals, and a few know just what they are going to do to achieve these goals. Having goals is the first step towards leadership - the second step is knowing how you are going to achieve these goals, and if they are feasible at all.
Take a look at all the successful actors around. We may think they have achieved overnight success, but we are unaware of the many struggles faced by most newcomers. Those that didn't lose heart and that believed in themselves and their abilities, are the ones that finally made it. If they knew what they wanted at the outset, participated in dramatics from school itself, joined film school, studied acting formally - they stand a stronger chance of doing well.
Many children dream big, but they don't plan on how they will be able to achieve their goals. Teach your child the importance of planning their lives. They can change their plans along the way, but it is best if they follow a path. No one has to lay down the path for them - let them plan their own paths - but it is essential that they have something concrete in mind, or they will simply drift along with the tide.
Some people don't make any plans; they simply wait and see what life has to offer and follow any direction that may seem convenient for the moment. Few of these people may get lucky, but they are in the minority. The best leaders are those that chart a course of action in advance, and stick to it.
Good leadership is also about knowing when you made a mistake, when you took a wrong decision, and having the ability to admit your mistakes and cancel a course of action. Many people realise that that they may have started things on the wrong track, but keep plodding on since their egos don't allow them to admit their mistakes. Teach your child the importance of realising when he is wrong, and admitting it. This may be one of the hardest lessons to teach your child, but it is important.