The 10/13 Window

Posted on June 13, 2009


The May/June 2009 edition of Children’s Magazine published this article by Alan Nelson. Below is the full article in .jpg., and you can download the .pdf here.

Alan is the author of From Me To We, and the founder of, “America’s only leadership development program that specifically targets leaders when they’re moldable.”

My thanks to Alan for sending me the article, and for valuing the young enough to develop and run this program.

A few select quotes:

Sometimes I tell people that I could beat the world’s fastest runner in a race. They look at me and curiously wonder what I’m getting at, as they quietly stare at my middle-aged physique. I say, “I could beat the fastest person in the world—as long as I had a big enough head start.”

After 25 years of pastoral ministry, including over 15 years of training leaders and writing books and articles on the topic, I’ve come to a conclusion about leadership: The best hope for developing ethical, effective leaders is to train them during their preteen years.

The 10/13 window is a unique period when a child’s cognition is sufficiently developed to learn sophisticated social skills such as leading and his or her character is still pliable enough to be shaped. The goal in this window is to teach character in the context of leadership—in other words, to teach leadership that’s ethical and Christ-centered.