The former president has some solid leadership advice for his girls—and perhaps, your kids as well.

By Hollee Actman Becker
dominika zarzycka/Shutterstock

As if we didn't know it already, former President Barack Obama just proved once again that he and wife Michelle are total #parentgoals. During a question and answer sesh with Bill and Melinda Gates at the 2017 Goalkeepers event in New York City last week, Obama did us all a major solid and shared the three great pieces of leadership advice he's given to daughters Malia and Sasha over the years.

Number 1: Being responsible is an enormous privilege

"When they were small, their responsibilities were small, like, 'Say when you want to go potty'," the Obama explained. "As you get older, your responsibilities grow."

Makes sense. To that end, the former pres then said he and Michelle have tried to teach their girls what he called "basic homespun values"—to be kind, considerate, empathetic and hardworking.

"These are the tools by which you can shape the world around you in a way that feels good," he explained. "Owning responsibility is what marks them or anyone a fully grown human. That means other people rely on you, that you have influence, that you can make your mark."

Number 2: There are a lot of different ways to make a contribution

"You do not have to go out and lead the protest march; you can work at a local health clinic that will make a difference." Obama said. "If you are a brilliant engineer, you don't have to make a speech. You can create an app that allows an amplification or the scaling up of something that is really powerful if you're someone who likes to care for people. There are a lot of different ways to make a contribution and I try to emphasize that to them as well."

Number 3: Change takes time

"You have to be persistent," Obama explained. "We get disappointed and we get frustrated. I always tell people that my early work as a community organizer in Chicago taught me an incredible amount, but I didn't set the world on fire."

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Maybe not. But whether he's still in the White House or not, it's clear the man's still got it! What's the best piece of leadership advice you've ever heard?

Hollee Actman Becker is a freelance writer, blogger, and mom of two who writes about parenting and pop culture. Check out her website for more, and then follow her on Instagram


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