What makes a good leader? When asked this question, certain qualities may come to mind. Most people may agree that a good leader has has integrity, passion, confidence, optimism, high standards, organization skills, vision, communication, and insight into teamwork. Many people believe that these qualities are not things you are born with. And this is why when we envision the ideal leader we think of someone older, who has developed the maturity and wisdom to handle any challenge.
Yet it is absolutely true that some of the best leaders have been and will continue to be young people. We have got to allow them the chance to get into leadership roles in spite of their youth.
Young people often have a lot of insight into what makes a good leader, and it’s not a surprise– since they are surrounded by teachers, coaches, facilitators, and senior family members who actively work to guide them in their daily lives. Although this is true, it can be a challenge for a young person to imagine him or herself in a position of leadership. Yet youth who are empowered to see their own leadership potential can become powerful changemakers – not only now, but throughout their lives!
It takes just a little extra time and effort for a young person to go from seeing him or herself as influenced by the many leaders around, to flipping the script and seeing him or herself as the changemaker, making a world of difference minute by minute. Getting a clear picture about what it may mean to wear the shoes of someone who inspires, teaches, mobilizes, and advocates for others doesn’t come overnight. Yet when it does, the principled effort to participate in a change grows like wildfire when lit by youthful enthusiasm!
Authentic and natural leadership comes from an inward change. It involves commitment to core values. A good leader must simply take time out in order to become someone with a bird’s-eye view, who can see what is yet to be, and to direct others accordingly. To become a stronger leader, a person should take time to reflect, to feel, and to strategize. Below are some ways young people can work towards becoming an amazing leader.
HOW TO CULTIVATE LEADERSHIP SKILLS (Tips for Youth)
Set goals. Work towards them.
Adjust the goals to become more attainable using SMART– specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-based. When you get the big picture view of your life’s potential and work towards creating a new reality through simple goal-setting, your confidence grows when the goals are met! You also become more smart about goal-setting through experience.
Connect with the leaders around you.
Practice communicating with them in a respectful yet assertive way. Ask them questions about how they got to where they are. Make sure to keep them as resources for when you need them. Keep their number and email handy so you can call upon them when you need them.
Put yourself in a position of mentorship with someone who needs it.
You will gain confidence as you see yourself in the eyes of your mentee, and you will learn how to help people from experience.
Get leadership training!
There are plenty of leadership workshops and conferences for youth around the city. Additionally, read books about leadership. There are many autobiographies written by leaders that are easy to get your hands on in the Vancouver Public Library.
Find a cause that you care about and get involved through volunteer work!
Whether it’s the environment, the arts, politics, athletics, gender equality or mixed ability, finding a cause not only gets you to practice putting your leadership skills to work, it will also surround you with people of diverse talent who you can learn from. Additionally, getting away from your set peer group will enable you to branch out, make more connections, and get out of your shell.
Pay attention to the expectations of all your responsibilities.
Build more awareness for how you complete even daily tasks such as chores or school assignments. Make sure to cultivate artful intention in what you do. Additionally, cultivate an attitude of perseverance when things get challenging, as they often will!
Becoming a leader takes planning and practice. Once you get accustomed to thinking and acting like a leader, you will be surprised how many new opportunities come your way. Keep your eye on what you would like to change in the world, and do it with love, enthusiasm, and passion!
How can Little Mountain Learning Academy help your child develop leadership skills?
Our Success Coaching Program allows students to identify personal goals, and to establish self-generated, and realistic means to reach those goals. Through a series of workbook questions, and meetings with a coach, students will learn that they have all of the resources necessary to make meaningful change within their own lives, and the lives of those around them. Success Coaching will help students cultivate skills for success, by learning about, and working with habit formation, goal setting, values, and commitment.
Give us a call at 604-221-2363 to learn more about how our Success Coaching Program can help your child cultivate strong leadership skills!