Leadership skills are some of the most important soft skills for young people. This is because every young person in this day and age needs to be able to handle growing up and the responsibilities that come with it, for themselves. This can only be done if the young people are taught, from a very young age, about the value of good leadership, and what it can bring them later in life. However, that can only happen by first answering the question of What is Leadership?
What is Leadership: A Definitive Answer
At its core, leadership is the ability to influence social change, and maximize the efforts of other people to reach a goal that you all have in common.
A young person may not be able to understand this at once. After all, children are rarely put into positions where they have to take the efforts of other children, and mold them into something they are planning on, such as a class project.
Sure, a child may get to be the lead on a project, but even then there will be one or two leaders, and several followers. However, even then, this definition applies, because even if the child is not selected to be a leader, they can possess the quality of a leader which they can demonstrate, in order to be chosen as the leader in the next project.
A Natural Capacity to Lead
Kids naturally have the capacity to lead. They are not limited by ego, time, and/or place. It is the adults who put limitations on them. But this is changing. And it’s creating a ripple effect in the social sphere.
What Young People Can Do to Become Bona Fide Future Leaders
Following is what a young person can do, or an adult can help them do, in order to develop the spirit of leadership.
Mobilize several peers to do something good
Help create a committee to fund building water facilities and/or wells in Africa or some other developing nation. Or they can tutor kids in science and math. These are all good ideas, but young people need to come up with their own. Several kids are already doing these things in early school, up through college and even their early 20s. Whatever they do in this vein will get them noticed, and they will generate respect for it. Plus, they’ll learn valuable lessons from it.
Get help from a senior mentor
A mentor is a great way to develop knowledge in the world. Kids can find someone smarter than they are, and ask them to be their personal coach and later on, a professional adviser. They will need to reach out for this. You yourself can be a mentor, if you think an external individual is unattainable or unapproachable. However, with all the experienced people who are generally around students and teens, a positive reply is certain. Next, they can lean on their mentors. Mirror their good behavior and successes in life. Ask them to share what made them successful.
Don’t stop dreaming and develop your vision
Leaders are usually constant dreamers. They imagine things how they would like them to be, and since they’re decisive, they often follow their dreams. When a young person is in their teens, they have the perfect time to dream a lot. But then, they need to be able to act on those dreams. They also need to have the strength to fail, since dreams are not always the best business strategies. But that’s the fun of it trying.
When a person is in their teens, they can take more risk. They can stick their neck out further, since their ego is not always ahead of them, and other people’s expectations of them may be lower. Becoming a leader at an earlier age makes for more productive years, during which they can take youthful energy and make something good out of it.
Become financially responsible
If there’s one thing that’ll cement a young person as a leader of the future, it’s financial responsibility. Being good with money and finances is a skill that every teenager and even preteen should have. They need to know how to spend smarter.
For example, a young person in search of new clothes would be tempted to run into a store and splurge all they have. But, they need to be taught to instead take out a store credit card; let’s say, a Gap credit card, and spend only as much as they need. They can then use the reward points they have accumulated, to buy more clothing at a later date.
Remember, the future is only as bright as the young people of the present. If our generation can teach the future generations to be great leaders, then we may very well benefit tremendously, alongside our bright young leaders of the future. They will have essential skills such as how to start investing and how to pay off student loans quicker, and we’ll have a financially stable future.