By TARCAYANI PREBAGARAN
In today’s world, leadership is not reserved to the old and experienced. Marc Zuckerberg who owns Facebook is only 29! Steve Chen and Chad Hurley, founders of YouTube are 35!
Unleashing the leader in you does not require painstaking measures or ideas. There are simple steps that you can incorporate in your student life to develop your leadership attributes.
What sets you apart during college application is usually your involvement in school clubs and societies, sports or community organisations. In this article I will be sharing five simple ways to start developing leadership qualities.
A good leader is able to clearly explain what needs to be done. Honing your communication skills is crucial if you aspire to be a leader. Sir Richard Branson, the founder of Virgin Group incorporating more than 400 companies, used to be so shy that he refused to talk to adults and would cling to the back of his mother’s skirt.
One day, one the way back from a shopping trip his mother stopped their car about three miles away from home and asked him to find his way back, which involved talking to people! He arrived home 10 hours later but that experience made Branson more comfortable in interacting with adults.
At school, you can hone your communication skills by joining clubs that promote effective public speaking, such as your neighbourhood Toastmasters Club or Gavel club if you are below 18 years old.
Besides, you can even join your school debate club or the English Language society. The key here is to focus on developing your communication skills. Don’t be discouraged if you are not a natural speaker as these skills can be learnt and polished over time.
Leaders are confident and are able to express their opinions without shying away from the spotlight. Leaders should be confident in making decisions and commit to executing those decisions.
At school, you can boost your leadership qualities even in class by not being nervous to ask questions. Some of us may not have a clue about what is going on in class or have doubts about something. Sometimes we are not able ask questions because we are afraid of judgments that we may receive.
When your teacher asks a question, don’t hesitate to answer. Even if your answer is incorrect, your teacher will acknowledge the courage and the confidence you displayed.
To be a leader you should always come forward to make a difference, be it at school or your local community. Always be interested in volunteering to help people as this goes hand-in-hand with leadership.
You can volunteer at orphanages, old folks homes or even tutor your juniors at school. The opportunity to volunteer is just endless. Check out www.dogoodvolunteer.com for opportunities.
As a student, you should also remember that your main priority is your studies. Only commit yourself to activities that you can reasonably juggle.
Leaders are committed to tasks given to them and they execute them with responsibility. A good leader leads by example. At school, when you get homework or assignments from your teachers, you should hand them in on time.
When it comes to club meetings, you are expected to be on time. Paying attention to small details consistently will lead to excellence in the long run.
To be a good leader, you should learn to work together with those around you. In collaborative leadership, a person has the responsibility to guide and coordinate the process by which the group decides and carries out actions to accomplish its goals.
To learn to collaborate with people, join activities that involve a team, such as the football club or even the choir if that’s your interest. Being a team player is a valuable skill; as the saying goes, two heads are better than one. All in all, leadership is indeed a learnable skill if you are motivated to do so. Attempt at least one of the many steps above and you will be on your way to becoming an excellent leader!
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