Leadership is increasingly recognised as an important skill that will benefit you in school and throughout your career. Learners who have leadership experiences in secondary school are more likely to attend further or higher education, and graduate. Higher education institutions value leadership as a key outcome for graduating seniors. Employers also expect graduates to have leadership experiences, and value this skill when making hiring decisions.
As we continue with our series on developing Future Focused Skills, here are some tips to develop leadership skills:
What it is
Teams with better leaders have higher levels of performance, stronger motivation, and more job satisfaction. Leadership opportunities exist at all levels and all are able to practice these skills.
Otherwise known as
Tasks to seek out
Leading a meeting.
Taking on a leadership role within a specific project.
Serving in a formal leadership position such as the president of a club or organisation.
Mentoring someone less experienced.
Ways to practice the skills within these tasks
When leading a meeting, establish a vision by setting an agenda or establishing goals. Think through what you would like to accomplish as well as how to communicate that vision in a clear and succinct way. During the meeting, ask questions that encourage other people to share and foster collaboration. Manage the flow of conversation so that everyone gets a chance to speak.
If you are in a formal leadership position, practice empowering others while also ensuring they have sufficient support to accomplish their tasks. Consider how to help them stay accountable to getting work done.
When mentoring someone, spend time exploring their goals and needs, and use that information to identify the resources and support you will provide.
After practicing, ask for immediate feedback from teachers or peers so that you can build on your performance and improve next time.
In our next post in the series, we will tackle how to develop social responsibility.