You are a leader. You can lead. The question is, how do you develop that ability to lead? While there are leadership programs for girls that teach the basics, there are also alternative routes to success. Here are six ideas that you can do to build leadership skills!
1) Get Passionate!
What do I mean by “get passionate?” Well, study your passions. Read about them. If there are opposing views to what you are passionate about, study those, too, so that you will know both sides. Do a lot of reading. For instance, do you want to manage your own business? Read biographies about those who have done so and been successful at it. Do you want to be a leader for girls’ education in Africa? Study the history of girls’ education and what is currently being done to support it. After you research, take action and blog/vlog about what you are learning. Not only will others start to see your initiative, but you also will grow in wisdom and leadership. And remember, as Lisa Kleypas put it, “[a] well-read woman is a dangerous creature.”
2) Take an Entrepreneurship Class or Attend a Camp!
Even if you are not planning on opening your own business, studying entrepreneurship as a teen is a great way to build leadership skills. You will learn about strategic plans of action, how to develop back-up ideas, how to manage assets and work as a team with people, how to make ethical decisions, etc. Skills such as these make influential leaders because they translate across all areas of leadership, not just business management. Check to see if your school or local college offers a basic entrepreneurship class, or even a summer entrepreneur camp for teens!
3) Start Martial Arts!
What? That’s just for ninjas or boys, right? Wrong! Martial arts teaches some great leadership skills. You will start from the bottom like everyone else, but as you work your way up, you will soon be helping others learn their kicks and punches. You will develop discipline, focus, and a greater respect for others, plus some really great friends. A couple of years ago, I never would have imagined myself teaching both children and adults martial arts, but now I help lead whole classes and have grown more confident in my ability to lead others. And not only will you be developing good leadership skills, but you will also have a lot of fun! If you do decide to start, make sure you find an accredited school with people who are constructive and encouraging. These two factors make or break your martial arts experience.
4) Start a Campaign!
Help raise money and support for the things that you care about. Use your interests to guide you. Like to run? Create a 5k to raise funds. Do you prefer theater? Direct a play to build support for your cause. Your leadership skills will grow tremendously through your creativity, your teamwork with those who help you, and your hard work.
5) Volunteer to Teach!
What are your hobbies? What are your unique skills and talents? Help others enjoy what you love, too. Take time not only to learn from others, but also to teach. If you love sports or politics, volunteer as a coach at a youth sports camp, or tutor debate skills at a girls leadership camp. Or if sports and leadership camps for girls aren’t your thing, and you, say, draw all the time, offer to lead an art class at a local art or community center. Do not feel awkward or afraid. Enjoy helping others learn, and learn from your mistakes. This is one of the best ways to develop leadership skills.
6) Get Out of Your Comfort Zone!
Leaders become leaders through initiative and experience. So take the initiative, and go experience the world! GLA offers several programs all over the world which partner with you to help communities and families, while also beckoning you to learn and to lead. Whether you are participating in a social entrepreneurship program in Africa or playing with kids in Peru, your leadership skills will be taken to the next level through being forced out of your comfort zone and jumping into leadership, even if you do not feel you are totally ready. That is how leaders lead, and you can do the same.
Well, are you ready to develop your leadership skills? Dive into these ideas or your own, and tell us about your adventure in the comments below!
Contributed by Addie Davis