TEACHING YOUTH LEADERSHIP SKILLS – IS OUR RESPONSIBILITY

by Dave on February 9, 2014

The youth of today will be our leaders of tomorrow and I believe that every youth has the potential to develop leadership skills. youth group

This definition of leadership supports this key point:

Leadership is making Difference:

1.     In your own life as you discover who you are – what are your values/beliefs, strengths/weaknesses; what is your purpose in life, and what do you want to be and become.

2.     In the lives of others (family, friends, team mates, fellow students/workers, etc.) as you encourage and support them to meet their potential.

3.     In your home, school, workplace, community and the world as you work toward making the world a better place for all of us. 

I have experienced and witnessed, in working with youth, their energy for change, and their desire for making a difference. Combining this with leadership skills builds a capacity in them for leading us into a bright and sustainable future.  When they determine and understand this I find they develop a passion for moving forward and embracing leadership opportunities.

HERE ARE 4 KEY POINTS TO CONSIDER:

1.     Youth are our most important asset.

·        If we want security in our future, we need to ensure that our youth are ready to take over the leadership of our world.

·        It is estimated that Generation Y (14-34) will form 70 – 75% of work force by the year 2024 – that is only 10 short years from now.

·        They will be our Doctors, Lawyers, Politicians, Business Leaders, Teachers, Care Givers, etc. – we will be relying on them – it only makes sense that we invest our time preparing them for these roles now. 

2.     Youth represent & reflect our hopes, aspirations and dreams for the future.

·        How will our youth know the kind of world we envision in the future without teaching, guiding and inspiring them?

·        How will we know what their hopes and dreams are for the future unless we listen to what they have to say and work with them to make it a reality. 

3.     Youth reflect and mirror many of our most cherished beliefs, values & ideals.

·        Psychologists suggest that youth have developed most of their values & beliefs by the time they are 20. I personally believe, from observing 100’s of youth that it is more like 18 and even younger with some.

·        Everything we say or do is monitored by our youth – what kind of examples are we setting? Many businesses, particularly in North America have been cited in the media as having less than ethical standards – and what about our Politicians? It seems that on a regular basis there are examples of unethical behaviour. There have been a number of star athletes, singers and actors, looked to as idols by youth that display unethical behaviour as well.

·        How can we expect our youth to model ethical values without modelling them ourselves and teaching them to youth? 

4.     Youth create and advance fresh new perspectives that dramatically influence our culture.

·        Generation Y is very open-minded and tolerant. They are often children of biracial and multicultural parents. They are in the most part against racism, sexism and homophobia.

·        The environment is really big. Leger Marketing conducted a poll a year or so ago of 1,522 youth for RSA Insurance: 77% felt it was important for their company to be environmentally friendly and 33 1/3% said they would quit their job if their employer was environmentally irresponsible

·        Family and friends are more important than jobs.  

·        Strong on Volunteering – they are redefining volunteerism as they want to give time & talents instead of just writing a cheque. They are more demanding regarding information about an organization before giving their time and money. Many secondary schools now provide course credit for volunteering. 

 WHAT CAN WE DO TO PREPARE OUR YOUTH?

·        We need to be committed to make a difference in their lives.shutterstock_84768151

·        We need to inspire them to make a difference in their lives and the lives of others as well in the world.

·        We need to teach, coach and mentor them in discovering and building their leadership skills

I believe that encouraging and assisting youth to acquire leadership skills is not just important – it is our responsibility!

Do you agree? I would like to hear your thoughts about this and what you are doing in your community to support our leaders of tomorrow. 

THOUGHT OF THE DAY:

       “You get the best efforts from others not by

         lighting a fire beneath them, but

         by building a fire within.”

         Bob Nelson

        

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