National Youth Leadership Month: Magnifying the power to lead
23 Feb 2022
The youth of today are the leaders of tomorrow; creating a firm bedrock of opportunities for them to grow, learn and shine can benefit generations of the future.
Our country has dedicated the month of February to National Youth Leadership, which is a perfect time for young people to take stock of their goals and find ways to contribute, by taking on leadership roles at school and in the community. As a good leader, you take responsibility for yourself and for others, communicate precisely, kindly, and respectfully. You work well even during disagreements with your teammates, and your goal is to collaborate and achieve together, rather than aggressively easing out any opposition. Although all this may sound daunting and it may be hard at first to get out of your comfort zone, it will get easier as you apply your mind to it with just the right attitude and the forbearance needed.
Some tips to help you shine!
Volunteer: You can get your feet wet, by choosing to volunteer in your community. Go for the activities that give you a sense of accomplishment, and support the local organizations that mean a lot to you and your family. Many organizations recognize community service and volunteering will serve to be a feather in your cap.
Think to inspire: How would you like to be treated and spoken to, by others? Give others around you the same treatment and respect. Aim to find ways to build people, and lead by example. Inspire minds. Show others the way.
Get into the groove of speaking up: Share your ideas and do not be afraid to give voice to your feelings. Criticism does not mean failure - constructive criticism could be an opportunity in disguise. Determination is one of the cornerstones of active leadership. Learn to look at each setback as a stepping stone to growth and learning.
Be a good mentor: If you are a part of a club or an association, one way to take on a leadership task is to mentor members who are younger and newer than you. Teach them the ropes by lending them your expertise. This way you will help them to become stronger and more empowered. You shall be viewed as a person who is willing to lead, share and help others grow in the process.
Go for it: Take on additional responsibilities, try out a new activity, join a club. Every little step only makes you stronger and more confident. It will also demonstrate that you are serious about growing as a person and that you take self-improvement earnestly.
Supporting young leaders in your community
If you are an adult, what are the ways in which you can support the young leaders in your area?
Empower at the workplace: Enable young people to take on more ownership by opening the door to leadership opportunities for them, whenever possible. Make them the point of contact for a small project or make them the lead on some tasks, or even allow them to follow a leader in the group so that they can learn on the way - all these will empower them better.
Look out for the spark: You can be a mentor and provide encouragement, guidance, support, and expertise to young minds who show the propensity for leadership.
Allow individual decision-making: Be there to give support, empower them to make their own decisions, but let them be aware that you shall be responsible for the outcomes.
Todd County Development Corporation (TCDC) is a county-wide, economic, and community development organization that encourages growth from within. TCDC operates a Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Outreach Office, providing free education, training, and technical assistance to entrepreneurs, businesses, and organizations. TCDC additionally provides site selection assistance and administers a revolving loan fund to financially assist business development projects in Todd County. To know more about how you can empower grow and lead your business, contact us here.