5 Ways to Develop Leadership Skills

Today, youth leadership training is more important than ever before. Being comfortable in a leadership position benefits teens for the years and decades to come as they pursue higher education, begin their careers, and continue to foster relationships with peers.

According to National Alliance for Secondary Education and Transition (NASET), leadership development is “part of the youth development process and supports [young people] in developing: 

  • The ability to analyze their own strengths and weaknesses and set personal and vocational goals
  • Have the self-esteem, confidence, motivation, and abilities to carry their goals out (including the ability to establish support networks in order to fully participate in community life and effect positive social change)
  • The ability to guide or direct others on a course of action, influence the opinions and behaviors of others, and serve as a role model (Wehmeyer, Agran, & Hughes, 1998)”

Youth development is a process that prepares young people to meet the challenges of adolescence and adulthood — and learning leadership skills is an integral part of the process. 

Here are five ways for young people to develop leadership skills: 

1. Practice Discipline and Follow a Routine 

Many would agree that being a strong leader means having strong discipline. Possessing and exemplifying discipline will inspire others to do the same. Examples of discipline include meeting deadlines, keeping promises, and being punctual. These are all important traits in a leader as it sets the tone for the rest of the respective team or group. 

A great way for young students to practice discipline is by signing up for a day camp. Having a set schedule of activities each day keeps campers accountable for how they spend their time, and it allows them to practice time management. At camp, they’re presented with a number of choices, like which activities they’ll spend their time doing, skills they’ll learn, and how they’ll communicate and socialize with others. 

2. Work With Others

At Brooks School Summer Programs, summer camp is the perfect opportunity for youth leadership training. Here, teens are surrounded by other individuals their age throughout the process which provides them with the support and peer mentorship necessary for personal growth. An active, collaborative summer program fosters teamwork in versatile environments, which are skills every leader needs.

3. Continue Learning 

As a leader, it’s important to continue learning — or at least be open to learning — new things: “It keeps your mind sharp and your skills fresh. It primes you for new challenges that may come your way, which is always a good thing for a leader.”

Summer school is a way to keep pre-teens and teens engaged throughout the year, continue strengthening existing skills, and improve or learn about new subjects or skills. Summer school has been around and offered educational benefits for centuries, and offers supplemental learning opportunities to further explore their academic strengths and weaknesses. 

Not sure where to look first when it comes to summer school? Check out Brooks School’s Summer School program, where students learn in small classes that allow them to work closely with teachers, fostering a relationship that is at the core of the warm, close-knit community. We offer a variety of courses, focusing on academic enrichment and student-centered learning.

4. Learn Conflict Resolution 

Conflict resolution is vital to being a strong leader and is one of the first things young people should learn when developing their leadership skills: “Constructive conflict resolution processes give leaders various collaborative techniques to use, such as bargaining and accommodation, as they help resolve disagreements.” 

Conflict resolution will protect relationships and increase the chances of a team reaching its goals smoothly. At a summer camp or program, students work, play, and socialize with a number of peers and teams, and with the guidance of caring mentors, they’ll need to learn to effectively communicate and work together. 

5. Join a Camp or Leaders-in-Training Program  

The best way for adolescents to develop leadership skills is to experience a dedicated leadership development program. Brooks School’s Leaders-in-Training (LIT) program is a one-of-a-kind youth leadership training course designed for teens aged 13-17 with the idea that leaders are made, not born.

LIT helps these adolescents develop and home their leadership skills, build confidence, and show responsibility as a role models over a three-year process. From the first year to the third, participants continue to learn valuable leadership skills by compounding on the previous year’s work. Though teens are learning to be leaders, they are also mentored and participate in healthy experiences in a safe, outdoor environment supervised by highly skilled professionals.

After successfully completing this program, LITs who are at least 16 years old are encouraged to apply for a staff position and apply their leadership skills in a paid position.

Sign Up for Leaders-in-Training This Summer

Join us at Brooks School Summer Programs this summer to learn and practice invaluable skills to carry throughout life, both personally and professionally. Get in touch with us today — we’d love to answer any questions!