In each of the examples below, teens may have the experience of being the leader…or being under the leader in an organization. Both are great positions to learn in. Being under a good leader is obviously preferred, but even being under a bad one can have a ton of learning opportunities. On the flip side, when teens act as leaders, they can learn from their successes and failures!
1. Volunteer for a Non-Profit
Volunteering will often give students access to environments they are not yet qualified to work in. Volunteering can give them valuable experience, build their resume and allow them to get feedback from others. Volunteering can be hard work, so it also helps them develop resilience which is absolutely needed to be a leader.
2. Get a Job
Getting a job allows teens to understand the hierarchy of organizations and how people get promoted. In an entry level job, they will be under different leaders and will come to understand good and bad leadership through first hand experience. If they work there long enough, they may be promoted and get the opportunity to direct others under them.
3. Serve Others Who Need Help (Family, Neighbors, etc)
Leaders are the kind of people that see a need and step in to help if they are able to do so. They can practice this mindset by serving others in their community. Even though teens may not have a lot of resources, they can use what they have to help others. This lesson is key for leaders because there is always more to learn…but we can start with what we have.
4. Teach Younger Kids a Skill or Lesson
Part of being a leader is learning to transfer what you know to someone else. Teens can practice leadership when they teach something to sibling, teach a Sunday School class or teach a skill in a club environment.
5. Participate in Clubs
Clubs are a great way for teens to understand organization leadership structure inside an interest-based group.
6. On an Athletic Team
Teams have both a team captain and a coach. Both are examples of leaders in a group setting. By participating on the team, either as a member or a captain or coach, they can experience what it takes for leaders to move a whole group of people in the same direction.
7. Attend a Leadership Camp
Leadership camps are great for allowing students to practice critical thinking skills that are necessary for leaders who are often weighing out difficult choices. I highly recommend both Teen Pact and Worldview Camp for preparing teens to go out into the world and have relevant and engaging dialogue with people who may not believe the same way.
8. Read Books
Of course reading books is a fantastic way to explore all kinds of leadership topics. Teens may benefit the most by reading biographies about great leaders. A great book for teens to work on practical time management that all leaders need is called, Eat That Frog by Brian Tracy.
9. Be Mentored By a Leader in Their Chosen Field
Many leaders have opportunities for high school and college students to interact with them. That may be an internship, a mentoring opportunity or just a chance to ask questions over lunch. If your teen wants to learn from someone in the community, encourage them to contact them to see if they would be willing to mentor your teen.
10. Learn to Ask Leaders Good Questions
Leaders are everywhere…at work, at home, at school and in the community. What teens learn from them will largely be limited by the kinds of questions they ask. It is worth practicing questions at home that will lead to meaningful information when they talk to leaders.
11. Get an Internship
Internships can be an excellent way for your older teen to gain work and career experience that will build their confidence and connections in the real world. It can also give them exposure to leaders in their chosen field with whom they can interact regularly.
12. Network With Adults
Teens can start now building up a network of connections. They can keep their network current by using the contacts in their phone or through social media. LinkedIn is especially helpful for building up professional connections.
13. Practice Public Speaking
One skill that every leader needs is the ability to confidently speak in front of others. Teens can build this skill through speech classes but also through organizations like Toastmasters and speaking in front of people whenever they have the chance…even if it is uncomfortable!
Original Source: https://tenminutemomentum.com/youth-leadership-training/