Youth in Leadership

Be a Leader

True Leadership

Certainly, while we cannot all be leaders we all have in us the ability to inspire someone else and this, in itself, is perhaps the essence of leadership. Leadership encompasses many roles, but generally, if you are not the head of a group , organization or other such entity, your leadership entails mainly being a good role model and ambassador and these we can all aspire to be.


Young Leaders

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Obstacles to Leadership

In present day society it is not easy for a young person to be a leader. There are many societal pressures which exert strong influences on young people and cause them to compromise their values and to behave contrary to what they believe to be right. These influences can be subtle and insidious particularly as they may come from trusted parties or entities such as parents, peers, church, neighbourhood and relationship partners among others.


Commanding Respect

Any positive thinking, ambitious youth values his/her reputation. Having the respect of your peers and younger persons is in fact, something to be valued! Having the respect of your elders is indeed, something to be cherished! Having respect for yourself is the best thing that can happen to you!

Nonetheless, it is important to be respected for the right reasons. Not for being bad or macho or the hottest girl or boy in town. Not for having the biggest house or the biggest car or plenty money to throw about. No! Those are the things which will attract lots of friends for as long as they last, but they will never inspire real respect. Such friends are merely fans who will malign you even as they benefit from your favours and they will drop you as soon as the benefits cease to flow. The things that command true and enduring respect are sound principles and values which are borne out in your behaviour and conduct; things like honesty, pride, integrity, respect for self and for others, the ability to be firm, consistent and self-confident.


Leadership Does not Come in Packages

Nobody comes with the entire package. Some of these principles and values you may discover within yourself, some are nurtured through sound parenting, positive role models, school and church and are strengthened (or diminished through negative influences) as time goes by. Thus everybody will make their share of mistakes; some will make many mistakes before they learn while others will keep erring as though they just won’t learn at all. However, a good thing for young persons to do is to set up a TO DO/NOT TO DO LIST for themselves and perhaps post it up in their bedroom so that they can be reminded of what things they ought or ought not to do if they are to develop into the self-respecting, self-loving and inspirational young leaders which they would like to be.

To Do/Not to Do List:

  1. Always try to model good behavior; this will inspire others in addition to making you feel good about yourself for the right reasons.
  2. If you come from a home where morals and values are sound, adhere to the principles which your parents have taught you to uphold.
  3. If you are growing up against a background of negative values and behaviors; where parents are the main agents leading you astray, you have to become strong and independent very early on. You can either decide to go down their road to destruction or choose a better path for yourself. For the latter, you might have to attach yourself to positive people and learn the best you can from them.
  4. In time, as you become older you may wish to speak out in the home about the behaviors that your parents need to change. Things such as drunkenness, battering, drug abuse or drug pushing, stealing, cursing/swearing, cheating, lying, blaming, gossiping and slandering etc.At first, they might want to slap you or knock you down especially if they are under the influence of drugs or alcohol, but you never know when your words will penetrate and a little change for the better might occur. This would at least be a start.
  5. Recognize your own positive behaviors and cultivate them so that they become habits.
  6. Identify your bad behaviors and try to eradicate them so that they do not become chronic. Do not be a contributor to crime and other antisocial behaviors which are destroying society today.
  7. Frequent perhaps, a small group of close friends. Understandably, every young person wants to hang out with friends, but beware of following the crowd! That’s when peer pressure becomes dangerous in that it may push you into acting contrary to your values just to fit in with the rest. That little voice inside of you is telling you no, but you stifle the sounds because nobody else seems to have a problem with whatever it is that the rest wants to do.
  8. Remember when you do wrong, not only might you get punished if you get caught, but in addition, you have to deal with your guilty conscience which will tell you in no uncertain terms that you have failed and that you have disappointed and perhaps lost the trust of those whom you love.
  9. Do not adjust your values to suit an occasion or to please friends because you may soon find another similar situation or friend which will warrant a repeat of the adjustment and then it becomes a bad habit. Also, in compromising your values you allow yourself to accept wrong doing and eventually become blind to it . Anybody who wants you to behave badly to please him/her should not be counted as a friend
  10. If you come from a Christian family you should know about prayer. Every young person should try to develop their faith and seek to establish a personal relationship with God. God can move mountains when we pray!


Normal, Happy Young leaders!

Be the Best that You Can Be

Being a young leader is definitely not easy, but the least you can do is try to be a good role model, to strive to be the best that you can be. And even if you are likely to err at times nobody is perfect so you just have to get up and move on. The important thing in the whole process is not to allow mistakes to keep you down. You cannot undo the past, but you can head towards the future with a clear indication from your mistakes , as to some roads you should avoid.

Now all this is not supposed to make life sound boring or intimidating for the young person who wants to live an upright life and be a leader in his/her community. You can be all that – positive, progressive, aspiring, and still have loads of fun as a young person. You can be a perfectly normal young person while being a great role model, a good friend and an inspiration to others. So go ahead, live your life to the fullest! Just do it in such a way that at the end of each day when you look back you can be proud of who you are, what you have done and where you have been!

When that happens praise the Lord!

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