Published on: Jan 10, 2003
Type: Opinions

What makes a youth leader?

You see leaders in government, businesses, and non-profit organizations and you wonder what they were like when they were about your age. Have they always been disciplined, serious, and optimistic? Have they been shoo-ins in
elections for class or council president or leader of this or that organization? Did they grow up thinking that they could command legions to do their bidding?

Natural leaders or not, they have traits that they share with us. If we only developed and nurtured these, we'd probably come close to being leaders ourselves. Here are 10 qualities that the Hawthorne Community Youth Council cites as those which your leaders share:

(a) They're courageous. They have a strong belief system in their physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual standards when faced with overwhelming odds.

(b) They're big thinkers. They have the ability to see things in a larger perspective, eager to create and bring out the best in others.

(c) They're change masters. They have the ability to create change, accept it and handle it.

(d) They're ethical. They value the rights of others and respect their followers.

(e) They're persistent and realistic. They set goals and see them through to completion.

(f) They have a sense of humor. They have fun and are able to turn routine tasks into enjoyable experiences and also keep things in perspective.

(g) They are risk takers. They know that they never win all the time. They realize that sometimes they fail in some things in order to succeed in something else.

(h) They're positive and hope-filled. They have the ability to see the good in a bad situation, to see hope where others do not, and to have faith where others give up.

(i) They are decision makers. They know indecision wastes time, energy and opportunity.

(j) They are committed. Commitment is the primary word for leaders; without it, all else is meaningless.

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