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Leadership Tips For Students

By Colin Ong TS

Today's youth are living with an explosion of technological advances especially in the area of the internet, mobile applications and multi-player gaming. This increases the need for proper supervision and mentoring as they may be overwhelmed by the sheer overload of activities and information.

How is leadership relevant for them? Are they able to see beyond their examinations and their leisure activities?

Leadership values are crucial life-skills for students because they enable students to be able to manage their career-progression and financial independence when they mature. The accessibility of updated information is not a problem; however, there must be a leadership quotient for a student to make a decision and act on this information.

Here are some tips for educators:

A school's achievement will have an indelible mark for students, especially in the area of school loyalty and branding. However, it is how the school reacts to unplanned events like losing in a sports competition that it is supposed to win easily, provides leadership insights to students. Leadership values are not only relevant for periods of success but also help a student go through times of adversity.

The interaction time for students and their teachers can be greater than with their own parents. This does not diminish the importance of parental guidance but at the same time puts a lot of responsibility for teachers to impart leadership principles. Students are very observant about how their teachers motivate them and put the extra effort to make their lessons more interesting. This is leadership at work.

Teachers have to ensure that leadership case-studies are relevant to the student's understanding. It is absurd to get a leadership case-study from a business journal and expect the student to be "wowed by how a CEO had turned the financial fortune of an MNC or how a Military General won a battle with under-strength military force. These macro examples can be adapted to the daily experience like how students can organize a charity drive to raise monies for their school building fund.

Students should be encouraged to voice their opinion about how to take charge of global issues. This is important as leadership is within the context of an ever-changing global landscape, not in an air-conditioned class-room. A relevant class activity is how countries that were badly devastated by the tsunami disaster can put up a global warning system.

Following from the point above, students must complement their current affairs knowledge with good persuasive and presentation skills. They have to be convincing enough to lead the rest of the team members. This entails the blending of multi-media presentation tools with a lot of background research. However, with the usefulness of the search engine, a student's research time can be drastically shortened.

All great leaders are supported by a world-class team. Leaders must have good people-skills and be able to bring out the best from the individuals in the team. These skills take years to be developed and it is important that every student is given a specific leadership task to fulfill.

About The Author
Colin Ong TS is the Managing Director of MR=MC Consulting Pte Ltd.

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