Tips for Youth to Develop Leadership Qualities

1. Believe that you can accomplish anything. Set goals for what you want to do and make a plan to achieve those goals.

2. Find a mentor. Seek out someone you can completely confide in who will support you in the development of your leadership skills.

3. Get involved and take every opportunity possible. Join after-school activities such as clubs or sports. Find an area or skill (e.g., band) you’d like to develop where you can gain confidence.

4. Take challenging classes in high school and college. Do not limit your academic opportunities. Request the modifications and supports necessary to succeed in these classes.

5. Take advantage of speaking on panels or in front of large groups at school. These are good opportunities to practice communication and public speaking skills.

6. Take initiative to be independent. For example, sit at a different lunch table to meet new people or call your friends to do something instead of waiting for them to call you.

7. Be yourself and love yourself for who you are. Share your disability with others.

8. Be creative. Do not let other people define what you can or cannot do. Being a leader and working with/around your disability sometimes involves thinking outside of the box.

9. Good Leaders practice & value integrity; the Bible says in Proverbs 16:13 “Righteous lips are the delight of kings; & they love him that speaketh right... Integrity involves practicing what we preach, being consistent and dependable, doing what we say we will do and living in such a way that others will trust us.”

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