Practice what you preach, be honest about who you are, trust your judgment and keep a good network.

Leadership and Being an Adult

Be who you are and don’t act like something you’re not. Trust yourself in your leadership. When a difficult situation arises, it is your judgment that will be what is most important. No one knows everything, but trust in what you do know. You are allowed to fail, but be honest about it.

Good Qualities For a Leader:

  1. Being responsible
  2. Feeling safe and grounded
  3. Openness
  4. Resoluteness
  5. Generosity
  6. Self-awareness

Challenge: Break Stereotypes

When choosing leaders, educators, or those that in other ways will engage with the youth at your workplace, think about who is the most unlikely person to be an expert at what you are going to be working with. For example, a middle-aged woman as a woodwork-instructor.

Challenge: Be a Role Model

Practice what you preach. Your actions should be a reflection of your words. When you fail, acknowledge it. That will defuse the fear of failure, which means that the youth themselves can feel that it is okay to fail. Below are some tips for becoming a good leader.

Prepared and flexible
Always come prepared. If you are not prepared, do not pretend that you are, but be honest with those you meet. There are of course exceptions. If you are in a situation you have not planned for, you must trust your judgment as a leader.

Expose yourself
When a situation is difficult, embarrassing, or uncomfortable for the group, expose yourself to the same thing as the youth.

Don’t waver
Instead of changing your mind back and forth when you are unsure, ask to get back with an answer. But don’t forget to get back!

Listen, but see the needs
Get a reading from facial expressions and body language and put them in relation to the situation. Identify acute needs, but don’t forget the long-term challenges that a group may have.

Don’t overanalyse
Analyse, but don’t forget that the situation may have simpler solutions than you think. Otherwise, there is a risk that you will blow events out of proportion and lose the common goals of the group.

Your network
Have a network around you that you can get support from and brainstorm with. There are lots of organizations that do good things for young people. Get inspiration and energy from them when you don’t feel great. When the situation is reversed, share your energy with those who are in a bad mood. Looking at the bigger picture, it is the combined work of everyone that counts.