Leadership development in youths is most intriguing activity which needs our focus to bring positive change in our society. No society without development of young leaders can sustain its position in this challenging environment of competition. Then, why most of the youth reluctant to become leaders.
It’s the stereotyped image of being leader or our thinking about which attributes make a good leader.
We still approaches leadership model which is centuries old, not yet recognizing the new leadership models that emerged in twentieth century. It is our experience that whenever we start a youth leadership development session we asked how many of the participants want to be leaders, very few would raised their hands, then we asked the reason why they don’t like to become leader, most of the student will take a name of a bad leader and we found from their responses that a very bad image is being associate with word “leader”.
Unfortunately the concepts of leadership which is prevailed in our societies and which is also being practices in our organization are based on western traditional concept of leaders. According to this traditional view of leadership a leader is a super man, a very strong individual who make decision, who command and issues direction to others, who elect and select people, who has ultimate power and speak loudly, who is old man and CEO. From this definition a leader is a rare person with rare qualities and ordinary people are just followers. This concept holds young people even think about leadership, how they are ready to develop themselves as leaders.
After some activities then we asked them again who want to be leader, surprisingly a good number of participants raised their hands. Why this happened in a very short period if time with only conducting some activities on being a leaders, the answer is that we showed them other picture of leadership and these team building activities develop a shared leadership image, their paradigm shifted and they start looking other side of leadership.
In these activities and debriefing discussion we elaborate concept of shared leadership and the importance of being a leader. They change their thinking after participating leadership activities where they build team and achieve target by working together. When they involve and practice leadership they realized that they cannot solve the problems alone they need a creative and cooperative team. They also learnt that learning leadership is easy and young people can also practice it. When they achieved their goals their confidence goes high. We told them that “shared leadership is the ability of a person to work well with others as a part of team”
For developing young leaders and to induct fresh leadership in society we need to change our thinking of leadership and also change our practices of leadership in organization to set good examples.