Leadership is one of the most defining characteristics in people at any age. And it can really be taught at any age. Apex Leadership Co. examines what true leadership is and offers tips on how to develop youth leadership in children and students.

Leadership is defined as the action of leading a group, but it takes a certain type of person to be a leader. The good news is that the characteristics that make up a good leader can all be taught. Apex Leadership Co.’s experts suggest some essential traits for developing positive leaders in today’s youth.

Confidence — Self-esteem is one of the most valuable characteristics that a child (or adult!) can have. People must have the confidence to believe in themselves and know that they can make a difference in the world. Part of helping kids build confidence comes from encouraging them to try new things and allowing them to understand that failure is a part of life. In fact, the ability to get back up after falling down (literally and figuratively) not only builds confidence but builds perseverance, which is another highly sought-after trait of youth leaders.

Perseverance — Life can be difficult, and there are challenges at every age and stage. It’s important to teach children that hard truth and help them understand that it’s the people who persevere — who keep going when the going gets tough — that become the world’s leaders. The ability to persist in the face of adversity is a powerful leadership quality.

Independent Thinking — In today’s society, where fitting in is highly valued, being different or thinking outside the box can be frightening and intimidating for the youth. But the world’s most successful leaders often didn’t go with the flow but instead created a new path. Teaching children to be independent thinkers and not just follow the status quo can help develop youth leadership skills.

Responsibility — When teaching kids to think for themselves, make their own decisions, and not always follow the path most taken, there is an element of responsibility introduced. Teaching children to own up to their actions and be accountable for both the good and bad is vital for developing youth leadership.

Lead by Example — Parents and guardians trying to teach their children youth leadership skills can start by displaying leadership skills themselves. Being an excellent example of what a leader is in their own life is a great way to become a role model for children and help them see what a true leader is — whether at home, in the workplace or in the community. Parents can showcase leadership in a variety of everyday situations. And it’s those small everyday actions that can help youth formulate a true example of leadership.

Kindness — Finally, and perhaps most importantly, children must understand the key role kindness plays in almost any scenario. When people do things and make decisions with empathy and compassion, it makes the world a better place. A leader who can do these things can impact real change. Seeing kindness as a powerful leadership tool is an effective way to develop this characteristic in children further.

Apex Leadership Co. invites parents, guardians, and teachers to become involved in helping to build the leaders of tomorrow through small leadership lessons at any age. It’s these tools that will not only develop youth leadership but will create well-rounded and independent individuals.