Saturday, April 18, 2009

Leadership from the Outdoors

I recently "Googled" high school leadership and received back over 17 million hits, youth leadership opportunities returned over 2 million hits, and organizational leadership found almost 3 million hits. There were Web sites for schools, leadership workshops, job opportunities, and organizations. The number of leadership opportunities available to children, high school students, and even adults is astonishing. Leadership skills are essential to one's success, especially in times of economic uncertainty.

There are different ways a person can further develop his or her own leadership skills. Options include reading books and articles, attending classes and workshops, and through practice. While the first two options will help people learn new techniques and skills, I don't think anyone can truly improve his or her leadership abilities without practice. The greatest leaders do not attribute their success to anyone or anything. To them, being an effective leader is just something they do.

Spending time in the outdoors is one way to practice these skills. This might be a confusing connection, but here is my logic. When a child (or anyone really) spends time exploring in the outdoors s/he becomes more independent. S/he doesn't need a screen to be entertained, s/he doesn't need to go to a parent complaining of being bored, and s/he can use her/his imagination to stay active. When you are independent, you tend to have more self-confidence. With confidence, the child feels s/he can accomplish anything. When confronted with an obstacle, s/he doesn't give up, but rather conquers it without question. Independence and confidence are two characteristics of great leaders. S/he isn't worried about what other people think, s/he does not second-guess her/himself, and s/he is willing to go the extra mile to achieve success.

How do you try to improve upon your leadership skills?

1 comment:

  1. You take on leadership skills depends on independance, but I think training social interaction may help as well. I guess that is why camps tend to be pretty successful with teaching leadership skills. Group dynamics can really help to improve leadership skills.