When you have had a leadership role in high school, it can make a whole lot of difference when you apply for college. Student leaders are described as promoters of school events, great problem solvers, and resourceful individuals who demonstrate positive attributes. They are, therefore, role models for their fellow and future generations.
Dr. Roxane Gervais, Chair of the British Psychological Society’s Division of Occupational Psychology, says, “One of the key components of leadership is awareness of the self and others; one way to illustrate this awareness is in the way one holds meetings. Meetings should be productive and for a specific purpose. Be aware of which members wish to speak and allow them to do so.”
Hard work, achievements, and acknowledgment are important elements that make a confident and optimistic self-image. When students accept positions of great responsibility in the school and community, they will feel proud of themselves. This goes to show that doing good for others is an effective means of encouraging students to become leaders.
Leadership roles not only help students in high school and college but also in their professional lives. A study done at California University, Santa Barbara, revealed that those with leadership responsibilities in high school had a higher likelihood of holding managerial and executive positions when they become professionals and will be earning more than average incomes.
Some areas of leadership that students will benefit from include:
- Academics (debate club, etc.)
- Peer tutoring groups
- Theater and Arts
- Political student parties
- Literature and publications
Becoming A Leader
Below is a collection of the most common tips that have helped many students accomplish leadership roles in high school.
- Gain Skills And Experience. You must already know that before you become head of the school paper, you have to be a reporter or a writer first. Maybe start in your sophomore year, so you’ll have a lot of space to grow and excel. Consistently doing great work in your position will get you to the leadership role in your senior or even your junior year.
- Learn To Work Harmoniously With Others. Executives have robust interpersonal skills, and listening to others and asking questions is among the attitudes that make exceptional interpersonal abilities. If you’re the type who does all the talking and does not know how to listen, you better get rid of that attitude. It doesn’t reflect compassion and teamwork, which are very important to work with fellow students, teachers, and others. “It’s kind of like an informal contract,” says Kimberley Duff, Ph.D., an associate professor of psychology at Cerritos College in Norwalk, California, who has won multiple awards for her mentoring. “Are you going to meet with them on a regular basis? Are you going to review papers for them? Are they going to invite you to presentations that they’re giving? This should all be discussed.”
- Be Aware Of Your Strengths. You must know what you’re good at so you can capitalize on that. Explore your passions and polish on your innate skills. If you think you want to write but haven’t tried it, then enroll in a writing class, see if you can excel there. If you have a gift of persuading people to do something good for the school, then you’re going to do great in the student government.
- Act-On Your Plans. Do not write and set your goals without acting on them. Always follow through with action – it’s the only way to achieve those goals, and you know that. As they say, each one of us has an excellent idea, but not everyone can realize that idea and make it happen.
- Be Positive. Focus on the goal and maintain a positive attitude, especially during challenging times. You should be your members’ strength, so you must show them that optimism. If you lost a game, for example, don’t cry it out or burst into anger. Tell your team that the next game is going to be yours, and you have to correct what needs to be corrected. Psychologist Martin Seligman wrote, “Our thoughts are not merely reactions to events; they change what ensues.”
If, for instance, you are not the number one player of your team, you can be the top scorer. Or you may not be your school paper’s editor-in-chief, but your articles have won praises and awards nationwide. Remember that your passion and commitment are more significant than a title before or after your name. Do what you love doing and always keep these tips inside your pocket. You’ll be a great leader in no time!