LEADERSHIP is often associated with public service, civic duty, active citizenship and social responsibility. That it is mostly about selflessness and dedicating one's self to the common good.
But it should also be appreciated in another context, in relation to youth development.
Leadership is as an input to personal growth and development. For the National Youth Commission, youth leadership is a dimension of youth development. Leadership builds character, awareness, and competencies among the youth. It is a unique and crucial learning and development platform for our young people.
Leadership is a lot of things. Some say leadership is a trait or a kind of a virtue. That it is something inherent that people are born with. Others contend that it is a competency, a skill. As a skill, it can be learned, acquired and practiced. This is the more progressive perspective on leadership.
Especially for young people, leadership is an essential competency to excel in the many aspects in life--in school, neighborhood and among peers. It is also essential in the next stages of their lives as parents and guardians and in the workplace and the community.
Leadership, especially for the young, means pursuing the more difficult path. It is about choosing the complex and at times burdensome over the uncomplicated and convenient. It is about assuming more responsibilities and being responsible for more than just one's self. Leadership is about stepping up, being the bigger person and sharing more.
In being all these and more, young people have everything to gain when they decide to be and choose to become leaders. Especially because the young are not traditionally expected to be leaders as leadership is usually reserved for those who are older and more experienced. By being leaders, they break ceilings, tear down barriers and forge beyond boundaries.
When young people become leaders, they have the opportunity to become better persons. They are given the chance to develop skills that only taking on this responsibility provides. In being leaders, the youth improve themselves. As a society committed to what is best for our youth, we should provide the youth access to leadership opportunities. It is only in doing so that leadership skills are developed and enhanced. Leadership is best learned on the job.
To the youth, try leadership.
Be brave, take on responsibility. Aspire and choose to be a leader. Do not look at it as a sacrifice. It is a formation process. Leadership is a significant learning opportunity. It is an unparalleled experience that could provide lasting and meaningful lessons you will not learn anywhere else.
To the youth, begin to be leaders now.
In your school, your community, your church, in your workplace, in the new SK and even online, there are opportunities for youth leadership. Where none exists, you can create opportunities for leadership. Get your peers together, rally them to a cause, and build groups, organizations and movements.
To the youth, commit to leadership.
It is good for you.