Skill Assessment: The Benefit of Getting Leadership Training at a Young Age

Leadership training at a young age, especially in the formidable teen years, is life-changing for many of the students we work with. The reason is because they get ingrained with positive habits that serve them so richly throughout their life - in and out of leadership positions.

I was reading an article by Bob Costa in the Wall Street Journal today about the impact Tim Russert (recently deceased NBC journalist and broadcaster) had on him and his career. Bob mentioned a conversation between Senator Pat Moynihan and a young Tim Russert after Tim told Moynihan he didn't think he had what it took to be a journalist. Tim was born in Buffalo, attended college in Ohio and was feeling overwhelmed by his Ivy League peers...

Senator Moynihan said, "Tim, don't let them intimidate you. What they know, you can learn. What you know, they'll never understand."

This is how I feel about the impact of the leadership training young students receive through student organizations, particularly the Career and Technical Student Organizations we work with (FBLA, FFA, TSA, SkillsUSA, HOSA, DECA, FCCLA and BPA).

The leadership experiences these students go through are so extensive and challenging, they literally shape and mold them into new people. They gain communication skills, time and people management strategies, positive verbal and non-verbal cues, and critical thinking skills that many of their peers may never fully understand.

If you are a student reading this, keep going to leadership conferences, pursuing leadership positions and studying leadership material. If you are a parent, business leader, or community member reading this, encourage this in the students you know.

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