Learning leadership skills while being a college student is an achievement that can set you up for life. By focusing solely on academic education, we fail to learn the practical problem-solving methods that we may need as we enter real life post-college.
As a community, we are facing tons of problems like lack of quality health services, failure to build a strong economy and maintenance of national security. Perhaps the best way to ensure that our future is better than today is to transform today’s college students into future leaders.
Things I learned as a college student leader
Fortunately, there are many instances of our college life where we can learn leadership skills to secure our future.
To bring about change, it’s essential to accept change. To become a successful leader, one should be prepared for the changes he or she is going to experience next. This is perhaps the best thing I learned as a college student and a leader.
The points below are my personal insights that could help any young college student develop successful leadership skills:
Confidence and arrogance are two different things
If you are confused between these two terms, it could guarantee your failure right at the beginning. Leadership does not make you better than others, but it may make you stronger. Using the powers you have as a leader or authority figure to satisfy your ego is not leadership. Instead, be responsible, speak only when you have to and learn to keep opinions to yourself. Whatever you do, though, do not talk without conviction.
Leadership is about setting goals
Without a vision, leadership is incomplete. Learn to give a unique perspective to things to distinguish yourself from others. Being able to translate your own interpretation and understanding and communicating your ideas to your team is what leadership is all about.
Do your research, collect more facts and figures before setting your goals, but never rely on others’ data to lose your vision.
You can’t expect others to perform without performing yourself
As a leader, you are expected to set positive examples. Your own actions, dedication and commitment towards your goal will keep your followers on foot. By taking steps yourself, you can easily convince and encourage other people to join forces with you.
Learn to take risks
A leader is always ambitious. If you really want your team to rally up for you, learn to take risks. A leader is idealistic. Risks do not always mean failure. Even if it doesn’t turn out the way you would have liked, it helps you recognize your limitations, your strengths and develops a learning environment around your team. When your team gets to know that their team leader isn’t afraid to learn a thing or two, they generally follow in their footsteps.
The best part about knowing your weakness is the ability to thoroughly test your maximum potential. With time and practice, you can deliver your best.
Don’t let people tell you “you can’t”
Oh heck, you can! Nothing is impossible. Don’t let people around you bring you down. It could be the people you are closely working with or the team you are leading. Not everything will be as favorable as you like. If there’s something you can’t find, create it but never let yourself down.
Organization is key
To develop leadership skills, you need to be organized. You must keep track of things to ensure that everything is running smoothly. For that, you must write down your goals to avoid forgetting them.
Work through your communication skills
Communication is one of the most essential traits of a leader. Reach out to your people, and address them the right way. Fortunately, communication skills will not only help you as a college student, they are essential for a successful career as well.
As a student leader, you are expected to speak with confidence and carry the right body language when discussing your goals. Persuasion techniques along with diplomacy skills are applicable for most careers you will seek in your future.
Become more responsible
In addition to fulfilling your own responsibilities, as a student leader, you have extended responsibilities to cater to. Your job goes way beyond just ensuring that the task is complete. You need to outline, dedicate, work along and follow up to ensure that the job is completed promptly.
Learn management skills
This is something you will need in all areas of your life during and post-college. It’s the second nature that makes you control how life moves forward. As a leader, you must make budgets, oversee operational tasks, build consensus, prioritize workload and assign tasks accordingly. If you practice your management skills in college, you can definitely earn more significant rewards in the future.
The role of a student leader is a great responsibility. Having said that, it pushes you to learn skills during your college years that you can proudly implement throughout your career and life. Don’t forget: part of having a successful student leader career also depends on how good you are in bonding with people around you.