Leading Youth Today
This article on Youth Leadership Skills talks briefly about the issues facing our youth today and how you can best lead youth in the face of these challenges.
If you’re part of a youth community, whether in a church or a school, you’ll soon realize that youth leadership skills are essential if you want to influence youth to become the leaders of tomorrow.
There’s a saying that goes, “If you can change the universities, you can change the world.”
If you can touch and influence students and impute the right values in them, you can expect to see a more prosperous nation in the future. This is because the students in the universities today are going to become the business leaders and political leaders of tomorrow.
This means that in a decade’s time, they will be influencing the way nations are governed and businesses are run. If you think about it in that context, you’ll see the implications of your actions today in leading youth.
However, the youth of today face many challenges in their lives. To groom youth to be effective, ethical leaders with strong values has never been harder. Therefore, it is all the more important that you are clear about what youth are facing today, and learn how to deal with them.
I have been working with youth a lot in my work, both in my church and university. In this time, I have identified three main issues that you have to deal with and how youth leadership skills can help to overcome them.
Pertinent Issues Facing our Youth Today
1.Too Much Distraction
With the TV, internet and other forms of media, the youth today are increasingly getting distracted by a lot of entertainment in their world today. While entertainment is not a bad thing in itself, but an overdose of it has created a selfish ‘entertain-me’ culture in the youth.
Because of all these distractions, the youth today have a greater challenge trying to perform a single task with focus and excellence. More often than not, something appearing to be more appealing will catch their attention and take their focus away from their initial task.
That’s why good youth leadership skills should equip youth with focus. A good way to instil the value of focus in youth today is to engage them in sports, dance or martial arts. All these activities are invaluable in instil focus in youth. All of them require an immense amount of focus to be performed with excellence.
With sports, you can’t hit a tennis ball with power and precision unless you are focused in taking the shot. In dance, you can’t perform a routine without error unless your heart is absolutely set on doing it well. The same goes with martial arts.
When these youth apply focus in performing their everyday tasks, you will find that they are far more effective than the typical youth who is distracted by the many things around him. They will be far more efficient, clear and achieve much more in life than others.
2. Too Many Options
Another big challenge that youth face today is that they have too many options open to them. As a result, they lack commitment in any single task that they do.
In Singapore, we have many youth not ever committed to any single cause or purpose because there are so many options for them to choose from. As a result, they start weighing their many options available to them and simply quit when the going gets tough in any one of their choices.
I believe that this problem doesn’t just lie with the youth in my country. I believe it applies to youth all over the world too.
Although it isn’t a bad thing to have a lot of options, but it is important to have youth leadership skills teach commitment in the face of such overwhelming options available to him.
When the going gets tough, the tough get going. They need to learn the value of hard work and perseverance if they want to achieve anything worthwhile in their lives. Youth today have to realize that unless they put their whole heart into performing a single task well, they will not be able to succeed in life.
3. A Lack of Fatherhood
The youth these days lack a father figure in their lives. Many fathers have either left their houses or become passive, both leaving broken families in their trail. This has caused a whole generation of youth to be lost.
Because their fathers have stopped giving them leadership or direction in their lives, they have seek out other less appropriate sources for their purpose. Often, they look to sources like MTV to learn how to live their lives. As a result, youth today get the wrong values and the wrong way to live their lives.
As someone with youth leadership skills, you have to provide fatherhood for the youth that you are leading. They need a father figure in their lives to show them purpose and give them the right direction for their lives.
Mentorship is essential for youth today. You have to answer to the needs of youth one by one. They cannot just make do with a teacher, or a leader; they need a father in their lives. If you can provide your youth with the much needed mentorship, you can raise them up to be strong leaders of tomorrow as well.