Leadership skills are one of the most important traits a student can have. Whether participating in a class activity, trying to get scholarships, or applying for a job, they are necessary.
Every teacher, college, and occupation seems to want someone with good leadership skills. If leadership skills are so important, how can students learn them? By getting involved. Participating in extracurricular activities is what taught me how to be a good leader. I learned the most valuable leadership lessons from two extracurriculars in particular, Student Council and 4-H.
4-H has been a part of my life for 10 years, and in those 10 years, I have learned a lot about leadership. The most important thing I learned was how to succeed at communication and public speaking. 4-H clubs require their members to present a demonstration speech to the club once a year. I did my first demonstration (which was also my first public speaking experience) when I was 7 years old. Having to do one every year since then has given me the opportunity to practice and improve my public speaking.
When showing livestock or presenting a project at the county fair, you have to be skilled at communicating with the judge. Years of competing in the horse show arena, rabbit show barn, and craft show building for 4-H have taught me communication skills. Being able to speak publicly and communicate efficiently with others are very important to being a good leader.
Student Council hasn’t been a part of my life as long as 4-H has, but has taught me an equally important lesson in leadership. For the three years I have been a part of my high school’s student council, I have served as a class representative. In my final year, I ran for the officer position of secretary but did not win it. Understandably, I was disappointed, however, I came to realize that it didn’t matter. I have been a very active member of Student Council, helping lead and assisting with many vital activities throughout the years. I have been basically just as important as an officer, I simply haven’t had the title. Student Council has taught me that leadership isn’t about being in charge, it’s about being reliable, respectful, and getting things done.
Student Council and 4-H are the extracurricular activities from which I have learned the most leadership skills. 4-H taught me how to efficiently communicate with others and speak publicly. Student Council taught me that to be a good leader, you don’t have to be the one in charge. There are many other activities out there that can provide lessons in leadership as well, as I haven’t learned solely through those organizations. Leadership skills can be found in many places and applied in even more. They are very important for students to have, especially regarding their futures.
If you want to be a good leader, go get involved!
ALEXANDRA KOUBEK is a senior at Serena High School. She can be reached via firstname.lastname@example.org.