If there is one word that is synonymous with LMTI, it's probably LEADERSHIP. At LMTI, we are firm believers that there is no such thing as a born leader. If we believe that leaders are just born that way, then we believe that leadership can't be taught, learned, or enhanced- you've either got it, or you don't. This theory would cut off most of the youth we work with from ever even taking a step toward believing they have the potential to lead! The question is, how do we teach leadership? How can we take a concept that seems so abstract and make it something that everyone can understand, learn, and practice?
One our very favorite examples is from the incredible author, presenter, and trainer, Michael Brandwein. In his books (go buy them all right now), he compares leadership to plumbing. Plumbing? Yes, plumbing. If we were going to create a program for plumbers, we'd know exactly what to teach them. There would be presentations on wrenches and bolts, workshops on best practices in unclogging drains, and we'd all practice "lefty loosey, righty tighty." But leadership? What can you teach? Well, you've got to approach in the same way. What are the specific things we want our youth leaders to be able to do? What are the core qualities they need in order to be able to do those things? If we want them to be able to lead small group discussions, we teach them group facilitation skills and empathy and we give them opportunities to practice running groups and being empathetic. If we want them to be be able to be able to present a project to the principal at our school, we teach them about public speaking and we give them opportunities to practice, practice, practice. We help youth identify the qualities they've already got strength in and we help them develop the qualities they don't through practice. Plumbing. Leadership. Perfect together!
Our Spotlight this week features a webinar and resources that you can use to hit the ground running with a group of youth leaders, or to brush up if you've been working with your group for awhile. There are also a few resources below that focus particularly on opportunities for our youth leaders to do what they do best- lead- even during the COVID-19 pandemic.