Spotlight On: Youth Leadership

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.

Webinar Series

Join LMTI Training Coordinator, Corey Donetz, and learn more about how we can help young leaders grow. We'll explain some key skills you can use to help build the youth leaders you work with.

We'll also learn about the Search Institute's 40 Developmental Assets Framework, which can be considered a foundation of understanding how youth develop.

Journal Printouts

A free resource you can share with the teenagers you work with filled with easy to do positive self care and mindfulness activities. We'll be providing new pages every week, so they can build a journal that will grow and grow!


An ever growing list of resources that can provide support, hope, and help can be accessed on the LMTI Resources Page.

You can also check out these links, which feature helpful articles and other resources specific to youth leadership:

Check out more info on the Search Institute's framework, which contains supports and strengths that young people need to succeed.

Portland State University provides a great list of tangible activities that young leaders can get involved with during this pandemic. Some are specifc to Oregon, but most can be adapted for wherever you live!

More info from the Search Institute, this time about how to help youth of all ages discover ways that they can feel helpful and hopeful during a time of crisis.

Please continue to let us know how we can help YOU help the youth you work with during this time. Thank you for believing in the power of youth!

The LMTI Staff

Check Out Other LMTI Spotlights

Spotlight On: Youth Leadership

If there is one word that is synonymous with LMTI, it's probably Leadership. 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?

Spotlight On: Self-Care

Self care is the practice of intentionally doing things to heal and replenish yourself emotionally, mentally, and physically, especially during times of stress. It is essential for everyone. When we pause to check in with ourselves and take steps to care for ourselves, we are better able to face challenges, overcome obstacles, and help the youth we work with.

Spotlight On: Mental Health

We owe it to our youth, even though we may not be able to be physically with them right now, to give them our support and help them cope during this difficult time. The more we know about mental health ourselves, the more we can help our youth.

Check Out Other LMTI Spotlights

Spotlight On: Youth Engagement

Youth engagement is at the heart of all we do at LMTI. We spend most of our time figuring out the most effective, most creative, and most FUN ways to give youth opportunities to develop the skills they need to make positive changes in their schools and communities.

Spotlight On: Supporting LGBTQ+ Youth

LMTI is committed to lifting up and supporting our LGBTQ+ youth and alumni. The month of Pride may look different this year because of social distancing, but what's not different is the incredible courage, resiliency, and strength of the LGBTQ+ community.

Spotlight On: Virtual Summer Conference

After so much careful and heartfelt discussion, we have put together an experience that we feel is going to get us as close as we can to Camp Mason without actually driving to Hardwick. We are committed to keeping you connected, motivated, and inspired at this time when we need it the most.