Leadership development for high school students
Famous entrepreneur, leader and investor, Shaan Puri once heard someone describe themselves as Patient + Relentless.
This got me thinking about what traits make great leaders.
What leadership skills can set you up for success?
Confident + Problem Solver
You could be working at Tesla or Twitch or an NGO or even McDonald’s. Regardless, at some point in your career you will need to guide people.
And as forward-thinking high school students, starting early on developing your leadership skills gives you an edge.
With the right ones, it could help you unlock your potential and pave the way for a successful future.
When it comes to leadership activities, I am inevitably asked two things:
- Why are leadership skills so important?
- What are the best leadership activities to take part in?
The answer to the first question is easy - participating in leadership activities will help you build essential skills, like teamwork, communication, decision-making, and problem-solving. It is also a way to explore your interests and establish meaningful connections.
The answer to the second needs a bit more attention.
This blog reviews some exciting leadership activities that high school students like you can take part in to improve your leadership qualities.
Why are leadership activities important for high school students?
To be a good leader, you must have a good understanding of your strengths, your weaknesses and your emotions.
Leadership skills can enhance every area of your life.
High school is not just about academic growth. Your personal growth is just as important.
The secret no one wants you to know is this: it’s actually all very simple.
- You have a great idea.
- You can lead people.
When you have strong leadership skills, you have the confidence to navigate any situation and you are better at making decisions.
You will need to be able to develop a plan of action in any given situation.
This is how leaders succeed.
High school students who participate in leadership building activities tend to have higher levels of confidence and self-esteem because you are given opportunities to take on significant responsibilities and contribute to purposeful activities.
It could be in one week or one month - the results show itself.
Engaging in leadership activities can be transformative.
Also, leadership activities help students develop and improve your soft skills, which are just as important. Skills such as communication, decision making, problem solving, teamwork, and time-management all help you navigate your career.
Eventually you will realize that you are filled with a sense of purpose. With the responsibility that is entrusted on you, the contributions you make will be invaluable.
The benefits of participating in leadership activities.
Participating in leadership activities has a profound impact on your future, whether you’re in college, the workplace, one of the Big Four, or involved in your local community.
Leadership is not just about leading people, but also about taking responsibility for yourself and your actions.
Developing your character through leadership involves teaching yourself how to make ethical decisions; how to solve problems, and how to work collaboratively.
Besides the known benefits of confidence and independence, they also provide you the opportunity to network and build meaningful relationships.
You are also unconsciously training yourself to deal with people from different cultures, problem solve and work through ideas.
The world runs on business - and your success depends on being able to convince people to choose your idea.
These are few of the benefits:
- Develops critical thinking and problem-solving skills
- Boosts confidence and self-esteem
- Enhances teamwork and communication skills
- Develops time-management skills
- Helps in decision-making
- Improves leadership qualities
Best Leadership Activities for High School Students
Finding the right activities can sometimes feel like mindlessly scrolling through TikTok.
BUT THERE IS GOOD NEWS: You don’t have to look far. In fact, here are 8 different activities that we have curated for you.
- Business bootcamps:
As students you can benefit greatly from participating in youth-focused programs such as BETA Camp or other tech programs. Such cutting-edge programs provide training and experiences to cultivate leadership qualities within you.
These learning experiences can be instrumental in building your confidence as well as shaping your personality. Plus it also helps you improve your resume and stand out from the crowd when seeking opportunities in the future.
- Debate club:
Joining a high school debate club will definitely help develop your critical thinking, communication, and persuasion skills. By engaging in structured debates, you learn to analyze arguments and identify flaws in reasoning. It’s one of the best ways to develop the ability to think critically and logically.
- Volunteer work:
Service learning projects are an excellent way to develop your leadership skills. Participating in volunteer work or community service requires empathy, but you learn teamwork, and leadership skills too.
As you give back to the community, you learn to be compassionate towards people, which teaches you to think beyond yourself and consider the needs of others.
- Student government:
Getting active in student government is another way to develop leadership qualities, practice decision-making skills, and grow your confidence. By taking an active role in shaping the policies that affect your peers, you learn to weigh the potential outcomes of each decision.
- Sports teams:
Being a part of a sports team helps develop teamwork, communication skills, and leadership skills. Team sports teach you to work towards a common goal while respecting the strengths and weaknesses of others.
- Public speaking:
Entering in public speaking competitions is another great way to develop communication skills and confidence. What better way to learn how to convey your thoughts by expressing them in a clear, concise and convincing manner. For example, Toast Master or Model United Nations are good places to start with.
Mentoring younger students or peers requires communication as well as problem-solving skills. By sharing your knowledge and expertise with others, you can help them develop new skills, while you learn how to guide and lead others.
- Organizing events
Planning and executing events, such as fundraisers or community get-togethers require not only leadership skills such as decision-making, but also budgeting finances and delegation. Collaborating with others enables you to develop teamwork skills and gives you the opportunity to learn how to interact with others while respecting diverse opinions and ideas.
What might start out as a boring, run-of-the mill activity can instantly turn into something that provides direction.
A routine task might turn into an opportunity for growth and self discovery.
How leadership skills can be transferred to academic and career pursuits.
High school education has the potential to mold students into successful individuals. However, it can also be daunting and overwhelming. With the proper strategies though, it is possible to navigate through these years successfully.
The reason why you are on this page is because you have goals.
You are ambitious. You want more out of High School.
You know that right now it is essential to explore your interests, develop skills for your future and build connections with your peers.
Academic education is a vital component, but it goes beyond just that.
It’s nothing complex.
And yet, it’s everything.
For academic pursuits, leadership skills can help an individual develop effective communication skills, encourage collaboration and provide guidance and motivation.
Similarly in the professional world, individuals who possess leadership skills can take on managerial roles and lead teams effectively.
Moreover, when you demonstrate strong leadership skills, people are bound to push your name forward.
BETA Camp graduates who have demonstrated leadership
While we're on the topic of talking about successful leaders. Let’s look at a few leaders that have come out of our camp:
- Rhett Jones
A former student of BETA Camp who went on to become a successful entrepreneur. He is currently building Texas’ best public bike park in his neighborhood in Austin
- Suma Dendi
From chess player to entrepreneur, Suma and her team built a successful productivity tool to help teens.
- Rishi Kothari
Rishi went on to raise over $1.6M for Otto after attending BETA Camp. He learned that without research, your product has no demand.
- Jane Wu
From high school senior to creative agency founder, Jane honed her leadership skills at BETA Camp. She showed a keen interest in a creative field and was particularly interested in marketing.
As a young entrepreneur she learned to communicate expectations with other team members.
These are just a few examples of many successful leaders who have learned new skills with BETA Camp.
Let BETA Camp guide you through skills that will set you up for success. The benefits of BETA Camp are many; it’s faster than anything else, it’s actually fun, and it will teach you skills you couldn't learn anywhere else.
Be a Leader, Start today
The best leaders are those who constantly strive to learn, grow and develop their skills.
Leadership development is a great way to improve your leadership qualities, nurture your soft skills, and achieve your long-term goals.
With the right tools, you can gain valuable insights into yourself, your team and the business environment. Whether it's joining a debate club or being a part of a sports team, high school students have plenty of choices to choose from.
Soon your traits will be not just Confident + Problem Solver, but Patient + Relentless or Fierce + Nerd or Creative + Strategic.
If you want to be a leader and succeed in your personal and professional life, start participating in leadership activities today.
Don't let the fear of failure hold you back, take the first step, and see the magic happen. Soon you will be able to lead with confidence and success.
You can always start with BETA Camp.