International youth organizations are currently running with a clean slate, which is more than can be said for the boy scouts of America or some religious groups. Most international youth organizations have a positive effect on children and, at worst, have no effect on the children, which is better than a negative effect. So, do such youth organizations influence the development of leadership?
Whether you believe it or not, there are a number of things that can affect the development of leadership in younger people. It is not outside the realms of possibility to believe that youth organization play their part too. The only counter argument is that they squash as many leadership ambitions and opportunities as they start. Still, on the whole, youth groups seem more likely to have a positive effect on leadership development for the simple reason that it puts the younger person into a different situation in which they may shine.
This is possible because they put younger people into situations outside the norm, and it is their regular everyday situation that may be holding them back. Often these future-leaders are offset by their teachers, or the class clown, who has the spotlight and leadership abilities. It is a place where a young person may have trouble flexing his or her leadership muscle. But, put that same student in a situation where they are able to move, negotiate and build confidence, and you may start to see leadership abilities develop.
AEGEE is the biggest interdisciplinary student organization in the world. It spans 40 countries and must surely have an effect on the development of leadership. All experiences will have some effect on the leadership development of the younger generations, but this organization is big and tries to spread a positive message. It is encouraging to see that they are trying to convince people to vote for the first time. This non-profit organization is surly having an effect on the development of leadership with our youth.
AIESEC helps to build worldviews, which suggests that they do help the development of leadership in younger people. They are very keen on connecting thought leaders around the world, and such a passion for leading may be passed down to the young people that are part of the organization. They do look to challenge the world views of younger people, which again may help them break away and develop leadership skills. This may be further encouraged, as the AIESEC does claim to help young people identify what they are good at so that they may grow on it.
It is not their job to influence younger people with regards to leadership abilities, but all of them claim the influence younger people in some way. This influence may be used to help a younger person build up some leadership skills.
Positive youth development is a motto that most youth organizations share, so it makes sense that if they can cultivate skills and talents that they should. This is especially true if the skills and talents do not have any other place to grow. Few students and young people are in a position to learn how to lead. As mentioned just above, they are stuck in classrooms where the teach commands the student’s time and the class clown commands their attention. There may be very few opportunities for a student or young person to grow leadership skills, even if that person joins extracurricular activities such as a drama group and such. If youth groups allow these same students to grow their skills, then it could lead to leadership development.
We should also remember that such youth groups do not discriminate based on race, gender, sexuality or height. It is true that most of the leaders of fortune 500 companies are above six feet tall. There are numerous forms of discrimination that may mean certain people do then get the chance to build leadership skills. The youth organizations are also trying to improve on a regular basis, which is very handy because the world changes very quickly and the youth organizations need to catch up. If they can help younger people by influencing them, then they should be able to help younger people build skills. One of the skills may be leadership skills, and if that is the case, then the youth academies will help create a better future for younger people as they emerge with confidence and new skills.
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