It is never too early to instill in young girls the qualities they will need to become good leaders. While forcing them into a career path can backfire, it can be useful to teach them life skills that will support their development and give them the foundations to become a leader should they wish to in the future.
Exposing young girls to people who have become leaders and are a source of inspiration and authority, such as Michael DeNobile, and can enlighten young minds on different goals and career paths and reach their dreams. Workshops and talks can prove to be effective as the girls can see for themselves how someone has reached their current position in life and the skills it took to get there.
But what characteristics does a good leader have?
The significance of integrity should be self-evident. Honesty and integrity are vital leadership characteristics for both the individual and organizations they come into contact with when they get older. While these are qualities that everyone should have and value, it is something leaders don’t lose sight of and exhibit each and every day.
Good communication and effective leadership are interwoven in many ways. There are many different forms of communication and being able to effectively convey information via different mediums can be a useful life skill as well as a leadership quality. Furthermore, you must be able to listen to and communicate with a diverse spectrum of people from various backgrounds, including roles, geographies, social identities, and more. This can be developed throughout childhood and into adulthood to keep honing communication skills and adapting language for different situations.
Are you aware of how other people perceive you or how you conduct yourself in life? Even though this is a more inwardly focused trait, self-awareness and humility are essential qualities for effective leadership. You will be more effective as a leader if you better understand yourself and recognize your own strengths and flaws.
Having learning agility refers to figuring out what to do when you aren’t sure what to do. The ability to “learn quickly” and perform well in novel situations are both indicators that you may already be learning agile. On the other hand, learning agility can be developed by anyone via practice, experience, and effort. To get started, consider how exceptional leaders are excellent learners who possess high levels of learning agility. You can nurture this as your girl scouts experience more of life and encounter different situations.
Empathy is associated with improved job performance and is an important component of emotional intelligence and leadership effectiveness. If you demonstrate more inclusive leadership and sympathetic behaviors toward others, you are more likely to be perceived as a higher performer in all areas of life. Furthermore, empathy and inclusion are essential for enhancing the conditions of those around you in the group, at school and any clubs they go to too. A girl guide setting is a great place to nurture empathy and explain the importance of empathy and how this can benefit them and others throughout their lives, not just in leadership roles.