How to Build Your Leadership Skills During College

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  • There is a popular saying that “leaders start early”. What it means is that to be a good leader one should start early as leadership is not often an innate ability and needs to be developed over the years. If you are in college, it is the right time to harness those leadership skills which are going to prove worth learning in the future. Every college student should know one thing – leadership is not just about a fancy title or a position of power. You have to take up the challenges that come in the way of any leaders and learn to execute them successfully.

    Many students do not realise that there are ample opportunities to learn the basics of leadership and also get to be in such a position to get the experience. It is through these experiences in college you can be able to become future leaders of repute. If you have the passion and hunger for success, you will be able to make the most out of what little opportunity you get in college.

    If you are looking for tips in this area, the following will help you for the same:

    Join a social club and work your way to a leadership position

    Fraternities, clubs, and student’s social organisation – there are various platforms where you can take your first step on the road to leadership. Join one of those clubs and fraternities, show your mettle and work up the hierarchies to become a leader. Bring in new ideas to the club to make it more fun and interesting; get viewed as a person who can lead the club in a new and better direction. In that process, you can get your hands on some real leadership skills.

    There are many community services you can volunteer

    As already mentioned, you do not need to be in a position of authority to build relationship skills. You can always join some community services that give you an environment where you can interact with diverse people and make connections with people from various backgrounds. These skills help you to enhance yourself as a leader.

    Living in a hostel? Run for a leadership position

    If you are living in a hostel, it will provide with a plethora of opportunities where you can gain some leadership skills. You can take the responsibility of running the hostel mess, executing the monthly plan and overseeing that everything is being done smoothly. It is the best way to have hands-on experience in resource management, which is an important skill related to leadership. There are also other areas like hostel welfare and cultural management, where you can get to experience leadership skills.

    Try for a leadership position in a student body

    If you want to get some serious leadership skills, try running for a position in your college’s student union body. You do not always have to run for the president or the highest position if you are not that comfortable. You can go for lower positions of power but which will give you immense exposure to leadership experiences.

    Manage the college’s magazine or student newspaper

    Many colleges publish their own newspapers and magazines. These can be weekly, monthly or yearly ones. If you are good at editorial processes and acquiring content materials, you can try running them. It will give you practical experience in time management, people management, and communication skills. These traits are important for any leader.

    Are you good at sports? Try for a leadership role

    Become a captain of the college football or basketball team. That’s a sure-shot way to get a good share of leadership experiences. If you are good at some sports, you will find your opinions being appreciated by other teammates. Your performance in any athletic activity depends on your ability to communicate well with your teammates, vision to do the right things at the right moment and motivation. As you can see these are all stepping stones to a successful leadership.

    Become an orientation advisor or leader

    New students in a college need to go through an orientation programme to understand about the college and its functioning better. They need to also get acquainted with the different departments, hostels and administrative divisions. For this matter, there is generally an orientation advisor or leader who has the responsibility to make the new students feel at home. This is an excellent opportunity to up your leadership skills.

    Get a job on campus

    Yeah, you heard it right. You do not need to go through the top job sites to start your first job. You can become someone who helps new students in their admission process. Working in the campus admission office can help you learn to be a responsible person and communicate well, which are important traits of a leader.

    Join any leadership course in the college

    Colleges usually provide leadership programmes that the students can benefit from. Join in such a programme and you can learn a lot of things regarding the responsibilities of a leader and what are the abilities that define a leader.

    The Bottom Line

    If you thought that leadership is all about when you assume a position of power, you are wrong. As already you can see from the above points, there are plenty of scopes to acquire leadership skills as early as during your college. You just need to act upon the opportunity you have and get hold of it.

    Author Bio
    Hasib is a professional writer working with one of top job sites in India –Naukri.com. As a career coach, he helps professionals in making decisions related to career and job opportunities. He is an avid reader and lives for two things – football and food. If he is not involved in any of those, you can find him contemplating existential issues. Follow him @ twitter, Google+, LinkedIn

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