How To Effectively Develop Your Leadership Skills During College

College is a great time to really develop your leadership skills. Whether you’ve held leadership positions throughout your academic career or you’re just starting out, the unique characteristics of the college environment will take your talents to the next level. Leadership is one of the qualities that will really enhance your experience at school and prepare you for the workplace upon graduation. It is a quality that employers look for when scanning resumes and applications for internships and jobs. It helps you effectively manage group tasks and make a difference on your campus. Now that we’ve established the importance of leadership, here’s how to be a leader in college:

1) Have a plan. If you want to be a leader, you need to have a plan of action and set goals for yourself. Goal setting gives you something to work towards and is good for motivation and developing strategies. It allows you to be organized and have a clear sense of direction, which you need to be able to direct others. People like working with someone who has a vision of where they want the project or organization or group to go.

2) Take initiative. Leaders are people who are proactive about the things they do and the things want to achieve. Sitting passively on the sidelines will not make you an effective leader. In fact, it’s almost a sure way to be overlooked. You have to seek out opportunities and take advantage of them. Ask about available volunteer work around school, sign up for clubs, or start your own independent project. If things are moving too slow or you’re having a hard time finding something that suits your needs, create something for yourself.

3) Use your resources. A leader is someone who knows that they can’t do it all by themselves. When you capitalize on your resources, you are being efficient and smart. Your campus is likely to have a wide variety of resources from you choose done. There are formal entities like career centers, advisors, and alumni networks. There’s also the informal kind through friends and associates who either have a wealth of knowledge or know someone who does.

4) Carry yourself like a leader. Having the demeanor of a leader is eighty percent of the battle. People will naturally gravitate towards someone who gives off a leadership “vibe” and carries themselves well at all times. This means being gracious and open and understanding that everyone you meet is a potential something, be it employer, partner, resource. Carrying yourself like a leader means being aware of what your boundaries are and representing yourself in a positive light that will instill confidence in the people around you.

Of course there are other things to take into account when aspiring to be a leader such as being patient, knowing how to work with a variety of people, being confident, and communicating clearly. The four that I highlighted for you are areas that are especially important in the university setting, where everyone has the potential to be a leader in the making.

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Pamela Nonga

Pamela Nonga

Pamela Nonga is a second year at the University of California Davis double majoring in Political Science and Communications. When she’s not theorizing about the greater meaning behind her day-to-day experiences on her blog, you can find her on a run, enjoying a blend of the outdoors and her favorite tunes. Pamela loves to read, write, and travel, and hopes to work in the fields of Journalism and Media as a career.
Pamela Nonga

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