How to Be a Good Leader as a Teen

Take on a leadership role as team captain.
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If you've always pictured yourself as someone who's in charge or inspires others, or if leadership is something you'd like to be better at, learning leadership lessons as a teen can help you achieve your goals. Opportunities for understanding how be a good leader exist in everyday life, at school and in the workplace.

1 Accept Opportunities

Being an effective leader takes time and practice. Even though some of your friends or classmates may seem like they're born leaders, practicing leadership skills is always helpful. There are a variety of ways to develop the ability to lead. These include taking advantage of leading roles at school, in religious youth groups, in community centers or organizations or through a job. For example, offer to head your school's art club or work your way up to an assistant manager position at your after-school job. The skills that you can learn through accepting these types of opportunities can help you as a future leader in your community or career, according to the Confidence Center.

2 Role Model

Good leaders motivate and inspire others through their own actions, according to the Michigan State University Extension's 4-H Youth Development Program. If you want to lead in an effective way, you have to first walk the walk. This means you have to act in a way that shows off positive values and excludes negative behaviors such as lying or cheating. For example, if you are an assistant manager at your after-school fast food service job, you can show the other employees that you're a hard worker and always act politely to the customers. This sets an example for them to follow or work up to.

3 Teachable Moments

Leaders don't just tell other people what to do. A good leader acts as a teacher. Just because you're a teen doesn't mean that you can't also teach others. Teach your peers through modeling appropriate behaviors as well as directly through what you say. Instead of trying to push others down, leaders try to elevate people by teaching leadership skills to those who aren't yet on their level. For example, if you are the captain of your sports team, you can help train the assistant captain who will take over for you when you graduate. To be a good leader, you will take the time to explain the role of captain to him, let him shadow you during team meetings and always answers questions when he asks.

4 Stand Up

Effective leaders are assertive leaders. Acting assertively means standing up for yourself or speaking your own opinion in a respectful way, according to the article "Assertiveness" on the TeensHealth website. This doesn't mean acting aggressively or bullying others into following you. Instead, give your opinion in a tactful way that doesn't put down or insult others. For example, say that you are president of your prom committee and you feel that an "Under the Sea" theme is the best way to go. Some of the committee members don't agree with your decisions. Instead of telling them, "I'm the leader, so my decision is final," you could be assertive and say something such as, "I feel that this is a great theme that the students will enjoy. Let's poll the senior class to see if they agree or if they would prefer something else."

Based in Pittsburgh, Erica Loop has been writing education, child development and parenting articles since 2009. Her articles have appeared in "Pittsburgh Parent Magazine" and the website PBS Parents. She has a Master of Science in applied developmental psychology from the University of Pittsburgh's School of Education.