learning to lead
Leadership is not a unitary concept with one clear and unambiguous definition. Nor can it be accurately or usefully assessed simply or reductionistically. Leadership comprises several component skills that participants practice with each other in CLF programs. These components – which often appear in conceptualizations of social emotional learning – overlap, complement, and reinforce each other.
People do not need titles or official positions to become leaders. They do need to develop their ability to engage ethically with others, by treating them with compassion, practicing resilience in the face of obstacles, acting courageously to change the conditions of their own lives and the lives of others, treating others with humility and being willing to seek help, and practicing accountability, that is, taking responsibility for their actions regardless of their original intentions.
CLF programs provide opportunities for youth to find their voice, to forge a strong and stable identity as members of the human community, and to accomplish and lead others to accomplish positive and constructive goals.