Youth Leadership Traits for a Teen Decade - #1

We are about to enter "The Teen Decade". It happens every century. The teen decade we are about to move into can be shaped by each of us who love this generation if we are willing to adjust our lives to a few key values.

This month I would like to share 4 elementary leadership traits for youth leaders who want to shape teen culture in this coming decade. Let me give you value number one in this post. Let's make this interactive and viral by taking the time to complete the blog with your thoughts.

Great youth leaders do not underestimate the significance of Natural and Spiritual leadership

Let me take some latitude in using a few secular or marketplace examples of natural leadership first. Then I will conclude with a more classical treatment of spiritual leadership.

This kind of leadership is levied from the gifts that certain people have to see systems and programs and use them to create movement. When the Dallas Cowboys and the Minnesota Vikings football teams began the season, many in the media had placed these clubs at the top of their divisions and favorites to contend for a super bowl. Just four weeks ago and halfway through the season, both teams were several games under .500 and underachieving. And the revolution began. The Cowboys changed head coaches and won 3 of the next 4 games (and if they had not fumbled in the loss on Thanksgiving they would have won that game). For the Cowboys, the inspiration came in the form of changes in team rules such as practice in full pads, business dress to games, and being on time for meetings.

Natural Leadership is seen in someone who is left brain and considered administrative or organizational because they are wired with mathematical or logical skills. This kind of leadership recognizes natural traits of leaders such as communication, organization, or intelligence. However, there is another kind of leadership leveraged with spiritual traits such as integrity, relationships, and emotional or inspirational characteristics.

This kind of leadership comes from people who are gifted with emotional and relational strengths who develop unity that creates movement. A great example of spiritual leadership in government took place this fall. The shift in Washington’s power was obvious as voters across the nation decided that the movement of the country needed a change. Incoming House Speaker John Boehner (R., Ohio) has brought an inspirational ethos to Washington, DC. The new speaker has shouted, shed tears, and even offended Congress with his emotional leadership. In an interview with CBS' 60 Minutes, the top House Republican said that changes would be coming aimed at cutting federal spending and his party would be bringing to the House floor legislation cutting some aspect of federal spending each week they are in control of the House. The shift remains to be seen, but, something is under way.

Spiritual Leadership has been called "The It Factor". Someone who is right brain has this kind of leadership because they are wired with creativity and social skills. I have seen youth leaders in both paradigms. In fact, the best leadership setting is when you have both of these working in tandem. Symbiotically feeding off each other. Knowing the diversity in our culture today, it seems vital to walk in both schools of leadership. That may require a Natural Leader to place around them a Spiritual Leader with the charisma it takes to motivate people, or, it may require a Spiritual Leader to embrace the organizational skills that a Natural Leader can bring to the setting.

So, with the Teen Decade upon us, let's talk. Help us to define the importance of Natural and Spiritual Leadership ...

-Is there another leadership trait or style to throw into the mix?
-Which will youth respond to more successfully?
-Define the two better with some good information and data
-Lend some more examples of each of these in specific organizations
-Ask a question to get us going

Jeff Grenell