Can any youth be a leader
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Can Any Youth Be A Leader?. A Look at Assets of Youth Leadership Development. Karen Henry Joy Jordan Department of Family, Youth and Community Sciences University of Florida. Goals. Discuss vanLinden and Fertman’s theory of youth leadership development Stages Dimensions

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Can Any Youth Be A Leader?

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Can any youth be a leader

Can Any Youth Be A Leader?

A Look at Assets of Youth Leadership Development

Karen Henry

Joy Jordan

Department of Family, Youth and Community Sciences

University of Florida



  • Discuss vanLinden and Fertman’s theory of youth leadership development

    • Stages

    • Dimensions

  • Review tools and resources for use

  • Discuss applications and programming

What is leadership

What is Leadership?

  • Leadership connotes releasing of energy, building, freeing, growing

    (Peters and Austin, 1985)

  • Ability to influence the actions of others

    (Halloran and Benton, 1987)

  • The ability to motivate

  • Everyone has leadership potential

    (Bennis and Nanus, 1985)

Transactional vs transformational

Transactional vs. Transformational

  • Transactional

  • Transformational

Why study youth leadership

Why study youth leadership?

  • Youth are in a number of leadership positions

  • Little assessment whether the adolescent had the right “tools”

Youth leadership

Youth Leadership

  • Developmental process

  • Three Stages

  • Five Dimensions

Stages of leadership development

Stages of Leadership Development

  • Stages are sequential and fluid

  • vanLinden and Fertman’s stages:

    • Awareness

    • Interaction

    • Mastery

Five dimensions

Five Dimensions

  • Leadership Information

  • Leadership Attitude

  • Communication Skills

  • Decision-making Skills

  • Self-management Skills

Leadership information

Leadership Information

  • What adolescents know about leadership and leaders

  • Accurate information is critical

  • Adults help teens discriminate information

Leadership attitude

Leadership Attitude

  • Adolescents’ dispositions, thoughts and feelings towards identifying themselves as leaders

  • Attitudes are learned

  • Attitudes are constantly altered

Communication skills

Communication Skills

  • The exchange of thoughts, messages and information

  • Process of sharing

  • Includes both verbal and nonverbal communication

Decision making skills

Decision-Making Skills

  • Choosing between competing courses of action

  • Creates a discrepancy between transactional and transformation leaders

  • Decision-making is a process

Self management skills

Self-Management Skills

  • How adolescents react to and deal with the stress in their lives

    • Ability to regulate stress

  • Pertains to issues of autonomy and locus of control



Identifying Stages



  • Focus on initial awareness of one’s leadership potential and abilities

  • Youth in this stage:

    • Do not think of themselves as a leader

    • Don’t feel capable of being a leader



  • Growth in leadership skills occurs and confidence solidifies through interaction

  • Youth in this stage:

    • Have a limited definition of leadership

    • Believe that the leader is “in charge”

    • Need adult support and guidance



  • The focus is mastery of leadership skills in specific areas and activities in life

  • Youth in this stage:

    • Believe that anyone can be a leader

    • Are aware of his/her own strengths and weaknesses as a leader



  • A research study was conducted in 2000

  • Reliable “measures or indicators” of these three stages of leadership

  • Relationship between their stage of development, and their leadership development, locus of control and type of leadership experiences



  • Youth fell into the three distinct stages

  • Different levels of experiences were associated with each of the three stages

Application moving youth through the stages

Application-- Moving youth through the stages

  • The importance of experiences

  • The role of adults (support)

  • Roles in youth and community organizations (opportunities)

Experiences for youth

Experiences for Youth

  • Knowledge

  • Skills

  • Practice

Support the role of adults

Support-- The Role of Adults

  • Mentoring/Guidance

  • Resources

  • Role models

Opportunities roles in youth and community organizations

Opportunities—Roles in Youth and Community Organizations

  • Allow youth the means to develop leadership skills through practice

  • Make it meaningful!

Workshop in review

Workshop in review

  • vanLinden and Fertman’s theory of youth leadership development

  • Applications

  • Resources for Programming

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