Personal Leadership

Qualities of a leader

Persons you admire

“Personal leadership is the desire of an individual to take charge of his or her own life.” – Greg Thomas (Sociologist)

Personal leadership is about taking charge of your own life and responsibilities. Part of growing as a leader is to be always ready to expand your capacities and strengths. It is also about having the courage to speak up even when you are not sure of yourself. Leaders need to take the courage to push themselves forward and to argue for their point of view. Effective leaders also take the courage to ask for support and make the effort to be well-prepared when facing big challenges. Help-seeking is an act of courage and it provides others with the joy of knowing that they have contributed.

Responsibility, determination, persistence and strategy are part of leadership. An easy way to take responsibility for your own life, is by setting goals you wish to attain. Do you know where you want to be in 2 weeks, 2 months or even 2 years?

Goals are things you want to do, either big, long-term things like graduate from university/start a family/become a carpenter/be an artist, etc., or short-term goals like learn how to draw. Learning how to set goals, then working towards them, can help you feel better about yourself by giving you a sense of pride and accomplishment.

You practice!

Working towards your goals to achieve personal leadership:

• Take some time to clearly define what you want and if you can pursue it realistically.
• Thinks about your long-term goals and short-term goals.
• Make your goals SMART
Specific: know exactly what you want to achieve.
Measurable : a goal should have an end, so you can see when you’re finished.
Achievable : some goals are out of reach, no matter how hard you try.
Relevant: Ask yourself if this topic matters and if you should work on it in this context.
Time bound : give yourself a time-frame to finish.
• Also have milestones along the way to show that you are on the track towards your goal, for example, if you want to be an artist in the long-term, some short-term milestones would be: learn to draw; enrol in art school; do an exhibition of my work for friends and family, etc.

To achieve your goals, you can develop an action plan. There are four critical steps to developing an action plan

1. Identify a goal for your life
2. Prepare some activities you will do to reach your goal and commit to tackling obstacles with the purpose of reaching the goal
3. Implement the action plan, but be aware that the best laid plans can sometimes go wrong so be flexible and creative
4. Monitor your milestones to track your progress, and make changes as you go along; sometimes you may need to change your goals!

Leaders are not always in control of what happens to them. You need to be able to think on your feet to respond. You need to be able to respond to rapidly changing situations by staying alert to what is happening around you, so that you can give an appropriate response.
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Meet Patrice:

Patrice is a true young leader! What qualities does she have that you admire? Write them down and think about how you could learn or apply these qualities in your own life too!



Do you feel you have a sense of personal leadership? Why (not)?
How can others help you in finding the leader in you?
Discuss about these and other questions in our Facebook community!

You practice!
Write down 5 reasons of why you already have a sense of personal leadership. For each reason, also write an example of something you did or achieved.



We are going to make your personal goal SMART in this game!

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“Leadership is influence” - Maxwell

There are many different kinds of leaders, therefore there are no ‘set’ qualities that have to be present in all leaders. Rather an effective leader draws from a range of personal qualities to help them deal with different circumstances and challenges.

Part of growing strong as a leader is through expanding our personal qualities. When we are not strong in a particular quality it is also wise to seek the contributions of others who are strong in that quality. This makes for a complementary team. The well-organised person can help to complement the creative person, and the person with the sense of humour can complement the serious minded person.

Leadership qualities that we all have and can build upon are:

• Hope and optimism
Always looks on the bright side; expects the best to happen and works towards it

• Intelligence
Learns quickly and thinks of good solutions; has a love of learning

• Determination
Focuses on goals and works hard to achieve them

Has lots of energy and excitement for life

• Humour:
Sees the lighter side of life and helps people laugh

• Fairness
Treats people fairly and advocates for their rights; doesn’t let personal feelings bias decisions

• Generosity
Gives freely of time and possessions; demonstrates kindness

• Courage:
Does not hide from challenging or scary situations; speaks up for what is right even if there is opposition

• Creativity
Thinks of many different ways to solve challenges

• Loyalty
Stays true to friends and family or team members through difficult times

• Honesty
Speaks truthfully; acts sincerely; takes responsibility for own feelings and actions

• Self-regulation
Controls emotions and sticks to decisions; is disciplined

• Forgiveness:
Accepts shortcomings of others without anger; gives people a second chance

• Compassion
Thinks of how others are feeling

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Finding the leader within! What are your qualities?

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What are your qualities as a leader? What skills would you like to have to develop your leadership? Discuss about these and other questions in our Facebook community!

You practice!
Write down 3 qualities which you have and 3 things you want to improve. For the 3 things you want to improve, also write down how you think you can improve them (for example by doing skill building exercises on the platform, asking help from a friend...)



Which skill belongs to the statement?




“If you can’t find a good role model, be one.” – Gale Anne Hurd (American film producer)

When we think of leaders, we often think of popular or well-known personalities like Nelson Mandela or Mahatma Gandhi. But, as we have seen in the previous two modules, there are many types of leaders and we all have some leadership qualities! Many children have role models or people they look up to, like their parents, teachers, TV personalities, etc. Role models can also be important when we grow up. People can have different role models, depending on the things they are passionate about. For example, if you have a passion for sports, then a famous sports player might be your role model or the person you admire. Others could be fashion bloggers or fashion designers, politicians, classmates or colleagues who are good at something, celebrities, etc.

Such a person who you look up to can influence the choices you make in life, such as career choices or choices to attain certain goals. So think about a leader closer to home – someone you admire, aspire to be like, or consider as your role model. Is there someone now or in your past who you look up to? Who do/did you want to be like?

What are the qualities of this person that makes you admire them or look up to them? Some qualities of effective leaders or role models are:
  • Trust and good communication
  • Inviting of creative input from their team
  • Not afraid to try something new
  • Encourage teams to learn from prior efforts
  • Assist their team to stay focused on their goals and objectives
  • Not afraid to acknowledge that problems may be complex
  • Understand that problem-solving is a team concern
  • Provides support and accepts support
  • Able to work in different combinations and with different people
  • Good listeners who tune in and respond to the needs and ideas of others
  • Able to present ideas in a clear and simple way
  • Respectful of the needs and capacities of team members

You practice!
Write down who is the person you admire. Write down 3 reasons of why you admire this person and look up to them.

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Malala Yousafzai is a Pakistani girl who won the Nobel Peace Prize. She fights for gender equality and the right to education for girls. She is a role model for a lot of people around the world, who now also stand up for equal rights for boys and girls.

Watch this video to see her story.

You practice!
Write down three qualities you admire about Malala. Also check if one or more of these qualities are qualities that you have too!


Who are your role models? What are the qualities of the leader you admire? Which of the qualities above would you like to possess yourself? Discuss about these and other questions in our Facebook community!

You practice!
Now that you thought about who your role models are and which of their qualities you admire, write down your own special combination of qualities and who you want to be a role model for (for example little brother or sister, friends, ...)



Indicate whether the statements are true or false!




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