It's about the capability of our students, especially when it's demonstrated through 13-year-olds. The self-directedness and 'professionalism' exhibited when they were entrusted with the task that usually adults would do. I guess that's what's meant by leadership; of course, it's also about leveraging the opportunity and providing the right environment to nurture.
Leadership - it's NOT JUST something that one brings with them, but it MUST be COUPLED with the right attitude, so that it's demonstrated in the right light, to bring out its best :)
Unfortunately, it's not something that all could 'understand' - including adults, who strive to become leaders.
That's one word that we seldom mention when talking about leadership - Professionalism.
Yes, one might possess the leadership qualities; however, when not conducting himself/ herself in an appropriate (and relevant (to the context)) manner - such unpolished leadership would not be able to create the desired level of influence and impact.
Professionalism includes looking into areas that one usually take for granted.
- Preparation is one of them. More often than not, people ride on their own experiences (which is built over time) and become slack in their preparation - because they thought they could speak off the cuff and 'think on the feet'. Nevertheless, no matter what, preparation is necessary, and sometimes over-preparedness helps to boost one's confidence and helps to handle unanticipated situations. Look around - sometimes, I think adults get into this problem - because of the 'experience' and therefore take things pretty lightly; and when faced with the issue, problem doesn't lie on them, but on others. This is not uncommon.
- Thinking - in depth and breadth. It's not difficult to find adults who do not think deep enough. Hm... Shallow? Sometimes we would say, but sometimes it's because of one's "narrow point of view". It' just like the frog in the well, with their point of view determined by the size of the opening of the "well". Thinking deep is not enough. What's important is being able to articulate the rationale behind the thinking, and the ability to link issues to the action in order to bring out its importance!
Well, well... just within 6 hours in a day, I saw a 13-year-old being able to demonstrate this kind of maturity & fluency; while I interacted with an adult who was unable to make the connection to substantiate. So, what does that tell?