DULF MENTORSHIP PROGRAMME FOR NYSC YOUTH CORP MEMBERS WITH ENUGU SOUTH LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA CAPTIONED: CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT FOR FUTURE LEADERS ON MAY 2019 October 3, 2019 Admin Youths are the future and the future needs leaders. Good leadership relies heavily on a balance of elevated awareness and decisiveness. Without a grounded understanding of themselves and a solid moral compass to guide them, many leaders succeed at being aware and decisive but do not succeed. Having mental and moral qualities is what character is all about. The challenge is to prepare the youth of today – the leaders of tomorrow – to be courageous, open, compassionate, empathetic to people and also resilient for an uncertain future. This doesn’t mean abandoning the STEAM subjects or academic excellence. It means considering the growing importance of additional skills. Character building for children happens at home and all throughout their school experience. Good schools all have character development as part of its program. Daniel Ukwu Leadership Foundation aim to inculcate in our students the values of Respect, Integrity, Perseverance, Innovation and Collaboration. We are fully aware of our responsibility in helping our child develop their character. Make sure your child’s school takes character development seriously and in a way that compliments your efforts at home. The world of the future depends on the leaders of tomorrow. Let’s equip those leaders with everything they need for success. A leader’s behavior reflects what they stand for and what their core nature is. If a leader behaves in positive and constructive ways, he can earn respect and create strong connections between himself and his employees. So even though leadership on the national level is taking a hit, individual leaders can make a significant difference in their organizations by demonstrating and developing leadership character. First way to develop leadership character: Leaders should focus on their behavior Leadership character is about tangible behavior. It is what leaders say and do – regardless of what inner qualities they may possess or thoughts they may cherish – that determines their reputation and good name. They can learn how to speak and act in ways that reflect qualities such as courage, caring, self-control, optimism and effective communication. A second way to develop leadership character: Adjust, Don’t Overhaul Changing behaviors isn’t always easy. However, most people can see when there is an advantage to changing certain behaviors and can take action. Typically, adults change their behavior to gain something positive or to avoid something negative. The key is to go about change in terms of adjusting behavior, rather than expecting instant change. The third approach: Be consistent A leader’s reputation is based on his or her behavior over time. When a leader’s pattern of behavior consistently reflects strong character, the result is greater respect, trust, and stronger emotional connections between such leaders and their employees. There are the “Five E’s” of character development: E #1 – Example: Leadership by example leverages the natural human tendency to emulate the behavior of individuals held in high esteem. A leader’s behavior sets the standard for the entire organization. E #2 – Education: Find ways to discuss the importance of character, the potential challenges to character, and the short- and long-term implications of a lapse of character. E #3 – Environment: Senior leaders should establish an environment that is open to character development by creating a clear, detailed, practical set of organizational values and by ensuring that everyone in the organization lives those values. E #4 – Experience: Give employees assignments requiring them to make difficult choices, which can help them develop character. These experiences also provide good indications of the character strengths and weaknesses of those who might become the future leaders of the organization. E #5 – Evaluation: Clear expectations need to be established and communicated. Leaders can then use feedback sessions and performance evaluations to gauge their progress, reviewing specific instances when their character was challenged and either stood fast or cracked. If people can improve their leadership skills individually, it might just result in better leadership nationally, even globally. Follow the five Es of leadership. There’s simply too much to lose if we don’t lead with character.