Lessons from Young Leaders Around the World

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Leadership is an essential quality that plays a significant role in shaping an individual’s life. It is a quality that can be nurtured and developed from an early age. That is why it is essential to instill leadership qualities in youth. In today’s world, where the youth are the future, it is essential to focus on nurturing leadership qualities in them. In this blog post, we will discuss the importance of leadership in youth and how it can be developed.

The Importance of Leadership in Youth

Leadership plays a crucial role in the development of youth. It helps them to become responsible and accountable individuals. When youth possess leadership skills, they become more confident and can face challenges in life with a positive attitude. Leadership skills also help youth to develop decision-making skills, which are essential in various aspects of life, including academics, career, and personal life.

Leadership skills in youth also help in the development of a sense of responsibility towards society. Youth can contribute to society in various ways, including volunteering, community service, and mentoring others. When youth take up leadership roles, they become role models for others and inspire them to become leaders themselves.

Developing Leadership in Youth

Developing leadership skills in youth can be done in various ways. Firstly, parents and teachers can encourage youth to take up leadership roles in school and other activities. They can also encourage youth to participate in community service and volunteering activities, which help in the development of leadership skills.

Youth can also attend leadership training programs and workshops, which provide them with the necessary skills and knowledge to become leaders. These programs focus on various aspects of leadership, including communication skills, decision-making skills, and problem-solving skills.

Finally, youth can also learn leadership skills by observing and learning from leaders in various fields. They can read books, watch videos, and attend talks by successful leaders, which can inspire and motivate them to become leaders themselves.

At AIESEC, we believe that leadership is for every young person. We are a community of passionate young people driven by one cause: peace and fulfillment of humankind’s potential. Let’s hear what some of our young leaders have learned through their AIESEC experience.

Flickr, AIESEC International

Lesson 1: Challenges are the best checkpoint!

“In this organization, we are used to taking on challenges. We believe that a challenging environment will enable us to bring out our best potential. Before knowing AIESEC, I was a person who tended to like security. I don’t like the uncertainty and challenges that frighten me. 

But now I realize that every challenge I take at AIESEC can be a good thing to see how far I have progressed. I can measure myself more fairly. Experience is the best teacher, and during my AIESEC experience, I know that I learned many things here. I thank everyone who has trusted me to be able to take on many challenges with AIESEC.” 

– Lukas Yahya, AIESEC in Indonesia

Lesson 2: Kindness is king!

Kindness is often seen as a valuable trait or a weakness in leadership, but it’s not. Being a kind leader is being open to a culture of healthy feedback, mentoring, and empowerment. In fact, back when I was an Local Committee Vice President , I used to be called the Vice President with a smile. Why? Because it’s free, and it looks good on my face. Kindness and great leadership complement each other beyond just the relationship you have with your team. Studies show it also increases performance. Kind leaders are supportive, honest, and comfortable to work with, and we are obviously the best.

Get yourself a kind leader or be one.”

– Mohamed Khenchouche, AIESEC in Algeria

Lesson 3: Learn NOT to expect the unexpected… or anything at all, really.

“Back when I was a member in 2019, I had the opportunity to attend my first national congress. This was before COVID, so it was an in-person experience and the first real chance I had to experience the multiculturality that the organization preaches, at least in the national sense.

The first day rolls around. We’re doing the LC Time for feedback and opinions, and the Executive Board asks me how my day was if I felt like I was learning, etc.

My response at the time was something along the lines of “It doesn’t really feel like what I expected.” Cold-hearted, critical, and ungrateful. Back then, I wasn’t really aware of the privilege I was living at the time, and It showed my lack of maturity. The worst thing is that as I write this, I can’t really recall what my expectations were at the time.

That was, of course, until someone snapped me out of it and reality-checked me. A member of the Conference Committee, who was an alumnus of my LC, spoke to me at the party and said something that I’ll never forget: “Nothing is going to meet your expectations if you are not open to it in the first place.” It clicked with me.

I was being close-minded, and while good things were happening around me, I wasn’t taking the opportunity to enjoy those moments because I was focused on what it wasn’t instead of what it was.

Today, I find myself much more open and grateful for the opportunities that are present in my life. I feel happier and more fulfilled since I learned that sometimes, the best thing you can expect is nothing at all, and let yourself be surprised. Most often than not, it’s going to be in a positive way.

Thank you, Flavio.”

– Sebastián Aguillera, AIESEC in Venezuela

Lesson 4: Leadership is about taking actions

“I learned this throughout my experience in AIESEC. Every time I had to describe or say what the most remarkable people in my experience were, I would choose people that took action toward a problem or a situation. That is the leader I want to be in a working or normal environment. 

I remember when I was the Member Committee President and the financial situation post-COVID wasn’t good. Hence, we needed to make decisions but also to act upon them because, if not, things wouldn’t happen. So I sat with my MC and decided to cut the budget, close entities that were sucking resources, and focus on what was actually working and the entities that were actually working. Many people weren’t happy with it, but those were the actions to be taken to move forward with the organization.”

– Sergio Morales, AIESEC in France

Lesson 5: To be a good leader, you have to know yourself.

“During my AIESEC experience, I have learned that to be a good leader, you have to be aware of yourself, your potential, your strengths, and your points of improvement. Through AIESEC, I had the opportunity to understand my potential and the power of my ideas and opinions. I concretely see the impact I can have on other people just by listening to them, giving constructive feedback, and suggesting my solutions.”

– Alessia Farci, AIESEC in Italy

Lesson 6: The right leadership can transform people

“During my AIESEC year, I was in several leadership positions, including team member and team leader. This organization has made me aware of how important it is to apply a good leadership pattern because this is crucial in forming people, not just about duties and responsibilities. When I am a team member, I can take every valuable lesson that my leader applies and vice versa. I can find out what is lacking so I can improve it in the future. It is important not only to learn how to lead but also to know how to be led. When I become a leader, I will be responsible not only for my duties but also for every member who is behind me. Members are a reflection of their leader. At least, that’s what I believe. This mindset makes me always try to apply skills and values ​​to every member that I lead. I realize that everyone has different potential. Therefore it takes a different way for everyone.” 

– Lukas Yahya, AIESEC in Indonesia

Lesson 7: Be a source of inspiration

“I joined AIESEC in October 2018, in every role I took, and in the more than 50 teams I’ve been in, AIESEC has given me the chance to be leader in a team or be a team player. I saw how powerful and how big changes we can make together. The motivation inside me increased every day, even though I struggled. because I learned to motivate people and find motivation with them. For me, leadership means motivating people for a purpose, being able to inspire them and walking on the same path in harmony. It also means not holding back from taking responsibility and always taking steps to maximize your potential.

– Kezban TAŞ, AIESEC in Germany


Leadership is a crucial quality that can make a significant difference in the lives of youth. It helps them to become responsible and accountable individuals, contribute to society, and face challenges in life with a positive attitude. Developing leadership skills in youth is essential, and it can be done through various means, including encouraging youth to take up leadership roles, attending leadership training programs, and learning from successful leaders. By nurturing leadership qualities in youth, we can create a better future for generations to come.Are you interested in developing your leadership and becoming a value-driven leader? AIESEC has plenty of opportunities for young, global-minded people keen to change the world. Head to our website to find out more.


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