youth worker, youth ministry, principles

The Principles of Leadership

By Doug Franklin June 4, 2012

Leadership, when you boil it down, is really a set of principles, and to lead all you have to do is apply these principles to your situation. Easy to say, hard to do. For example: you want to share Christ with your neighbor. The leadership principle you want to use is the value of risk taking. This principle states that nothing really changes without someone taking a risk. The risk is valuable because of what can happen when someone does something differently. In other words you have to value change for you to do something uncomfortable. When your value for change is higher than your comfort level you will share Christ with your neighbor. These leadership principles are very important for us who are teaching student leadership. If we give students leadership roles but fail to teach principles, students will feel unprepared, fail, and hate leadership. But if we teach the principles and give them a leadership role, we can help them on the road to becoming a leader.


Here is a list of the leadership principles we teach at LeaderTreks:


1. Focus Precedes Success:

Leaders must be focused to be successful. This principle addresses maturity as a leader and as a believer.


2. Burden + Passion + Vision = Mission:

Leaders know their mission in life. They have been through this process and live their life with a goal in mind. Students need to identify their mission to help them make future decisions.


3. The Value of Risk Taking:

The ability to take risks is a key to being a leader. Taking risks can lead to failure, but failure leads to success. Students who understand this don’t allow their fear to keep them from taking risks.


4. Chart the Course:

Being able to make the plans that allow you to reach your goals is an important ingredient to leadership. We want students to learn the value of making and flowing through on their plans.


5. Navigating Obstacles:

Every leader will face obstacles as they lead. Navigation is the ability to foresee obstacles and make the changes necessary to overcome them. Student leaders need to think on their feet as they lead.


6. Intentional Communication:

Leaders understand that their words are very powerful. They incorporate both praise and criticism in effective ways. The mark of a good student leader is one who uses their words wisely.


7. Conflict Resolution:

Conflict is a constant struggle for leaders. Resolving conflict is an important leadership skill. We teach students not only to resolve conflict, but to prevent it when possible.


8. Never Underestimate a Champion:

Teams need leaders who are champions. People follow a champion. Student leaders who give their all become champions for their team.


9. Finish Strong:

Leaders see projects through to the end. Many students struggle with the ability to stay with a mission until it is completed.


10. Leader of Leaders:

Leaders create leaders. True leaders are marked by the people they’ve developed, not the projects they’ve done. Students who learn this lesson become powerful leaders.

About the Author

Doug Franklin

Doug Franklin is the president of LeaderTreks, an innovative leadership development organization focusing on students and youth workers. Doug and his wife, Angie, live in West Chicago, Illinois. They don’t have any kids, but they have 2 dogs that think they are children. Diesel and Penelope are Weimaraners  who never leave their side. Doug grew up in…  Read More