+1 (603) 932 7897


10 Qualities of Great High School Leaders

10 Qualities of Great High School Leaders

In our lives, we have all most likely encountered an outstanding leader, loved by the people around them, and whose qualities always shine, making them both inspiring and influential. However, what we don’t often see is that even the most confident of leaders had to start somewhere. Cultivating your leadership skills in high school can help you grow as a person and give you essential tools for your future. Read to learn more about ten qualities of a great high school leader so you can be prepared to be the next leader!

There are opportunities to become a high school leader everywhere around you, from inside your own school to outside organizations. When entering high school, you should participate in as many interesting activities as possible, narrow them down as you find your passions, and eventually focus on and seek out leadership roles in the organizations that you genuinely enjoy. Cultivating certain leadership qualities will give you an important edge when running for leadership roles.

1. Confident Decision-Making Skills

To become a leader, you must have strong decision-making skills. Being a student leader means that you will often be asked to make hard decisions while considering different viewpoints and perspectives at any given time during new or challenging situations. Hence, you should practice making and standing by decisions in your everyday life. However, it’s important to note that being a good student leader also means considering what’s best for your organization rather than your personal interests.

2. Active Listening Skills

Therefore, before making important decisions that impact everyone, a great high school leader should practice being an effective listener. Listening is more than just nodding and agreeing; it involves actively working to understand everyone’s perspectives, as well as acknowledging and considering their points of view. A successful leader has the capability to assess different opinions and work towards a mutual solution. A strong listener is also willing to compromise based on the needs and ideas of others, rather than forcing their own opinion. By utilizing these skills, a leader can effectively create a unified group setting where everyone feels heard and respected.

3. Strong Communication Skills

Part of being a good leader is making sure to address and discuss the needs and wants of their community. Being able to have clear and informed dialogues about these issues is essential to make members of your group feel seen and heard, as well as opening the door for group participation and new ideas. Leaders don’t have to be experts in every field, but they must take the time to understand everyone’s needs and address them. In addition, when presenting their own ideas and goals, a leader must be open and respectful.

Outstanding high school leaders are transparent in their actions and decisions. Good leaders will openly communicate with their group throughout the decision-making process, developing trust between them and those they represent. Moreover, ensuring the communication is clear and compelling makes a truly successful leader.

4. Time Management

Proper time management is a crucial skill for leaders. Effective leaders are able to juggle multiple tasks on a daily basis, which requires excellent organization, delegation, and prioritization skills. Being able to plan in advance helps student leaders accomplish tasks efficiently and achieve their goals. A leader with time management skills will be able to easily adjust and be flexible when tasks become more complex or additional responsibilities are added. Additionally, leaders must be able to recognize when they are feeling overwhelmed so that they can properly prioritize or delegate tasks, giving them room to focus on the most important tasks and take time for self-care.

5. Having a Vision and a Plan

Most leaders are great visionaries. To be a visionary, a leader must have a clear vision of the future they want to see, and an overall development plan for how their organization can get there. With clear communication and a fiery passion, visionaries can motivate people to take action and lead members to work towards a common goal. The 80-20 rule, also known as the Pareto Principle, indicates that 80% of outcomes result from 20% of their causes. So, when working towards a specific vision, a leader with a clear plan will be able to focus on and delegate the most important 20% of actionable steps first in order to achieve 80% of their goal, whilst the remaining 80% of less important steps can take secondary importance. Furthermore, an inspiring vision can give people meaning and purpose, helping their efforts have meaning, and allowing them to participate in the “why” of what you’re doing.

6. Data Analytics Skills

In the process of making decisions, high school leaders must master data analytics. With the overwhelming amount of available information, the ability to leverage and filter that data to inform a decision is a crucial factor for success. Leaders with excellent data analytical skills are especially valuable since they can solve problems by combining various disciplines and perspectives. Furthermore, they promote information sharing, transparency, and collaboration throughout the problem-solving process.

7. Positivity and a Constructive Attitude

Positivity isn’t just about your attitude, but also the feedback that you give and how you deal with problems. In short, it’s “ leaders who care, who empower their members, and who support them” that become successful. To go into more detail, positive leaders must first foster a compassionate environment through their own behavior. Leaders should express care and concern about their members, and constantly highlight individual and group achievements. Additionally, leaders should foster positive relationships and a robust feedback system that handles problems with empathy and constructive criticism. If you want to read more about positive leadership, check out Positive Psychology, which discusses crucial traits, implementation methods, and training options.

8. Make Other People Feel Valued

It’s a leader’s responsibility to make sure other members of a group feel valued and appreciated for their contributions, especially in a high school organization where no one is being compensated for their efforts and time. To show this appreciation, leaders should respect members’ opinions and perspectives, encourage them to challenge themselves, and reward them. Most often, a good reward is a verbal acknowledgment of the particular efforts that a member is making, as well as communicating the impact that their actions have made to the larger group.

9. Accountability

People say that taking responsibility is the highest mark of a great leader. As a leader, accountability means owning the consequences of your (or group) decisions, and stepping up to discuss and implement solutions to the problem. When taking responsibility, you should evaluate the problem and identify what went wrong to develop a better course of action in the future. However, it’s also very important to admit when you don’t have the answers or access to solutions and ask for help when you need it. This shows that you are humble enough to accept when things go wrong, but are also confident enough to learn from it and enact a solution.

10. Serving Others

Being a leader means serving others—your team members, your advisor, your school, your community—whoever is responsible for the organization’s development and operation. A true leader will always make themselves accessible and available to others in need of help or support, sometimes even reaching out first. Because leaders understand that collective efforts from team members are essential to make vision and goals come true, they put their members’ needs first, and support their group to encourage members to grow and do their best.

11. Trustworthy

Great leaders are trustworthy, but what makes a trustworthy leader? It’s a combination of all the traits we have mentioned. A trustworthy leader invests in their relationships with members by showing genuine care and an open heart, making members feel safe to confide in them. Another essential point that makes a trustworthy leader is exemplifying your confident decision-making, strong communication skills, and accountability while working under pressure. By consistently practicing these qualities, your community will learn that you are a reliable person, and always have their and the whole group’s best interests in mind.

Being a leader is challenging, and requires taking on extra responsibilities, which can be especially daunting in high school. However, being a leader is also an incredible opportunity to cultivate meaningful skills, grow as a person, and prepare for your future. If you have the opportunity to step into a leadership position during high school, seize the opportunity!


Inquire Today for Class Pricing and Enrollment
Related Articles
Inquire Today for Class Pricing and Enrollment
Scroll to Top