STUDENT LEADERShIP Qualities that Student Leadership BY DONNA RICE Exem L iterature about leadership is abundant—and yet a concise understanding of what leader-ship entails remains elusive. As with most aspects of highly effective people, effective leadership begins with the individual. Until a person is self-actualized, external relationships and communications are often unpredictable and potentially flawed. The paradox is that young people need exposure to situa-tions that require them to lead, in order to develop individual skills that will enable them to be successful group and commu-nity leaders. Effective student leaders step out and risk failure because they know failure and disappointment are a normal part of growth. They work hard to learn about leadership and welcome opportunities to hone their skills for leadership. As with learning a foreign language, success is gained not from the classroom instruction about language (though very important), but from learning for fluency through im -mersion. At first, new language students have a hard time expressing themselves and understanding what others are say-ing. They definitely mispronounce many of their words, which sometimes invokes others’ laughter and their own embar-rassment. Language learners are forced to take risks, exposing themselves to criti-www.acteonline.org PhOTO COURTESY OF ThE U.S. ARMY 28 Techniques Ma Y 2011 Mentoring, tutoring, and computer skills— all a part of the JROTC program.