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  • Writer's pictureTina Dierna

Building Leaders: Outdoor Leadership Training for Youth in the Workforce

Working outdoors not only has a host of benefits associated with it, but it can show who is a leader and who is content to follow. Many skills that contribute to a better team also contribute to the success of the individual. For example, adaptability is a great trait to have both in the workforce and out. It allows one to roll with the punches, and become unfazed when things do not go your way.

When things go awry, a capable leader will stay calm and collected, and take action. Collaboration is also another vital skill that is needed in leaders. Ivana says, "I enjoyed assembling the garden bed with everyone. Everyone collaborated and worked together as a team." The leader must communicate to everyone, with clear intent. In order for understanding to happen, the people must listen. Trust must be built and maintained in order for the leader to lead effectively and efficiently.

Leadership is something that does not come easy. It takes a certain kind of person to take the reins and do what needs to be done. Aurora says, "My group, Siobhan, Jonathan, and I, were using the tablet to add garden beds and plants. We added some large tomatoes and potatoes, almost the size of the garden bed onto the tablet. Then Tina joined in and added some benches to have an outdoor classroom." Both Aurora and Tina displayed effective leadership in using the AR tablet to complete their goals, which was to visualize how the garden bed would look like in real life. In essence, leadership boils down to a couple of things: the ability to focus at the task at hand, empathy, and management of people's personalities.

Empathy is very important in leadership, because that is how one connects to their group. Empathy begets empathy, in that it allows for people to grow closer together, as well as helping yourself grow as a person. Leadership skills are key to working outdoors because the environment is an unpredictable place, and learning these skills will help you to be a better worker and employee.

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