Do you plan on leading your life or following everybody else? Everyone I encounter, plans on leading his or her life; yet most do not see themselves as a leader. Would developing your leadership skills give you an advantage in creating a successful personal life? If your answer is yes, then read on.

Through the Youth4Youth Program we learn the one quality that separates a leader from everyone else is…a leader has vision. We also discoverwe are not born a leader, but we are trained to be a leader and that is why we recommend you train daily.

Here are four easy ways to help you train daily and develop your leadership skills:

1.         Read. Always have one or more books you are reading that are uplifting, inspiring or positive. Start each day reading two pages. It is not the amount we read; it is the quality of the information (It is also highly recommended to end your day reading two pages.). The purpose is to always be pointing your mind in a positive direction, while increasing your leadership skills and creativity.

2.         Take lots of notes. Notes make learning much easier and moves learning to a deeper level. You may never read these notes again, but if you do, you will find you are unconsciously applying the information you read.  

3.         Set Goals. Your goals MUST be in writing. Make sure they are achievable, measurable and specific. Set a date when you will accomplish each goal. READ your goals daily. (Ideally, do this first thing in the morning and just before bed.) SEE yourself as how you will be when you have achieved your goal (leaders have vision). FEEL the feelings you will feel when you have reached your goal. BELIEVE it’s possible and let it go…then go about your day.

4.         Step out of your comfort zone. Would you like to go through life with confidence? We all live within a box called our comfort zone. As a leader, you want to find one opportunity each day to step out of your comfort zone. It may be asking a question in class or speaking up when you see someone being treated unkindly by others. You may volunteer to do an assignment, read in front of the class or help someone who doesn’t understand something. The more we expand our comfort zone, the more confidence we develop and the bigger our world becomes resulting in more opportunities. The idea is to make the world your box!

Have patience, practice these easy steps and one day you will realize you are the one making the path and leaving the trail for others to follow. And if others see you as lucky…you will know in your heart — it was because you decided to train daily and develop your leadership skills.

Author Larry Tracey, is founder of Youth4Youth. Y4Y develops success and leadership skills in youth and promotes school safety by treating everyone with respect. He serves as WOW Coalition Program Director, a prevention association that promotes safe and healthy choices and responds to problems caused by alcohol, marijuana and Rx abuse by implementing strategies to prevent and reduce youth substance use. For additional information visit or