What should be the desired attributes of youth leaders?

Tan Lei Shek, Angelina Yuen

Research output: Chapter in book / Conference proceedingChapter in an edited book (as author)Academic researchpeer-review


Although there are many existing models on leadership, they have two problems. First, prevailing models focus more on the competencies (i.e., “doing”) instead of personal qualities (i.e., “being”) of leaders. Second, most of the models are developedwith reference to adults in the business settings instead of young people who are not working. Drawing on the literature on positive youth development and the experiences gained from The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, it is argued that a holistic youth leadership framework should focus on several attributes, including: a) social responsibility (passion about the needy and motivation to serve); b) excellence (excel in different areas, particularly in the domains of intrapersonal and interpersonal development); c) reflection (ability to honestly assess one’s strengths, weaknesses and behavior); d) visionary (youth leaders should have visions particularly with reference to the needs and problems of the society and the world); and e) ethical leadership (moral character is the foundation of leaders). Using the first letter in these attributes, a “SERVE” model is proposed to guide youth leadership programs.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationUniversity Students
Subtitle of host publicationPromotion of Holistic Development in Hong Kong
PublisherNova Science Publishers, Inc.
Number of pages30
ISBN (Electronic)9781536125375
ISBN (Print)9781536125351
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)


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