While there may have been a time when women settled for less in their careers, modern women are making moves in the workplace. As of January 2023, female CEOs run more than 10% of Fortune 500 companies, compared to about 4% in 2013. Hard work and perseverance are as important as ever, but more than that, young women need to learn leadership skills to thrive. These are a few essential leadership skills that can fuel success in school and beyond.


Communication is key for anyone looking to lead. Effective communication involves active listening, nonverbal cues, reading comprehension and clear, concise writing. These skills can make the difference between a leader and an ambitious follower. Everyone communicates differently, so becoming a truly effective communicator involves trial and error. Students can hone their communication skills by asking more questions, keeping a daily journal and practicing difficult conversations in the mirror to watch their own body language.

Problem Solving

To effectively lead a team, it’s important to have a solution-focused approach. A leader needs to be aware of every problem and potential problem, but more importantly, they need to find solutions. This often involves enlisting the help of team members for insight. The important part isn’t who solves the problem; it’s that the problem gets solved.


This can be one of the most difficult aspects of leadership for an ambitious student. However, trust can make or break relationships. High school students know better than anyone else how difficult it can be to heal after trust is broken. Honesty and transparency go a long way in any kind of relationship. This doesn’t mean oversharing, but it does mean trusting others enough to build relationships. It also means avoiding the trap of gossip, no matter how tempting it may be. If you want to be trusted, you need to be trustworthy. 


The only constant in life is change. No matter how well you plan or how stable things seem, you can count on situations coming up that require you to adapt. While you need to be decisive to be an effective leader, it’s just as important to know when it’s time to change course. Being open minded goes beyond planning for different outcomes. It also means actively listening to others, especially when their ideas differ from your own. Allowing an open exchange of ideas will make everyone feel included and therefore more understanding when plans need to change. 


Never forget that you’re part of a team. Whether you’re a team captain, club president or the leader on a class project, your purpose as a leader is to make sure the team meets their goals. This means assisting your team members in meeting their goals while making sure your team hits the mark. It also means providing positive and constructive feedback as needed. When you empower others to succeed, you’ll be amazed by what they can do. 

At Presentation, we recognize that students are the future. Through leadership programs and classroom instruction, we empower the young women at our school to become strong, effective leaders. Want to know why Presentation High School might be the best fit for your student? Give us a call at (408) 264-1664.

  • Leadership