council retreat

Are You Into It?

Leaders influence and support others in a positive manner for a shared goal. Leaders aren't just elected. You can be a member of committees, small groups and teams. Learning about yourself and how you work with others is a key part of developing leadership skills.

  • Understand roles, attitudes, tasks and functions necessary for effective leadership.
  • Strengthen local 4-H units in leadership responsibility and encourage other youth.
  • Participate in program planning, development, and implementation; help recruit new members and leaders.

Here’s what you can do all year!

Starting Out Basic / Level 1

  • Job shadow or interview a local leader
  • Take responsibility for a weekly chore in your home
  • Plan and present a fun club activity
  • Identify non-verbal communication behaviors
  • Create a weekly schedule for you and your family
  • Organize a space in your home

Learning More Intermediate / Level 2

  • Make a list of what motivates you; interview others to find out what motivates them and compare the lists
  • Identify characteristics of a good leader and how leaders develop trust
  • Practice and deliver a presentation
  • Identify talents in your club, group or community
  • Work with members to establish ground rules for club meetings
  • Experiment with different group decision making techniques

Expanding Horizons Advanced / Level 3

  • Plan and present a project workshop
  • Run for office in your club
  • Create a list of your strengths and weaknesses
  • Practice interviewing with an adult
  • Write a personal vision and mission statement
  • Plan a meeting
  • Develop and implement a school survey of students, teachers and administrators
  • Identify various leadership styles

Take It Further

Leadership Hot Sheet 
(color pdf)
Leadership Exhibits Tip Sheet 
(color pdf) - coming soon
Poster Exhibits Tip Sheet
(color pdf)
Exhibitor Fair Information Form
(Word or editable PDF)
Exhibit Evaluation Form (pdf)
Add Service Learning to your Leadership Project!

Step It Up

Pass it on! Now that you know how, share it with others. Here are ideas to get you started.


  • Notify families about club activities
  • Give a presentation on parliamentary procedure or other decision-making methods
  • Create a club web page
  • Write a letter to an elected official about an issue that's important to you or your community
  • Conduct Club Officer training
  • Create a video to promote 4-H


  • Organize and lead a Service-Learning project
  • Make arrangements for your club's next service project
  • Investigate a historical leader and share their accomplishments
  • Volunteer to serve on a committee for your next town celebration
  • Mentor a younger member with record-keeping and preparing exhibits for fair
  • Join a political campaign for a candidate you support
  • Serve on a local board that deals with youth issues

Explore Leadership

Volunteer to serve on your county 4-H Youth Committee
Conduct a workshop at the State 4-H Volunteer Retreat
Is it fair time? Consider taking an exhibit, a piece of your project learning to the fair for judging and to show off what you have learned throughout the year. It might get selected to go to the Iowa State Fair.
Contact your county ISU Extension Office for other local workshops, activities, and events.
Meet others interested in leadership. Check out camps at the Iowa 4-H Center.
Attend Iowa 4-H Youth Conference and participate in workshops, motivational speakers and a community service project, bringing ideas back to your community
Apply for National 4-H Congress, National 4-H Conference, State 4-H Council, a Counselor-In-Training position at the Iowa 4-H Center, a Page position at the State Legislature, volunteer or paid positions at the Iowa State Fair
Interested in a college education in the area of political science, business administration, teaching, public service administration in agriculture or community and regional planning? Schedule a visit with Iowa State University and explore those majors.

Exhibit Ideas

Make a poster with a timeline to demonstrate a historic leader's rise and accomplishments
Exhibit a calendar or log of weekly responsibilities in your home
Create before and after photos of a room you organized, focusing on the development of your organizational skills
Give a presentation on the elements of an effective meeting
Develop a graphic organizer to showcase the talents in your club or community
Visually represent on a display the timeline and your process of leading a community service project
Create a poster sharing a club contract your group has created and share how your group came up with it
Create a series of workshops teaching other 4-Hers a project skill.  Video tape and put them up on the web so others have access
Take a personal inventory to analyze your leadership style and share a journal or display about what you learned and how it affects your work in groups
Create a scrapbook showing your leadership roles in the clubs or organizations you participate in
Create a resume showcasing your skills, strengths

Share |