• Collaborative Leadership in Teens | Umbreen Bhatti | Episode 181

  • collaborative leadership in teens

    Leadership. If you have a teen who has filled out college applications or scholarship applications then you know the role leadership in teens plays in higher education. Why leadership though? Why are colleges so focused on this? And what does it really mean? Is it really about your teen being the president of every organization they participate in? Umbreen Bhatti has some unique thoughts on leadership and she’s sharing them with Mighty Parenting Podcast host Sandy Fowler. They discuss a different perspective on leadership, how it unexpectedly benefits our kids, how to help your child develop and strengthen the new leadership skills, and how those skills can be attractions for—and further evolved in—their chosen colleges.


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    A Favorite Quote from the Show: 

    Anything worth solving in the world won’t be solved by a single person.

    High Points From Our Conversation on Collaborative Leadership in Teens:

    Quote about collaborative leadership in teensStudents come to Umbreen Bhatti because they want to be change makers. They want to know, What can I do where I am?, and she helps them find that potential.

    Leadership is no longer individualistic, it’s become collaborative. The idea of a single person rising to lead is outdated.

    Collaborative leadership focuses on the impacts that ideas and actions have, not only on the self, but also on the community and others.

    We want to encourage our teens to look at leadership as a practice rather than a singular goal. Look to perform everyday acts of leadership. (Ex: How can I become class president? vs. How can I change these ideas/circumstances/goals with others over time?)

    If you’re always a leader, when are you listening?

    Leaders are problem solvers. Collaborative leadership in our teens means encouraging listening, compromising, coming to a consensus for everyone—not just the loudest or most persuasive person in the room.

    Meaningful collaborative leadership works in creating spaces for other ideas and visions to emerge.

    One beautiful example of collaborative leadership is the U.S. women’s suffrage movement. Women today can own property, inherit land, and vote because of these women who banded together before us to break that glass ceiling. Individuals may be celebrated in documentaries, but they didn’t work alone; they had sisters pushing forward alongside them.

    Group communication is important. What is each person passionate about? What do they want to solve? What do they want to investigate? Who do they admire, or want to emulate? How do they think they can contribute?

    Our society heavily fosters and encourages individualism and that’s a large contributor to the anxiety, depression, and loneliness widespread among teens today.

    We’re all deeply connected. You are never the first or the only; you’re picking up the baton from someone else.

    Collaborative leadership isn’t invalid just because it isn’t traditional—if your teen leads with a group, they can still call themselves a leader.

    We want to help students and teens see that they aren’t on lonely, unique paths. Collaboration merges those paths into a wider road, and it’s easier—and often more fun—to walk that road with company, and help.


    Athena Center for Leadership – Barnard College

    Utilizing Resources To Empower Your Teenager And College Student | Natalie Borrell and Alison Grant | Episode 48

    Motivating Teenagers And Helping Them Reach Goals | Adam Norse | Episode 105 

    Lessons For My Daughter | Carmen Caterina | Episode 156 

    What Leadership in Teens Looks Like and How It Impacts Them | Renee Sinning | Episode 169

    Our Guest Umbreen Bhatti:

    Umbreen Bhatti talks about collaborative leadership in teensUmbreen Bhatti is the Constance Hess Williams ‘66 Director of the Athena Center for Leadership at Barnard College, where she works with young women building a better world. Previously, Umbreen led the innovation lab at KQED, the Bay Area’s NPR | PBS station, and, as a John S. Knight Journalism Fellow at Stanford University, developed and hosted the podcast “Kaleidoscope: Reflections on Islam.”

    Umbreen also serves on the board of Global Press, a news organization dedicated to reinventing the craft and business of international journalism by recruiting diverse populations of local women and training them to become professional, ethical journalists. Beyond media, Umbreen has guided universities, libraries, local government, and nonprofits in their efforts to meet the needs of their communities in new and exciting ways. 

    Earlier in her career, she practiced law and taught law students as an adjunct professor. Umbreen lives in Manhattan with her husband and two children. 

    To learn more or connect with our guest visit https://athenacenter.barnard.edu/ 

    Our Sponsors:

    Inward Bound Mindfulness Education— Mindfulness courses and retreats for teens and adults iBme offers online and in-person retreats, mindfulness courses, and weekly meditations tailored for various communities of teens and young adults. Visit iBme.com to learn more and register for programs including in-person and online summer retreats.

    Omio Travel-Booking Company