Leadership. This word is all around us, whether in international speeches and lectures or conversations at the dinner table. Some people lead a team, some direct a business, and others steer communities and countries.
When we think of a leader, many of us picture an all-knowing hero who guides his trusting followers to success, but this image is not quite the reality of modern leaders.
So how is leadership defined, and what determines whether or not you have the potential to be in charge?
Leadership is not a fixed idea. It does not have just one meaning, and each individual has different ideas of what makes an ideal leader.
There are no set guidelines or qualities that determine whether or not someone can be a leader. A leader is not a person who has more power than everyone else, but a person who has the ability to influence and motivate others, and who aims to turn their goals into reality.
Being a leader is not something that can be achieved by rote learning or memorising a formula - true leadership must come from within.
So how do you know if you have what it takes? This is where the Hong Kong Union for Young Leaders comes in.
HKUYL is a non-profit, student-based organisation. It recognises and develops the leadership abilities of secondary school students. This is achieved through activities including seminars, social service projects and training camps. They provide contact with recognised leaders in today's society.
Through a year-long programme, HKUYL hopes to build lifelong friendships between the participants, called Campers, and help them to find their own personal definitions of leadership.
The first activity of the year is the Global Awareness Project. Campers identify and analyse both local and international problems. The project trains the campers' analytical skills and awareness, to help them realise their identities as global citizens.
The Youth Leadership Seminar is another major event and one of the highlights of the year for the union. Participants learn about different aspects of leadership, such as effective communication, motivating people and goal-setting. Campers take part in imaginary scenarios, team games and reflection exercises, to try and understand more about themselves and those around them.
Ten outstanding students from the Youth Leadership Seminar are nominated to participate in the Hugh O'Brian Youth World Leadership Congress held in Chicago, in the US, every summer.
The year ends with the Camper-cum-Committee Project. This provides campers with the opportunity to take all of the leadership skills they have learned and put them into practice.
This project differs from previous ones, because the campers are responsible for splitting into different groups and assigning roles among themselves. They are then responsible for organising projects for others in Hong Kong.
The 22nd Hong Kong Union for Young Leaders has introduced the theme "Venture Beyond the Uncharted" in the hopes of taking HKUYL to new heights. The union wants to encourage campers to push limits and challenge boundaries.
By bringing together elite students from Hong Kong's secondary schools, HKUYL is building an extensive network of future leaders, and lasting friendships.
By encouraging passionate and creative individuals, the union hopes to motivate, guide and inspire the leaders of tomorrow.