When asked, most school will tell you that they're 'creating future leaders'. However, if they were pressed they wouldn't be able to tell you much more than that. Helping your students develop leadership skills is a noble goal, so here's some pointers on the best way to help them develop those skills.
1. Know when to delegate
As you probably well know, it's tempting to try and get everything done yourself. You're in charge, so you're the one who should complete everything, right? In fact, any good leader knows the strengths of the people in their team, and delegates to them when appropriate. Encourage your students to ask for help when they need it.
2. Look at the big picture
Focusing on the smaller details means you'll have full control of them, but you'll be missing what's going on around you. Show your students how looking at the bigger picture means they will have context for what's happening in their lives. They'll see that everything is connected and needs to be considered, to benefit everybody that they're leading.
3. Be authentic in everything you do
As a teacher, you need to lead by example. Show your students that being authentic is the way to go. If you're honest about your principles, they'll see that you won't waver when you're really asked to act on them. A leader who will stick to their beliefs is a leader that can be trusted.
4. Learn from your mistakes
Show your students that making mistakes isn't the end of the world. If they have a problem or do something wrong, work with them to put it right, and then put it behind them. Good leaders learn from their mistakes, and use that information to make things better going forward. If you show your students this, they won't be afraid to slip up and learn from their errors.
5. Learn to communicate effectively
A common image of a leader is that of a captain barking orders at the people under their command. In fact, good leaders know it's much better to listen to their team mates, rather than just ordering them around. Demonstrate this by involving your students in decisions as much as possible, and valuing their opinions. They'll see that they respect you more if you do that, and will carry that lesson with them into life outside of the classroom.
6. Accept you can't know everything
Being a leader means you know everything, right? Wrong. You lead your classroom, and you know you don't have all the answers. A good leader isn't infallible, they're just honest about not knowing the right answer all the time. Instead, what they do is ask questions and keep themselves as informed as possible. Don't be afraid not to have all the answers for your students, and ask them for their input. They'll see that it's possible to lead and have to ask for help at the same time.
7. Encourage others to participate
As a teacher, you'll know you're doing your job well if your students are willing to get involved in class activities. A leader helps everybody feel like a vital part of the team, meaning they're more likely to speak up and do their part. Encourage your students to get involved, whether that's in voicing their ideas or creating a role for themselves in group activities.
A leader is someone who can bring a group of people together and help them achieve a shared vision. If you can embody these values to your students, you'll have no problem in developing future leaders.