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The Student Leadership Challenge: Five Practices for Becoming an Exemplary Leader, 2nd Edition

ISBN: 978-1-118-39007-8
304 pages
February 2014, Jossey-Bass
The Student Leadership Challenge: Five Practices for Becoming an Exemplary Leader, 2nd Edition (1118390075) cover image


Note from the publisher: This edition includes an access code so students can take the Student Leadership Practices Inventory Self Online, a brief, 30-question assessment to help them explore their own leadership behaviors and skills and determine the steps they can take to liberate the leader within and become their best selves. If you rent or purchase a used book, the access code may have been redeemed previously and will no longer work.

In this updated and expanded second edition of The Student Leadership Challenge, James Kouzes and Barry Posner apply their extensive research and expertise to demonstrate that anyone can be a leader, regardless of age or experience. They challenge high school and undergraduate college students to examine their leadership actions and aspirations. Your students will learn from first-hand leadership stories from young leaders like themselves around the world, helping them to deeply understand and explore The Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership:

  • Model the Way
  • Inspire a Shared Vision
  • Challenge the Process
  • Enable Others to Act
  • Encourage the Heart

The book guides students through the concrete actions they can take to become exemplary leaders, from finding their voice and clarifying their values, to recognizing others' contributions and celebrating others’ victories. The authors ask readers to reflect at the end of each chapter on their own leadership experiences and abilities now and for the future.

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Table of Contents

Preface: Making Extraordinary Things Happen with Others xi

1 Introduction: When People Are at Their Best as Leaders 3

The Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership


2 Commitment #1: Clarify Values 22

Find Your Voice

Affirm Shared Values

3 Commitment #2: Set the Example 40

Live the Shared Values

Teach Others to Model the Values


4 Commitment #3: Envision the Future 66

Imagine the Possibilities

Find a Common Purpose

5 Commitment #4: Enlist Others 89

Appeal to Common Ideals

Animate the Vision


6 Commitment #5: Search for Opportunities 114

Seize the Initiative

Exercise Outsight

7 Commitment #6: Experiment and Take Risks 136

Generate Small Wins

Learn from Experience


8 Commitment #7: Foster Collaboration 164

Create a Climate of Trust

Facilitate Relationships

9 Commitment #8: Strengthen Others 186

Enhance Self-Determination

Coach for Competence and Confi dence


10 Commitment #9: Recognize Contributions 212

Expect the Best

Personalize Recognition

11 Commitment #10: Celebrate the Values and the Victories 234

Create a Spirit of Community

Get Personally Involved

12 A Call to Action for Young Leaders 257

Your Continuing Leadership Journey

Acknowledgments 269

About the Authors 273

Index 277

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Author Information

JAMES KOUZES and BARRY POSNER have been working together for more than thirty years, studying leaders, researching leadership, conducting leadership development seminars, and serving as leaders themselves in various capacities. They are coauthors of the award-winning, best-selling book The Leadership Challenge.

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Press Release

February 18, 2014
The Student Leadership Challenge: Five Practices for Becoming an Exemplary Leader

With leadership development and training now a staple at colleges and universities across North America, and in youth organizations and academic settings in Asia, Australia, Europe, the Middle East, South America and Africa, the realization is already upon us. We cannot wait until people are in their 30s and 40s to teach them how to lead themselves and others to greatness. “The more we research and the more we write about leadership,” say Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner in the new second edition of THE STUDENT LEADERSHIP CHALLENGE, “the more confident we become that leadership is within the grasp of everyone.”

THE STUDENT LEADERSHIP CHALLENGE: Five Practices For Becoming An Exemplary Leader is an evidenced-based model for student leadership development. It is steeped in ongoing research that helps to inform, inspire and encourage student leaders. With a mix of stories from around the world, reflective and critical thinking activities, this book invites young people to see themselves in one another as it demonstrates how students can help to do extraordinary things.

The Five Practices for Exemplary Leadership is the foundation or model upon which the book is written. The model is widely regarded for its accessibility and ease of use as a stand-alone leadership model or one that can be used with other leadership programs.

In addition, THE STUDENT LEADERSHIP CHALLENGE: Five Practices for Becoming An Exemplary Leader:

-          Includes an access code for students to take the Student Leadership Practices Inventory Online (Student LPI) to access their current leadership skills

-          Can be used with high-school, college, undergraduate and young professionals

-          Now includes 12 chapters that allow for deeper exploration of stories and activities

-          Includes leadership stories and examples from students around the world



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