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The Student Leadership Challenge: Activities Book

ISBN: 978-1-118-39010-8
240 pages
April 2014, Jossey-Bass
The Student Leadership Challenge: Activities Book (1118390105) cover image



Building on the research behind The Leadership Challenge®, The Student Leadership Challenge® approach is used by a growing number of educators who are committed to helping young people discover the leader within. Practical experience is critical to learning, and while students may respond well to presentations and discussion about The Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership® model, there is no substitute for hands-on experience that enables students to deepen their understanding as they put the Practices into action. This Activities Book will help you create thise experiences for your students. Designed for use with high school and undergraduate college students as they embark on their personal leadership journeys with The Student Leadership Challenge, and flexible enough for students of all levels, this guide includes more than 50 activities to help educators bridge the divide between teaching The Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership conceptually and helping students learn to actually apply and practice them in their lives.


"A book of genuinely effective activities for engaging students at all levels, turning the novice facilitator into a pro. It includes easy-to-use concepts that readily apply to life as a leader, and is a real difference maker that fosters success!"
Randy D. Grimes, human resources director, Duke University

"A fantastic resource for leadership educators looking to further develop students' understanding of The Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership in a tangible, hands-on way! It offers engaging activities that are sure to make an impact on your student leaders. This activity book is a great supplement to The Student Leadership Challenge, bringing the original concepts off the page and into the real world"
Kimberly Piatt, coordinator of leadership development, The College at Brockport

"An excellent one-stop resource for activities to engage students of different learning styles. Students will find the experiential nature of the activities easy to comprehend and most importantly be able to see the relevance and application of the The Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership"
Melvin Chia, principal consultant, Lifeskills Enrichment

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Table of Contents

Module 1: Introduction 1

An Overview of The Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership® 2

What Is in This Book 5

How to Use This Book 6

Guidance on Selecting and Facilitating Activities with Students 7

Module 2: Orienteering 9

A Student’s Personal Journey toward Exemplary Leadership 10

The Importance of Orienteering for Students 10

Activity: Personal-Best Leadership Experience 11

Module 3: Model the Way 19

Practice Overview 20

Why students Should Model the Way 20


Values on Display 21

Modeling the Way in Current Events 25

The Hefferlump 27

You Want What? 32

You Can Lead Anywhere 34

This We Believe 36

Legacy Day 38

Vault of Values 40

Module 4: Inspire a Shared Vision 47

Practice Overview 48

Why Students Should Inspire a Shared Vision 48


Going Up 49

Word Pictures—Articulating Your Vision 51

Giving Life to Your Vision by Reframing from What to Why 54

Visualize Yourself 58

Snapshots of Success 60

Vision, Values, and Rock and Roll 63

Sum It All Up 65

Finish the Story 68

Module 5: Challenge the Process 73

Practice Overview 74

Why Students Should Challenge the Process 74


House of Cards 75

“Orientation: The Time of Your Life”—A Skit 77

Going, Going, Gone 83

This Is How We’ve Always Done It . . . But Let’s Try Something Else 86

Turning Big Challenges into Incremental Action Steps 90

Brick Walls Don’t Have to Stop You 95

Planning with the End in Mind 99

The Six Thinking Hats 103

Module 6: Enable Others to Act 109

Practice Overview 110

Why Students Should Enable Others to Act 110


The Walk of Peril (or “Indiana Jones’s Walk”) 111

The Captains’ Dilemma 113

Tennis Ball Madness 119

A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words 124

Populating a New Planet 127

A Leader’s Walk of Trust 130

Capture the Dragon 132

Help Is on the Way 137

Module 7: Encourage the Heart 143

Practice Overview 144

Why Students Should Encourage the Heart 144


Compliment Swap 145

Praise 148

Identifying Individual Recognition Tactics 151

Encourage the Heart Party Time with Your Group 155

Recognition Car Wash 158

Recognition Speed Dating 160

Good Vibrations 163

Web of Yarn 167

Module 8: Leadership Lessons from the Movies 171

Activities 172

Lincoln 173

Soul Surfer 177

Moneyball 181

Amazing Grace 184

The Great Debaters 186

Coach Carter 190

the Lion King 193

Gandhi 195

Module 9: Commitment 199


Values-in-Action Log 200

My Year of Leadership 203

My Next Personal-Best leadership Experience 204

Other Resources 206

The Student Leadership Challenge, Second Edition 206

The Student Leadership Practices Inventory 206

The Student Leadership Challenge: Facilitation and Activity Guide and The Student Leadership Challenge: Student Workbook and Personal Leadership Journal 206

The Leadership Challenge Mobile Tool App 207

LPI Action Cards 207

The Leadership Challenge Values Cards 207

The Student Leadership Challenge Website 207

Appendix: Activities Mapped to the Student Leadership Practices Inventory Behaviors 209

Acknowledgments 217

Authors and Contributors 219

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Author Information

James Kouzes is the Dean's Executive Fellow of Leadership at the Leavey School of Business, Santa Clara University.

Barry Posner is Accolti Endowed Professor of Leadership at Stand Clara University where he has also served as dean of the Leavey School of Business.

Beth High is a Leadership Challenge Certified Master, a facilitator and leadership development trainer, and founder and president of High Road Consulting.

Gary M. Morgan has taught student leadership at a variety of universities and is the founder of the Student Leadership Excellence Academy.

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