The Student Leadership Challenge: Activities Book

Get more than 50 new activities for teaching The Student Leadership Challenge.
James M. Kouzes, Barry Z. Posner, Beth High, and Gary M. Morgan

The Student Leadership Challenge Activities Book includes more than 50 activities educators can use to bridge the gap between teaching The Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership model and seeing students apply the Practices to their lives. The flexible activities map to each of The Five Practices and are designed to greatly improve students’ understanding of model through action. The activities include facilitator tips for use in a variety of settings and with various age groups.
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

About the Authors
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 Santa Clara University where hehas 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.

What they are saying...

"[The Student Leadership Challenge] (book) is a gift to university educators who teach leadership courses or develop trainings. workshops, and retreats."
– Laura Osteen
Florida State University

What they are saying...

"This is a great opportunity for any person looking to develop a program that involves The Student Leadership Challenge."
– Miguel Trevino
Texas A&M International University

What they are saying...

"Employers are looking for students who have content knowledge and practical experience working in teams and leading others. The Student Leadership Challenge is an excellent example of the behaviors needed to accomplish extraordinary tasks that can get you noticed by a potential employer."
– Kevin Bailey, vice president for student affairs
University of West Florida

What they are saying...

"Within the academy, we are constantly seeking additional tools to assist us in teaching the valuable lesson of leadership development for students. The Student Leadership Challenge is an excellent resource to assist in the important goal of helping students to become better leaders and, ultimately, stellar citizens in the communities of the world.
– Victor K Wilson, vice president for student affairs
The University of Geogia

What they are saying...

"In our public service leadership programs and courses we will be able to easily use the many relevant and engaging activities and reflection exercises provided in this workbook. It will enable our students to better engage with and benefit from The Student Leadership Challenge, and will also help foster their personal leadership development journeys."
– Jon McConnell, associate director,
Haas Center for Public Service, Stanford University

What they are saying...

"Every young person dreams of doing something extraordinary. The Student Leadership Challenge provides everything this generation needs to turn a dream into reality."
– Brian C. Warren Jr., executive director
Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity

What they are saying...

"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.

What they are saying...

"The Facilitation and Activity Guide would have helped me not only to develop a better leadership program but to be a better leader myself. For those administering The Five Practices, this guide ‘Models the way’ and will be one of your best coaches."
– Sam Eriksmoen, former director, Emerging Leaders Program
University of North Dakota