Youth Leadership Books

This is a great list of youth leadership books for personal reading or to use within a group setting.

Youth Leadership Education through leadership

50 Great Things Leaders Do: Let’s Get Fired Up! by Frank Rudnesky (2007)

101 Ways to Integrate Personal Development Into Core Curriculum: Lessons in Character Education for Grades K-12 by Mary Ann Conroy (University Press of America, 2000)

A Higher Standard of Leadership: Lessons from the Life of Gandhi by Keshavan Nair (Berrett-Koehler, 1994)

A Leader’s Legacy by James Kouzes and Barry Posner (Jossey-Bass, 2006)

A Social Change Model of Leadership: Guidebook, Version III. Higher Education Research Institute, University of California, Los Angeles, 1996. [Order through National Clearinghouse for Leadership Programs – 301.314.7174]

A Whack on the Side of the Head: How to Unlock Your Mind for Innovation by Roger von Oech (Warner, 1983)

Authentic Leadership: Rediscovering the Secrets to Creating Lasting Value by Bill George (Jossey-Bass, 2004)

Bridges to Accessibility: A Primer for Including Persons with Disabilities in Adventure Curricula by Mark D. Havens (Kendall/Hunt, 1992)

Building Everyday Leadership in All Teens: Attitudes and Actions for Respect and Success by Mariam G. MacGregor (Free Spirit Publishing, 2007)

Cowstails and Cobras II: A Guide to Games, Initiatives, Ropes Course, and Adventure Curriculum by Karl Rohnke (Kendall/Hunt, 1989)

Cradle of Greatness: What Our Eight Greatest Presidents had in Common in Youth by Donald G. Ferguson (1st Books Library, 2001)

Credibility: How Leaders Gain and Lose It, Why People Demand It by James Kouzes and Barry Posner (Jossey-Bass, Inc. 1993)

Developing Ethical Student Leaders edited by David Streight and Mike Pardee (CSEE Publications, 2010)

Designing Student Leadership Programs: Transforming the Leadership Potential of Youth by Mariam G. MacGregor (, 3rd Edition, 2005) Out of Print. Content from this book can be found on the Everyday Leadership Skills and Attitude Inventory CD-Rom (Free Spirit Publishing, 2010)

Developing Student Leaders: How to Motivate, Select, Train, Empower Your Kids to Make a Difference (Youth Ministry) by Ray Johnstone (Youth Specialties, Zondervan Publishing House, 1992)

Emotionally Intelligent Leadership: A Guide for College Students by Marcy Levy Shankman and Scott J. Allen (Jossey-Bass, 2008)

Encouraging the Heart: A Leader’s Guide to Rewarding and Recognizing Others by James M. Kouzes & Barry Z. Posner (Jossey-Bass, 1999)

Everyday Leadership: Attitudes and Actions for Respect and Success student workbook/journal by Mariam G. MacGregor (Free Spirit Publishing, 2007)

Everyday Leadership Cards: Writing and Discussion Prompts by Mariam G. MacGregor (Free Spirit Publishing, 2009)

Everyday Leadership Skills and Attitude Inventory CD-Rom by Mariam G. MacGregor (Free Spirit Publishing, 2010)

Games Trainers Play: Experiential Learning Exercises by Edward E. Scannell & John Newstrom. (McGraw-Hill, 1980)

Handbook for Student Leadership Programs edited by Susan R. Komives, John P. Dugan, Julie E. Owen, Craig Slack and Wendy Wagner. (NCLP, 2006)

In Search of Excellence: Lessons from America’s Best-Run Companies by Tom Peters (Warner Books, 1988)

Kick it In: Developing the Self-Motivation to Take The Lead by Fran Kick (2002)

Lead Now or Step Aside: The Ultimate Handbook for Student Leaders by Eric Chester, Editor (ChesPress, 2000) Out of Print

Leaders: The Strategies for Taking Charge by Warren Bennis and Burt Nanus (Harperbusiness, 1997)

Leadership by James MacGregor Burns (Harper Collins, 1985)

Lead, Follow, or Get Out of the Way by Jim Lundy (Berkley Books, 1986)

Leadership for Transformation edited by JoAnn Danelo Barbour and Gill Robinson Hickman (Jossey-Bass, 2011)

Leadership is an Art by Max DePree (Doubleday, 2004)

Leadership Jazz by Max DePree (Dell, 1993)

Making Common Sense: Leadership As Meaning-Making in a Community of Practice by William H. Drath & Charles J. Palus (Center for Creative Leadership, Greensboro, NC, 1994)

Managing With Carrots by Adrian Gostick and Chester Elton (Gibbs-Smith Publishing, 2001)

Moving Beyond Icebreakers by Stanley Pollack and Mary Fusoni (The Center for Teen Empowerment, 2005)

On Becoming A Leader by William Bennis (Addison-Wesley Publishing, 1989)

Principle-Centered Leadership by Steven Covey (Fireside Press, 1992)

Pigeonholed in the Land of Penguins: A Tale of Seeing Beyond Stereotypes by Barbara “BJ” Hateley & Warren H. Schmidt (American Management Association, 2000)

Politics, Leadership, and Justice by The Great Books Foundation (50th Anniversary Series, 1998)

Race Matters by Cornel West (Beacon Press, 1993)

Setting Your Genius Free: How to Discover your Spirit and Calling by Dick Richards (Berkley Books, 1998)

Shackleton’s Way: Leadership Lessons from the Great Antarctic Explorer by Margot Morrell and Stephanie Capparell (Viking Publishing, 2001)

Silver Bullets: A Guide to Initiative Problems, Adventure Games & Trust Activities by Karl Rohnke. (Kendall/Hunt, 1994)

Six Thinking Hats, 2nd Edition by Edward DeBono (Back Bay Books, 1999)

Stand Up and Be Counted: The Volunteer Resource Book by J. Knipe (Simon & Schuster, 1992)

Still More Games Trainers Play: Experiential Learning Exercises by Edward E. Scannell & John Newstrom (McGraw-Hill, 1991)

Students Taking the Lead: The Challenges and Rewards of Empowering Youth in Schools by Judith A. Boccia (Editor) (Jossey-Bass, 1997)

Teambuilding with Teens: Activities for Leadership, Decision-Making, and Group Success by Mariam G. MacGregor (Free Spirit Publishing, 2008)

Team Challenges: 170+ Group Activities to Build Cooperation, Communication, and Creativity by Kris Bordessa (Zephyr Press, 2005)

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens by Sean Covey (Fireside (Simon & Schuster, 1998)

The Big Book of Team-Motivating Games: Spirit-Building, Problem-Solving and Communication Games for Every Group (Big Book Series) by Mary Scannell and Edward Scannell (McGraw-Hill, 2009)

The Book of Virtues: A Treasury of Great Moral Stories by William J. Bennett (Touchstone/Simon & Schuster, 1993)

The Bottomless Bag Revival, 2nd Edition by Karl Rohnke (Kendall/Hunt, 2004)

The Complete Guide to Service Learning: Proven, Practical Ways to Engage Students in Civic Responsibility, Academic Curriculum & Social Action (Revised and Updated 2nd Edition) by Cathryn Berger Kaye (Free Spirit Publishing, 2010)

The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Leadership by Andrew J. DuBrin (Alpha Books, 1998)

The Fifth Discipline: The Art and Practice of the Learning Organization by Peter Senge (Doubleday Publishing, 1990)

The Leadership Challenge, 4th Edition by James Kouzes and Barry Posner (Jossey-Bass, Inc. 2008)

The Leadership Challenge Workbook, 2nd Edition, by James M. Kouzes & Barry Z. Posner (Jossey-Bass, 2003)

The Leadership Workbook: A Practical Guide to Self-Development for Emerging Young Leaders, 2nd Edition, by New Leadership Learning Center (New Leadership Learning Center, Inc., 2012)

The Moral Compass: Stories for Life’s Journey by William J. Bennett (Simon & Schuster, 1995)

The New Encyclopedia of Group Activities by Lorraine Uken (Pfeiffer & Company, 2004)

The New Encyclopedia of Icebreakers by Miriam McLaughlin and Sandra Peyser (Pfeiffer & Company, 2004)

The Pursuit of Wow: Every Person’s Guide to Topsy Turvy Times by Tom Peters (Vintage Books, 1994)

The Student Leadership Challenge: Five Practices for Exemplary Leaders by James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner (Jossey-Bass, 2008)

The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference by Malcolm Gladwell (Little, Brown and Company, 2002)

Wake Up Your Creative Genius by Kurt Hanks (Crisp Publishers, 1992)

Youth Leadership: A Guide to Understanding Leadership Development in Adolescents by Josephine A. van Linden & Carl I. Fertman (Jossey-Bass, Inc. 1998)

Youth Leadership in Action: A Guide to Cooperative Games & Group Activities, Written By and For Youth Leaders Project Adventure (Kendall/Hunt, 1994)

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