The Leadership Training Activity Book: 50 Exercises for Building Effective Leaders / Edition 1

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"""Leadership development is self-development. The quest for leadership is first an inner quest to discover who you are. That is clearly the premise of this wonderful collection of developmental activities. They guide learners on that fascinating journey of self-awareness and self-confidence that can only come from experiencing something in themselves for themselves.”

-- from the foreword by James M. Kouzes, co-author, The Leadership Challenge

When it comes to preparing a new generation of leaders, trainers have their work cut out for them. In addition to being a critical competency in itself, the task of leadership necessarily involves mastering a whole host of other skills . . . and it’s up to you as a trainer to keep participants engaged and active throughout the learning process.

The Leadership Training Activity Book is a collection of engaging, sure-fire exercises based on the best, most up-to-date learning theory for preparing the leaders of tomorrow. The book features easily adaptable modules designed for beginning to advanced skill levels, short or long sessions, and large or small groups. You’ll find the perfect training exercises to help new and experienced leaders improve their understanding of crucial topics such as:

• values
• networking
• conflict resolution
• diversity
• negotiation
• listening skills
• mentoring
• vision
• communication
• and more

The Leadership Training Activity Book provides trainers with a wide range of activities to help teach and apply the most critical leadership competencies participants need, enabling you to develop and liberate the leadership qualities learners already have within themselves. It is a unique collection of proven exercises that will elicit the best from those who wish to lead."

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780814472620
  • Publisher: AMACOM
  • Publication date: 12/30/2004
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 637,263
  • Product dimensions: 8.40 (w) x 10.90 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Lois B. Hart, Ed.D. is the founder and Executive Director of the Women’s Leadership Institute. The author of many books and tapes, she has over 30 years’ experience as a trainer and was named the Colorado Woman Leader of Excellence. She lives in Denver, Colorado. Charlotte S. Waisman, Ph.D. is a specialist in communication and interpersonal skills, and is Director of Human Resources at Ischemia Technologies. She lives in Evergreen, Colorado.

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Table of Contents



How to Get the Most Out of This Book

About the Authors

Acknowledgements to the Contributors

Part 1.Lay the Groundwork, Energize Them, and Then Close

Get Them Ready!

Get the Idea?

Leadership Shield

Make It Rhyme with “Leader”

Meet My Leader-an Orange?

Tell a Story and Make Your Point

Take Time to “Journal”

The Leadership Puzzle

The Exhibit Hall

Walk and Talk

The Koosh Ball Review Game

I Learned a Lot!

Word Scramble Closure Game

Dear Diary…

Let’s Meet Soon!

Forming Professional Resource Groups

Saying Goodbye

Part 2: To Thine Own Self Be True

Organizational Leadership Assessment

The Leadership Challenge: The Kouzes-Posner Leadership Model

Sort-Manager-vs.-Leader Competencies

Lead Them on an Adventure

Trust: The Glue of Leadership

A Metaphor for Personal Change: From Caterpillars to Butterflies

Values: The Foundation of Ethics

Just Do the Right Thing!

How to Make Ethical Decisions

I Want Some Power! Types of


You Be the Judge!

Remember This! A Power Card Affirmation

Balance Balls and Balance Life

The Talisman: A Symbol For Balance

Grow Like a Garden: A Metaphor

Making Connections: Networking

Part 3. Set an Example

Flex Your Style

Claim Conflict

Walk in Another’s Shoes: A Diversity Exercise

Where Were You When? A Timeline

You + Me = A Team

Toot Your Own Horn! Sell Yourself and Your Ideas

Presenting with Pizzazz!

Can We Talk About This? The Leader as Negotiator

The Agenda: A Leader’s Guide to a Great Meeting


Part 4. Bring Out Their Best!

Listen Up! The Leader as Coach

Pass It On! The Leader as Teacher

Dare to Take Risks

Successful Leaders Have Mentors

Searching for Creativity

Alphabet Poem: Practice Your Creativity

Leadership Stations: Your Final Journey

Keep the Flame Burning: Recognizing Others

Add Heart To Your Workplace Celebrations

Appendix: Glossary of Training Methods"

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First Chapter

The Leadership Training Activity Book

By Lois B. Hart Charlotte S. Waisman


Copyright © 2005 Lois B. Hart and Charlotte S. Waisman
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0-8144-7262-1


As you pick up this book for the first time, I'm sure you're wondering how this book can help those who grapple with perhaps the most elusive type of training-leadership training?

Lois Hart founded the Women's Leadership Institute nearly six years ago. She began working regularly with Charlotte Waisman, a long-time friend and professional colleague, and soon came to appreciate Charlotte's talents as a coach, trainer, and mentor. Lois suggested that they write this book together because she believed that our collaborative efforts and diverse professional experiences will help other trainers.

We first needed to decide what leadership topics we would include. Long before the book you are now reading was ever in our consciousness, we as professionals were constantly searching for the best thinking on leadership theory. We continuously review what researchers and authors describe about leader competencies, skills, and attitudes; we read the major leadership books and theorists, and we discuss the goods and bads of each approach. As you will see in this book, we fully agree on one common approach.

We believe that Leadership itself is a critical competency, and we believe it can be taught. We suggest that leadership is a huge subject encompassing discrete actions and activities that can themselves be identified as competencies. It is hard to imagine a successful leader not having a very demonstrable capability and capacity for risk and risk-taking. So, Risk became one of the 50 topics!

After countless hours of study and discussion, we concluded that Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner have done the best research on leadership, which they describe in their book, The Leadership Challenge. Their original research for the Leadership Practices Inventory was with 120 MBA students (average age 29; 60% male). The current version of the book was based on surveys of 1,567 U.S. executives participating in public and private sector management-development seminars (12% of the participants were female). A separate survey collected information from managers in Australia, England, Germany, and the Netherlands.

Kouzes and Posner compared responses from 73 senior human resource management professionals (49 men and 24 women) attending the same conference. The women did not differ measurably in their responses from the men, with one exception: their self-reports on "Encouraging the Heart" showed higher ratings.

The researchers found no significant differences between a group of 137 federal government executives and a group of 197 private-sector executives; no significant differences between a group of 95 Australian managers and a group of 70 American mid-level managers; and no significant differences between a group of 170 European managers (English, German, and Dutch) and a group of 270 American managers.

Kouzes and Posner are continuing to systematically research the subject, conducting personal interviews and case studies with over 1,000 managers, as well as empirical investigations involving more than 45,000 participants. For more detailed information on their research, you can access their psychometric report and summaries of 150 doctoral dissertations on their Web site at

When Lois authored 50 Activities for Developing Leaders (HRD Press) in 1994, she recognized Kouzes and Posner's enormous contribution to the body of knowledge that forms the basis of the study of Leadership. Many other theories have been published since that time, but we have chosen to continue to build on Kouzes and Posner's work. We use their book The Leadership Challenge (now in its third edition) as the basis for the Women's Leadership Institute, a yearlong leadership development program now in its fifth year of implementation. A discussion of the topics that Kouzes and Posner pose is central to the work we do in our eleven full-day workshops. Having drawn on it for more than eight years, it was natural, as we thought about this book, to once again try to organize our thinking around their ideas.

We encourage you to read their work and see how our leadership activities play out as a demonstration of their model. Kouzes and Posner divide leadership competency into "five characteristics" of exemplary leadership-each covering behaviors that demonstrate personal leadership. "Inspire a Shared Vision" is one of these five "ractices" and we are not surprised. Kouzes and Posner's work itself is so inspiring, we will direct your attention to it again and again as you read ours. We are honored to build from their base.

Field marketing reports clearly show that the teaching of Leadership is a continued, high-value endeavor. Trainers, teachers, and consultants, internal and external, are looking for current and updated sources of materials and curricula that are timely, interesting, and engaging to adult learners in business settings. The activities must be based on principles of adult learning and principles of accelerated learning, and must translate into value-added ways for the learner to produce business results. The better-cheaper-faster competitiveness of American business is still driving learning! The activities in our book are flexible and can be used in a variety of situations. We encourage you to select and modify our work so you can achieve any number of different outcomes that suit your particular circumstances.

At the first planning meeting for this book, Lois told Charlotte that she believes co-authoring is a dynamic way to write-that the process of bouncing ideas off one another is truly beneficial. Lois thoroughly enjoys sharing the creative process, and likes the challenge of being challenged. (Kouzes and Posner call the second tenet of Leadership "Challenge the Process.")

The ideas and activities in this book will help you and your colleagues. The ideas within it have been tested in many Leadership training situations. Each activity has been thoroughly test-driven and honed for its essential message. The first Kouzes-Posner tenet is "Model the Way," and many, many colleagues have generously shared their ideas with us. Their experiences have enriched this work, and we appreciate their contributions.

Finally, we thank Bob Carkhuff, our publisher. Thanks also to everyone at AMACOM Books and at Chernow Editorial Services, Inc. Also, if you adapt our materials to reflect your own special expertise, write us, call us, or e-mail us to share what you have done. We promise to pass it on! (The fourth Kouzes-Posner tenet is "Enable Others to Act.")

Enjoy our work; we truly enjoyed the process of bringing it to fruition.


Excerpted from The Leadership Training Activity Book by Lois B. Hart Charlotte S. Waisman Copyright © 2005 by Lois B. Hart and Charlotte S. Waisman. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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