When it comes to resources on leadership there are untold numbers of books, periodicals, websites, movies, and so on that one can access for guidance and additional information. But rather than just provide a “list” [because you can always use a search engine] we decided to focus on a few, key issues we felt critical to your success along with select resources.
First, consider what you find on this site represents the fundamentals of personal leadership. That in no way suggests you should not examine alternative aspects of leadership – far from it! But do understand the key to being adept at leadership will come mainly from within as you practice, practice, and practice!
Second, there are many, many books on leadership. You will find numerous biographies on famous “leaders” of virtually any field. Many of these represent highly interesting reading but please consider their stories of success are often based on not only their personal skills but timing and circumstances as well. That is the part you cannot recreate.
There is no greater civilian hero of recent times than Chester “Sully” Sullenberger Captain of USAirways Flight 1549. But unless you plan to land a fully loaded commercial airliner in the Hudson River then you will not “duplicate” his incredible leadership and heroics. Captain Sullenberger demonstrated virtually every characteristic of leadership that exists – an amazing, true-life story. But in reading or watching about this incredible event examine the principles of leadership he demonstrated and consider how you might utilize them in your own life.
There are not many books on leadership that deal specifically with young adults but there are a couple we would recommend. Of great interest are The Student Leadership Challenge and the associated Student Leadership Planner by James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner. The former is based on the their well-known and highly respected book titled: The Leadership Challenge – long considered among the finest books on leadership ever published. We encourage you to check these out at josseybass.com or your favorite bookstore. Also, there are the Covey books, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens by Sean Covey and The Leader in Me by Stephen R. Covey. If you are involved in sports then you should consider such books as The Team Captain’s Leadership Manual by Jeff Janssen, Mind Gym by Gary Mack, and Leading with the Heart by Mike Krzyzewski [better known perhaps as Coach K]. It is interesting to note that Posner and Kouzes have written similarly in Encouraging the Heart for the world of business.
In addition, you should visit youthleadership.com to not only see the website of Mariam G. MacGregor but to examine her books as well. Her site offers some very interesting insights into youth leadership and also represents an excellent resource.
If you use a search engine to look for “leadership” and “youth” or similar search terms you will find a large number of listings for religious oriented websites that focus on leadership, schools and colleges that support leadership through summer camps or classes, and similar offerings. While we know there are wonderful opportunities among these organizations we do not necessarily recommend a specific one. You can always consider such opportunities but thoroughly examine them using the principles of leadership as your guide.
Finally, we all love the movies! There are, in fact, some excellent films made over the years that do demonstrate the characteristics of leadership. Some deal with sports, some war, others are of different events. But if you do wish to pursue some of these the following are ones you might consider:
- Remember the Titans
- The Blind Side
- Apollo 13
- Dead Poet’s Society
- Twelve Angry Men
- Twelve O’clock High
- Saving Private Ryan
- The Great Escape
- The Bridge Over the River Kwai
Remember, as you watch these films keep in mind the characteristics of leadership and match them against what you see and hear. The films do not have every element of leadership but you will see many and the significance and importance as it relates to the situation. Consider that leadership is often situational as in the case of Flight 1549 mentioned earlier.
For example, in Apollo 13 the dynamic, decisive direction given to staff and determination of Gene Kranz, Flight Director, is classic leadership in a crisis. In Hoosiers, it’s about building a team and making them believe in themselves and in Twelve Angry Men its about your convictions, justice, and doing the right thing. Each is different, each is a learning experience.
If you wish to add resources you have found helpful please send them along! Enjoy!