Jim Kouzes on the Value of Leadership Development

10/4/2013 12:00 AM ,

Jim Kouzes, in his talks and keynote addresses, often asks his audience: “How many of you participated in college sports?” Undoubtedly, many will raise their hands or nod in agreement. Then he’ll ask: “When did you learn that sport—your freshman year of college? Why do we wait until someone’s first year as a supervisor to give them leadership training?” Recently we asked him to elaborate on that. He told us:

“If we want exemplary leaders in our organizations, then we need to begin training them before they get to work and not after they’re in their first supervisory jobs. That’s way too late. There’s no profession in the world that would wait until someone starts a job to train them in the basics. Would you want to be treated by a physician who’d never been trained in medicine prior to opening a practice? Why should we treat leadership any differently? Whether it’s medicine, engineering, sports, music, or leadership, you only get to be your best after years of rigorous, disciplined practice. That’s why it’s vital that we begin formal leadership training long before people get to the workplace. That means when they are in school. If it were up to me, the fundamentals would be part of their elementary education, but certainly we should start no later than the college years.” —Jim Kouzes, coauthor, The Student Leadership Challenge

This inspired us to research and compile some data and stats on the topic of the value of leadership development. Take a look. (Click to enlarge image.)

The Value of Student Leadership Development infographic

Full text:

The Value of Leadership Development


Participating in a leadership development program or experience can help students advance their educational and personal development1,2 and persist in college.3,4

The qualities employers most look for in recent college graduates are leadership skills…

79.8% of employers look for the ability to work in a team on a candidate’s resume.5
77.2% want to see leadership skills.5
95% of employers believe leadership development should begin by age 21.6
90% believe leadership development opportunities should be part of every student’s educational experiences.6

(But the average age managers first get leadership training is 42—about 10 years after they began supervising people.)7

On top of that, leadership is the most frequently required learning outcome among disciplinary accreditors.8

YET…

Only 6% of universities have sophisticated, institutionally sustained collegiate leadership development programs.9

and 52% of leadership educators report having done little to no coursework in leadership studies.9

Clearly, our students deserve excellent, educated, research-based leadership development experiences.

1Student participants in leadership education and training programs show growth in educational and personal development. See Cress, Christine M.; Astin, Helen S.; Zimmerman-Oster, Kathleen; Burkhardt, John C. “Developmental outcomes of college students’ involvement in leadership activities.” Journal of College Student Development, Vol 42(1), Jan–Feb 2001, 15–27.

2Students involved in leadership activities have higher levels of educational attainment and increases in personal values than do students who do not participate in these activities. See Astin, Alexander W. (1993). What matters in college: Four critical years revisited. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

3Involving first-year students in cocurricular programs facilitates second-year persistence, irrespective of other characteristics or inputs. See Wolniak, Gregory C.; Mayhew, Matthew J.; Engberg, Mark E. “Learning’s Weak Link to Persistence.” The Journal of Higher Education, 83.6 (2012): 795–823. Project MUSE. Web. 21 Mar. 2013.

4The Office of Institutional Research at California State University at Sacramento quantified the link between student involvement and overall academic performance, finding that serving as the leader of a club positively impacted graduation and retention rates—to the tune of a 33% performance gap between the graduation rates for native freshman club leaders and non-club leaders (Student Leadership and Academic Performance—A Study of Student Club Leaders, July–October 2011). Similar performance gaps in graduation and retention rates were revealed for underrepresented minorities, commuter students, transfer students, and other nontraditional students on campus.

5According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers Job Outlook 2012 survey

6According to the Center for Creative Leadership 2012 Leadership Insights survey

7Zenger, Jack. “We Wait Too Long to Train Our Leaders.” http://blogs.hbr.org/2012/12/why-do-we-wait-so-long-to-trai/. December 17, 2012.

8See Sharp, Marybeth Drechsler; Komives, Susan R., Fincher, J. “Learning Outcomes in Academic Disciplines: Identifying Common Ground.” Journal of Student Affairs Research and Practice, Volume 48, Issue 4, Pages 481–504, ISSN (Online) 1949-6605, DOI: 10.2202/1949-6605.6246, December 2011.

9Owen, J. E. (2012). Findings from the Multi-Institutional Study of Leadership Institutional Survey: A National Report. College Park, MD: National Clearinghouse for Leadership Programs.

Category: From the Authors

What they are saying...

"Why wait to learn leadership in the workplace? Students can learn how to lead by using Kouzes and Posner's five proven leadership practices. [This] is the perfect guide for...[those] seeking to develop themselves for leadership."
– Howard T. Prince II
University of Texas, Austin

What they are saying...

"I've been teaching leadership classes for twenty years, and The Five Practices are, hands down, the best tool for helping students see both their inherent strengths as leaders as well as to further develop their skills."
– Britt Andreatta
University of California, Santa Barbara

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...

Corey Hill "The greatest part about being in the virtual community was being able to hear the instructors, talk about the material we were discussing, as well as having our own discussion as a class with our other classmates over chat. You got a lot of interaction with the material, a lot of takes and nuances on what other people were taking away from the material that I don’t think you would get in a traditional classroom setting."
– Corey Hill
Oklahoma State University

What they are saying...

"The Student Leadership Practices Inventory is the best tool I have used to help students assess their leadership effectiveness because it translates the concept of leadership into actions and relationships. By defining and measuring specific leadership behaviors, the Student LPI allows students to see how they are doing as leaders and to determine how they can improve."
– Cathy Early
National Interfraternity Conference

What they are saying...

"The student examples inspire the reader and show us that running into bumps along the way is not only normal, but that you can approach the challenges with confidence and practical solutions."
– Amanda Crowell Itliong
Stanford University

What they are saying...

"The authors set out to teach college student leaders to understand what it takes to be an effective leader, to inspire them to find their own unique skills and abilities, and to explore and discover where their leadership will make the most difference in the lives of others and in the success of their organization.  I believe they have succeeded."
– William L. Kibler
Mississippi State University
NASPA Journal, 2009, Vol. 46, no. 4

What they are saying...

"The experience of the Certified Leadership Training left me feeling more confident and equipped to provide better leadership training to my student leaders."
– Erica Lara
Nyack College, NY

What they are saying...

"The 5 practices are a must!  Demonstrating and understanding the [concept that] 'leadership is an art' that must be taught to our students was incorporated throughout the training."
– Jerry Alva
Texas A&M International 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...

"I am more equipped to develop a leadership program that will have a positive impact on the students at my institution."
– Andrew Moyer
Delaware Valley College, PA

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...

"Beth and Gary are so personable that I was totally comfortable asking anything. For a program with such vigor, these two facilitators do an amazing job of creating a safe, fun, and functional learning environment."
– Certified Facilitator Training participant

What they are saying...

"The Student Leadership Challenge 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...

"Developing transformative learning environments for leadership education begins when we embrace the use of emerging technologies and social media to enhance student learning."
– Todd Foley, assistant director for the Student Involvement Center
Saint Louis University

What they are saying...

"Leadership is a journey of personal and organizational discovery… understanding that the best way to learn is to teach, we decided to take on the challenge of having our students teach others.
"
– Vince Bellafiore
Marmion Academy

What they are saying...

"We know that The Student Leadership Challenge is making a difference. Through continuous coaching and intervention, with the use of the Student LPI, we are helping to keep our young people engaged in the pursuit of exemplary leadership."
– Melvin Chia
Lifeskills Enrichment, Singapore

What they are saying...

"The Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership are everywhere. And as important as it is to exhibit those qualities yourself as a leader, it is just as critical to see them in others, and to be driven and inspired by other people’s leadership.
"
– Nina Vasan and Jennifer Przybylo
authors of Do Good Well

What they are saying...

"Consider the college campus as a leadership laboratory—a place where students have multiple opportunities to practice their leadership skills and explore and develop their leadership identity.
"
– Marcy Levy Shankman
Cleveland Leadership Center

What they are saying...

"I am so passionate about leadership and making a difference and I truly, honestly, wholeheartedly believe in The Student Leadership Challenge model. It is complete, yet simple enough, for all to understand. SO very excited to share this model with others, both on-campus and in the community.
"
– Suzanne Von Behren, RN, BSN, University Wellness Services
Northwest Missouri State

What they are saying...

"I feel that a program like this could really work in helping to eventually change our culture within our schools, homes, and businesses. Although I am not a supervisor, I plan to implement the model fully in our office and look forward to sharing it with coworkers. I love The Student Leadership Challenge model and am so excited!
"
– Suzanne Von Behren, RN, BSN, University Wellness Services
Northwest Missouri State

What they are saying...

"The Student Leadership Challenge is one of the most robust teaching and learning opportunities we have as educators. The Five Practices are identifiable and learnable skills allowing an individual to improve by receiving feedback and observation and by setting goals.
"
– Jason R. Pierce, director of education
Alpha Kappa Psi Professional Business Fraternity

What they are saying...

"And so again [leadership development] becomes foundational, it becomes a foundational understanding of living your values, of challenging the process to make things better, enabling others to act. It’s not just delegating, it’s about giving people the passion and the power to it themselves.
"
– Matt Baker, Vice President of Student Affairs
Northwest Missouri State University

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...

"Student leadership challenges are quite similar to adult challenges, and yet they differ as wel­­l– in scale and in the power of peer perspective. Kouzes and Posner have constructed a wide and sturdy bridge across these worlds. My college students will find relevant lessons and great inspiration in the diverse and compelling stories that are retold. We’d have a lot less adult leadership problems if more teachers and students used this great book.
"
– Dan Mulhern, Distinguished Practitioner of Law and Business
University of California, Berkeley, and author Everyday Leadership: Getting Results in Business, Politics and Life

What they are saying...

"Kouzes and Posner provide a comprehensive, research-based, and values-driven resource that is packed with real-life examples. This book makes leadership highly accessible to college students and is sure to empower the next generation to tap into their potential as leaders and social change agents.
"
– Jennifer R. Keup, director
National Resource Center for The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition

What they are saying...

"The Five Practices has provided a framework for students to reflect on their leadership experience and restructure their philosophy and theories relating to leadership as they challenge themselves through these five practices.
"
– Amy Kuo, Somchanhmavong, associate director
Service-Learning, Public Service Center, Cornell University

What they are saying...

"As a Student Leadership Challenge Certified Facilitator I am excited about using these books to further aid me in developing curriculum and giving our students a tool to acknowledge and reflect on the concepts as they pertain to their own capacity to lead effectively."
– Deborah Mann, Student Leadership Challenge Certified Facilitator
BOLD Leadership Program, Cornell University

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 book of genuinely effective activities for enagaging 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

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...

"An excellent one-stop resource for activities to engage student 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 Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership."
– Melvin Chia, principal consultant
Lifeskills Enrichment

What they are saying...

"From what, to so what, and now what, this guide helps take educators on a journey of not only understanding The Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership but also specifically on how to apply, practice, and teach the nuances of these exemplary leadership ways of being."
– Laura Osteen, professor of higher education, Florida State University
and director, Florida State’s Center for Leadership and Civic Education

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

What they are saying...

"Educators working at all levels will benefit from [The Facilitation and Activity Guide]. It is practical, applicable to diverse sectors, and works."
– Katie Burke, director, L.E.A.D. (Leadership Education & Development)
Florida Atlantic University


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