Leadership Exercises for Students

March 25, 2014 at 2:32 pm Leave a comment

young leader

Below is a leadership exercise from a nationally award-winning entrepreneurship class at the George Washington University in DC. This is an exclusive exercise designed developed to help bridge a leader’s vision of role model and mentors with their own vision, and is loosely based on a Harvard School of Education institutional problem-solving paradigm.

Please click HERE for audio from exercise creator Kathy Korman Frey walking you through the exercise.

Exercise steps:

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Step 1: Aspirational Leader – Example

Who is an “aspirational leader” to you? This could be someone you don’t know, but you admire. Write down their name.


Step 2: Real Life Leader – Example

Who is a “real life leader” you know. This is someone you DO know, and admire, that you know or have met. It could be anyone ranging from a relative to a boss.


Step 3: Role Models and Mentor Leaders – Traits

Part a: Next, make two columns for question three. In the first column, write all the qualities and traits of the aspirational leader you admire. Do they think big? Are they compassionate? Are they….write down those traits and qualities. There may even be an example of the behavior, but this should be in addition to – not in place of – the descriptors of their traits.

Part b: Repeat this for your “real life leader.” What admirable traits and qualities do they have? Repeat the directions for Part a and write the descriptors down in the second column of Step three.


Step 4: YOU

In this step you switch gears. Think of a situation in which YOU led. It could be at home, it could be a student club, it could be in a work environment. Describe that situation here.

Step 5. Leadership Script

Last, just like in Step 3, make a list of YOUR leadership traits. Use this as a catch phrase, “This is how I would like to be thought of as a leader” or “This is the type of leader I would like to be.” All of these qualities do not need to be present currently. Some are there now, some you may aspire to.



1. Share your aspirational and real life leaders, and why.

2. Share the situation in which you led.

3. Share some points from your Leadership Script: The description of the type of leader you would like to be. Did you arrive at your Script from a combination of Step 3 and 4? Describe.

4. Entrepreneur or future entrepreneur? Consider tying this exercise into the “Entrepreneurial Traits” exercise of Module 1 in the EITC (Entrepreneur in the Classroom) curriculum. Click here for more.


More from EITC (Entrepreneur in the Classroom)

More Information The NFIB Young Entrepreneur Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization promoting the importance of small business and free enterprise to the nation’s youth. More information is available at http://www.NFIB.com/YEF. The Foundation is associated with the National Federation of Independent Business; NFIB is the nation’s leading small business association, with offices in Washington, D.C. and all 50 state capitals.

Entrepreneur In The Classroom. The NFIB Young Entrepreneur Foundation Entrepreneur-in-the-Classroom (EITC) supplemental curriculum exposes students to entrepreneurship and the necessary steps to take an idea and turn it into a business. The free curriculum can be integrated into classes teaching a variety of subjects including music, art, fashion, business and many more. Just register for full access to the Entrepreneur-in-the-Classroom curriculum. Click here for more.

Related links

Follow NFIB Young Entrepreneur Foundation on Twitter

Like NFIB Young Entrepreneur Foundation on Facebook

Follow EITC curriculum author Kathy Korman Frey on Twitter



Entry filed under: Teaching tools, Uncategorized, Young Entrepreneur Foundation. Tags: , , , , .

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