Books and Articles

Listed below are several publications suggested by the NCLP to assist in providing richer leadership development experiences:

The CAS Standard for Leadership Programs for Students
The Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education (CAS). (n.d.)

The CAS Standards provide guidelines for specific functional areas within higher education. These standards are created and revised by knowledgeable professionals across the country to be representative and describe the best practices. Comprised of "must" and "should" statements, the standards can be applied to any institutional context. Self Assessment Guides are also provided, to help evaluate the effectiveness of programs and plan for improvements.

LID Model

Komives, S. R., Owen Casper, J., Longerbeam, S. D., Mainella, F., & Osteen, L. (2004). Leadership identity development. Concepts & Connections, 12(3), 1-6.

Based on a grounded-theory research study, this model describes six stages of development, which leadership programs can use as a guide to provide programs which meet students where they are and challenge them to gain increasingly complex ways of thinking about and doing leadership.

Leadership in the Making
The W. K. Kellogg Foundation funded and studied 31 college student leadership development projects at institutions nation-wide to find the most effective ways to develop leadership in this population. This document describes the projects, the study, and the "Hallmarks of Exemplary Programs."

Leadership Reconsidered: Engaging Higher Education in Social Change

Astin, A. W., & Astin, H. S. (2000). Battle Creek, MI: W. K. Kellogg Foundation.

This report calls on higher education institutions to "intentionally encourage the development of leadership skills in all students; seize on opportunities to model effective leadership; replace hierarchical, individualistic, and competitive styles with collaborative ones; and reaffirm campus connections to the community and to the common good." Ten qualities are posed to define effective leadership, as well as examples of how they can be taught, modeled and applied.

Experiential Learning: Experience as the Source of Learning and Development

Kolb, D. A. (1984). Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.

The Kolb model for experiential learning is a widely used method for enhancing experience as a way of learning. Individual workshops as well as comprehensive campus-wide programs can apply the model to improve student learning.

The Handbook for Student Leadership Programs
Published by NCLP

The NCLP's Recommended Reads for Leadership Studies:


by James MacGregor Burns

A seminal text that introduces a new understanding of leadership

Leadership: Theory & Practice (4th ed.)

by Peter Northouse

An exceptional examination of the broad range of leadership theories as well as their potential for use in real-world environments


Leadership for the Twenty-first Century

by Joseph Rost

Re-conceptualizes leadership today as it traces historical roots, includes ethics as core component

Exploring Leadership: For College Students Who Want to Make a Difference (2nd ed.)

by Susan Komives, Nance Lucas and Tim McMahon

Defines leadership as "a relational process of people working together to accomplish change or to make a difference that will benefit the common good." All students are encouraged to be a part of that process, whether as a formal leader, or an involved, committed group member. Instructor's guide available.


The Leadership Challenge

by Kouzes and Posner

Describes five leadership practices which are grounded in extensive research with leaders at all levels in public and private organizations. An assessment instrument, workbook and instructor's guide are available.

A Social Change Model of Leadership Development

by the Higher Education Research Institute (available through the National Clearinghouse for Leadership Programs)

Describes seven values of leadership, grouped into categories of self-knowledge, group process and community/societal values. Workshop activities guide available.

Systemic Leadership: Enriching the Meaning of Our Work.

Allen, K. E., & Cherrey, C. (2000). Washinton, DCC: University Press of America

The systemic model of leadership describes a new, more complex way of thinking about leadership that will be necessary as society moves from a fragmented to a networked world. The move demands new ways of learning, leading, changing, and leading in today's systems that are based in relationships as "the connective tissue" of organizations.

Recommended texts for leadership courses (graduate or undergraduate):

Exploring Leadership: For College Students Who Want to Make a Difference


by Susan Komives, Nance Lucas and Tim McMahon

A bestselling undergraduate textbook designed to help students realize their leadership potential. This book emphasizes the Relational Leadership Model (RLM), which philosophically recognizes the talents of all people and trusts their ability to come together and bring about positive social change.

The Leadership Challenge

by Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner

A practical leadership guide that offers real world advice developed from interviews with tens of thousands of active leaders. The goal of this book is to show that leadership is for everyone and to provide practical tips to improve leadership ability.

A Social Change Model of Leadership Development

by the Higher Education Research Institute (available through the National Clearinghouse for Leadership Programs)

This guidebook presents the Social Change, or 'seven' C's, model of leadership development. It posits that leadership develops at the individual, group, and community levels with the goal of creating change to benefit the common good. The guidebook explains each component of the model, shows how they are interrelated, and offers ideas about how one can develop each facet of the model.

Leadership: Theory & Practice (4th ed.)

by Peter Northouse

A popular textbook that comprehensively describes the major leadership theories and models. The style is accessible and includes many practical examples to assist students in applying what they learn.

The Leader's Companion: Insights on Leadership through the Ages.

by Thomas Wren

A historical introduction to leadership that uses the writings of famous leaders to elucidate different aspects of leadership. The book includes writings from authors such as Lao-tzu, Aristotle, Machiavelli, and Ghandi, while providing contemporary perspectives from theorists such as James MacGregor Burns, John Kotter, and Max De Pree.

The Leadership Experience

by Richard Daft

This book teaches students the leadership theory and skills necessary to survive in today’s business world. Leadership during recent world events is connected to the theoretical models taught, providing memorable examples that relate to the scholarly research described.

Leading with Soul

by Lee Bolman and Terrence Deal

A leadership guide that traces the spiritual development of the author and how he learns the importance of “spirit” and “soul” in leadership. The author’s spiritual guide helps him realize the hollowness of his leadership without these qualities.

Level Three Leadership

by James Clawson

A book that aims to help practicing leaders improve their leadership ability. Clawson focuses on the psychological underpinnings of leadership and how leaders can use these principles to influence the thoughts and feelings of others.

New Directions for Student Leadership

New Directions for Student Leadership series explores leadership conceptual and pedagogical topics of interest to high school and college leadership educators. Issues in this series are grounded in scholarship featuring practical applications and good practices in youth and adult leadership education.