Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership

Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership

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These leaders create standards of excellence and then set an example for others to follow. They clearly voice and express their personal values and set a powerful example for those around them by aligning their actions with their values. They don’t just talk the talk, they walk the walk. 



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These leaders passionately believe that they can make a difference. They envision the future, creating an ideal and unique image of how to create change. These leaders inspire others to also share their vision for the future. 



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These leaders search for opportunities to change accepted routines. They look for innovative ways to improve the systems around them. They experiment and take risks. These leaders know that risk taking involves mistakes and failures, and accept the inevitable disappointments as learning opportunities. 



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These leaders foster collaboration and build spirited communities. They actively involve others. These leaders strive to create an atmosphere of trust and respect. They create spaces for the quiet contributors to be heard, encouraging everyone to share their voice. They strengthen others, making each person feel capable and powerful. 

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Accomplishing extraordinary things as a community is hard work. To keep hope and determination alive, these leaders openly recognize the contributions that individuals make. In every community, the members need to share in the rewards of their efforts, so these leaders make a point to celebrate accomplishments. They make people feel like heroes. 


The Leadership Challenge,, Willey Brands

The Three Levels of Leadership

The Three Levels of Leadership

The Three Levels Of Leadership model is a tool for developing leadership presence, awareness, and skills. This model, developed in 2011 by James Scouller, author and professional leadership coach, summarizes what leaders must do in order to bring leadership to their group, and develop themselves technically and psychologically as leaders. 


The Three Levels of Leadership are: Public, Private and Personal  

Scouller recommends that effective leaders develop their skills on all three levels simultaneously


Public and Private Leadership: The “outer” behavioural levels, refer to influencing two or more people simultaneously. 

In these levels, the leader must address the “four dimensions of leadership” through their behaviour. 


The Four Dimensions of Leadership:

1.  A shared, motivating group purpose or vision.

2.  Action, progress, and results. 

3.  Collective unity or team spirit. 

4.  Individual selection and motivation. 


Personal Leadership: The “inner” behavioural level, refers to a person’s leadership presence, knowhow, skills, beliefs, emotions and unconscious habits. Most importantly, Personal Leadership concerns the leader’s self-awareness, their progress toward self-mastery and technical competence, and their sense of connection with those around them. “Personal Leadership is the inner core, the source of a leader’s outer leadership effectiveness” (Scouller, 2011)

At this inner level, there are three aspects of what leaders should do in order to grow their leadership presence, knowhow and skill:

1. Developing one’s technical knowhow and skill

2.  Cultivating the right attitude toward other people. 

3.  Working on psychological self-mastery


Personal Leadership is the most powerful of the three levels. According to Scouller, the effect of Personal Leadership is similar to dropping a pebble in a pond and seeing the ripples spread out from the center. 

 “The pebble represents inner, personal leadership and the ripples the two outer levels. Helpful inner change and growth will affect outer leadership positively. Negative inner change will cause the opposite.” (Scouller, 2011).







Scouller, J. (2011). The Three Levels of Leadership: How to Develop Your Leadership Presence, Knowhow and Skill. Cirencester: Management Books 2000., ISBN 9781852526818

Magic Boots

Magic Boots

Approximate Running Time: 20-30 minutes

Minimum Group Size: 6 participants

Maximum Group Size: Varying, depending on space and facilitators available. Participants will be divided into groups of 6-8 participants.

Age/ Level: Participants must be able to safely, calmly, and responsibly carry each other for a distance of approximately 12 feet. Recommended for grades 3 and up.

Space Required: An open space approximately 15 feet wide, and long enough for all participants to stand in their groups of 6-8 participants. at one end of the space (leaving the middle clear).



  • At least four cones/ pilons to mark the “river of lava”
  • One pair of “magic boots” per team. These may be overbooties (like hospital overboots that surgeons wear), or two pieces of foam or paper that participants can slide on and move accross the floor on the “river of lava”


Set-up: A “river of lava”, approximately 10 feet wide, should be set up across the middle of the room. This can be defined by two ropes, or a series of cones/ pilons. At the beginning of the activity all participants will stand in lines with their groups of 6-8 people at one end of the river.



The objective of this activity is for the groups to collaborate, strategize, and communicate effectively to move all team members to the opposite side of the “river of lava”, with only one person wearing the magic boots at a time.


Facilitator Guidelines:

Inform the participants that, within their teams of 6-8 people, each person may only make one trip across the river using the magic boots, and the boots may not be thrown across the river. If anyone touches the lava the entire group must start over again.

In order to transfer the boots to the next person, the wearer must tap their feet together (or clap) and say “Boop! Boop!”


Facilitation Variations:

The facilitator may wish to provide a list of roles for each team (such as team leader, mediator, speaker, etc). If the facilitator notices that one or more people per team are taking over, they may cause a “lava accident” and inform those people that they have lost their voices in the “accident”.





General Debrief Questions:

  • Did you make lots of plans before trying to cross the river, or did you start trying right away? Was that helpful?
  • Did one person take the lead? Why do you think that happened?
  • How did your group make use of your different strengths to complete the challenge?


Notes , Safety Concerns:

  • Participants will have to carry each other across the river–two at a time. Do not tell them this, as they will need to determine a strategy on their own. Watch them carefully to make sure they are being safe







Mastery Mountain

Mastery Mountain

Mastery Mountain is a model of how one can master any skill. Starting from the bottom of the model, before having a skill one is most frequently “unconsciously incompetent” or “consciously incompetent”. Mastery of the skill progresses up Mastery Mountain, until one is “unconsciously competent”.  



Powers of Community

Powers of Community

The Powers of Community provide participants with the opportunity to create their own experience.