Library Articles, Webinars & Research

Part of our vision is to catalyze research regarding young leader development. Very little exists in this area, although interest is slowly increasing. Following is a variety of published articles, webinars, research content, assessment tools and recommended books. Those written/created by Dr. Nelson are free and he offers you the right to copy them, but are not for resale. Other articles available here are used by permission of the author(s) but if you want to copy them, you’ll need to contact the author(s) or publisher.

The Lead Young YouTube Channel

youtube Dr. Nelson offers two series of free videos on The LeadYoung YouTube Channel :
  • KidLead: Designed for parents and educators developing 3-18-year-old leaders
  • LeadYoung Institute: Designed for 15-30-year-olds who want to be better bosses (great for training student leaders)


  • Click HERE for the Learned Needs Self-Assessment (noted in LYI 106 YouTube video)
  • Click HERE for the Conflict Management Self-Assessment (noted in LYI 110 YouTube video)
  • Click HERE for an article on Improving School Climate Through Student Leaders
  • Click HERE for a 1-page article: “Short, Tall, Grande & Venti Student Leaders” (CADA)
  • Click HERE for Dr. Nelson’s 1-page response to Time magazine’s cover story: “Investing Where It Matters Most”
  • Click HERE for an article published by Principal Leadership (NASSP) on Mining Student Leadership Gold
  • Click HERE for an article published by the International Leadership Association (ILA) re: Minding the Gaps
  • Click HERE for an article on community networking for your student leadership (SLA/Thrive magazine)
  • Click HERE for an article on summer prep planning for your student leadership (SLA/Thrive magazine)
  • Click HERE for an article on schools ramping up for fall student leadership (SLA/Thrive magazine)
  • Click HERE for article on summer development ideas for student leaders (SLA/Thrive magazine)
  • Click HERE for article on affirmation to leaders (SLA/Thrive magazine)
  • Click HERE for You Yoda article on coaching socio-emotional skills in young leaders (SLA/Thrive magazine)
  • Click HERE for article on using political elections for training (SLA/Thrive magazine).
  • Click HERE for article on learning to lead through service projects (SLA/Thrive magazine)
  • Click HERE for article on motivating student leaders (SLA/Thrive magazine)
  • Click HERE for an article on disciplining student leaders (SLA/Thrive magazine)
  • Click HERE for  article on selecting student government members (SLA/Thrive magazine)
  • Click HERE for article on situational leading styles (SLA/Thrive magazine)
  • Click HERE for article on leadership personality styles (SLA/Thrive magazine)
  • Click HERE for article on What Principals Should Know About Student Leaders (AMLE magazine)
  • Click HERE for an article on young leaders, ages 2-22 (Excellence in Leadership magazine)
  • Click HERE for an article on developing your child’s leadership (Working Mother magazine)
  • Click HERE for “Stepping In Early to Develop Leaders” article from the Center for Creative Leadership
  • Click HERE for “Central Coast Parent Magazine’s” story on KidLead
  • Click HERE on how to raise the sense of urgency in you as a student leader development program (LYTS)
  • Click HERE for a white paper by Dr. Nelson on Why Women Make Superior Leaders (LYTS)
  • Click HERE for a white paper by Dr. Nelson on organizational leadership giftedness The O Factor (LYTS)
  • Click HERE for a School Business Affairs article on Are You a Leader or a Manager?

Diagnostic Instruments

  • Click HERE for the Student Leadership Development Assessment instrument for organizations
  • Coming: Quiz: “What do you know about student leadership development?”

Research/Scholarly Content

  • Click HERE for a pdf of the Nelson Young Leader Inventory (NYLI) Construct.
  • Click HERE for a pdf of Dr. Ben Dattner’s PowerPoint slideshow on Birth Order and Personality in the Workplace (focusing on leaders)
  • Click HERE for Dr. Linda Carli’s research on Gender and Social Influence.  It’s an eye-opener for women leaders. (Provided by author)
  • Click HERE for a link to a scholarly article: “The benefits of a long-lens approach to leader development; Understanding the seeds of leadership,” by Drs. Murphy & Johnson.
  • Click HERE for a chapter titled Beginnings Matter in Genuine Leadership Development by Drs. Bruce Volio and Gretchen Vogelgesang Lester (provided by Dr. Vogelgesang Lester)
  • Click HERE for a link to a Harvard School of Education article by Laura Pappano that focuses on a longitudinal study on how you can identify youth more likely to emerge as leaders through their early behaviors
  • Click HERE for a link to a white paper (pdf) from the Center for Creative Leadership: Expanding the Leadership Equation, on why we need to expand leadership development to young ages and when business leaders believe leadership development should begin
  • Click HERE to read The Marland Report (a 1972 US Department of Education report/presentation on gifted and talented education that recognizes leadership as a domain)
  • Click HERE to read “The Biology of Leadership” by Richard D. Arvey, Nan Wang, Zhaoli Song, and Wendong Li (The Oxford Handbook of Leadership and Organizations, edited by David V. Day, chapter 5) (Provided by Dr. Arvey)

Books to Note

  • Early Development and Leadership by Drs. Murphy & Johnson, published by Rutledge Press.  This is the first academic book, published on the topic of young leader development.  Dr. Nelson highly recommends it for those interested in the subject and for professors looking for a good textbook.
  • How Full is Your Bucket? (For Kids) and Strengths Explorer for Ages 10 to 14: Both of these are good books, based on the Gallup organization’s Strengths Finder research and assessment.  While it doesn’t have a lot of info on leadership specifically, it is about finding gifts beyond academics that we recommend for young people.  Leaders do well when they find their other gifts.
  • Dr. Lehman is a psychologist who is the leading expert on birth order.  In this book, Lehman talks a lot about first-borns and only-children.  He notes that many in this position, often find themselves in leader roles as adults. Although birth order does not always determine leadership capacity, it is a factor of and therefore of interest to parents.
  • Dr. Robert Epstein is a psychologist & researcher who has studied adolescence.  He discovered that this developmental period is a relatively new social construct, beginning after the Civil War (US).  One of the results is that we infantilize leaders, treating them like kids.  The context of leadership is that we also do not consider teens as able to lead and we set the bar very low.  This is unfortunate.
  • Leadership Challenge is a bestselling business book for adults, but this version is designed for teens.  Kouzes and Posner offer ideas for youth, based on the adult concepts in the book. While not specifically focusing on skills, it does challenge youth to think about leadership situations.