P.C.Pop with Pablo

Posts Tagged ‘books’

“Harold and the Purple Crayon” — Story Book Leadership

In Books, Children, Children's Literature, College Students, Education, Harold & the Purple Crayon, Leadership, Malavenda, Pablo Malavenda, Story Book Leadership, Uncategorized on November 12, 2012 at 7:33 am

Story Book Leadership -- Harold & the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnsonby Crockett Johnson (1955, Harper & Row, New York)


{First Read PC Pop post: Story Book Leadership — Getting Started — 8 Steps to Powerful Presentations, which you will give you more specific information on how to use children’s literature in teaching leadership to college students and adults.}


Topics:

  • Controlling your Destiny
  • Crisis Management
  • Creativity
  • Goal Setting
  • Problem Solving

Plot (in six words):

Harold takes adventures with his crayon.


Plot Summary:

The story begins with Harold wanting to take a walk and explore with his purple crayon. Soon Harold is fighting dragons, feeding pie to porcupines and falling off a mountain ledge. Harold uses his purple crayon throughout the story to draw his way out of each of his dilemmas and life threatening accidents. After a while Harold just wants to go home but he is a bit lost. Again he uses his quick wit and his purple crayon and finds his way back to his room and drifts off to sleep.

Despite all of Harold’s adventures, it is an easy paced story. The artwork is simple and so is the story. But the lessons for Leaders are powerful and inspiring.


Getting Started

When I use children’s literature to teach Leadership to college students — I like to surprise them. I keep the book hidden until we are ready to begin. I ask them to take it seriously and be ready to discuss the book and its leadership lessons. I also like to use props like real purple Crayola crayons or a big (3 foot) purple crayon bank. I have also led the students to our room by having them follow a purple line on the floor — made by using colored duct tape.

Once the students are settled and I have selected someone to show the pictures from the story book, I read the book to the students and then begin the reflection. For the reflection discussion I basically use a three step process asking: WHAT?, SO WHAT?, and NOW WHAT? Ask the question and wait for a response. Be ready for creative and insightful answers. As the facilitator you should encourage a lively and meaningful discussion by not being too judgmental but keeping them on track. Practice active listening and clarify and summarize their comments when necessary. For more specific information on the Story Book Leadership method, read the PC Pop post: Story Book Leadership — Getting Started — 8 Steps to Powerful Presentations.

Below are suggestions on specifics questions to direct your discussion and some answers to expect after reading Harold & the Purple Crayon to your group of student leaders.


WHAT.

Question: What was this story about?

  • This is a story about an adventurous and imaginative boy name Harold who has a magic Purple Crayon. When Harold gets in trouble he uses his crayon to draw.

SO WHAT.Story Book Leadership -- Harold & the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson

Now that you know the story — So what? Why do you think the story was chosen for you at this stage in your leadership with this organization.

  • Question: Who is Harold?
    • Person with authority, with titles, with power
    • Leaders, student leaders, bosses, organization officers
    • Team members, committee chairs
  • Student Leaders need to be…
    • Adventurous, Risk takers, daring
    • Innovative, creative
    • Forward thinking, visionary, moving forward
    • Confident, decisive
  • Attitude — Remain positive, calm, and be able to Make the Best of each situation
  • Problem Solving/Dealing with Crises
    • Be able to deal with problems
    • Don’t blame others
    • Focus on solving the problem not who’s at fault
    • Make sound and quick decisions — decisive
    • Be able to Act
    • Use all of your resources and experience
  • Question: What is represented by the Purple Crayon?
    • Your “wits”
    • Resources
    • Decisions, problem solving
  • Question: How did Harold react to the Police Officer? How did Harold react to each dilemma or crisis?
    • Harold kept calm
    • Harold used his Purple Crayon, his resources and experience, to take action and solve problems
    • Harold remained polite — even when others like the police officer were not helpful
    • Harold remained positive — never wasting his time or energy trying to find out “who is to blame”
    • Harold focused on solving the problem
  • Question: What is the meaning of the Moon, the Bedroom Window, Bedroom? What is special about Home?
    • There are things that guide us morally in life — the Moon, Window — and we must always keep them in view
    • Home is a comfort — and we all eventually want to and need to go Home
    • Home represents family and community focused values
    • Even the most adventurous leader must “go Home” and rest — get renewed

NOW WHAT?

Now that the students are aware of the lessons learned from the adventures of Harold and his Purple Crayon — Now what?

  • Question: As leaders, how can you use this information and new insight to make a positive impact on your organization and environment?
    • Encourage the participants to use “I” statements like “In the future I will be more patient when problems arise and focus on the problem and not on who to blame.”
    • As a leader, I will take more risks and use all of my resources and experience to persevere even when times get tough or things don’t go my way.

CLOSING THE SESSION

  • Lastly, ask the group a few closing questions like:
    • How did this exercise make you feel?
    • Did you enjoy learning in this manner?
  • Encourage the student leaders to use Story Book Leadership in their workshops, meetings and retreats.

The information above is merely to give the presenter a better idea of what to expect during the discussion of Harold and the Purple Story Book Leadership -- Harold & the Purple Crayon by Crockett JohnsonCrayon. The key to making this a successful exercise is allowing and encouraging the participants to engage in a meaningful conversation about the Leadership Lessons in the book, how it relates to their current leadership experience, and what they can do NOW to use the ideas from this book to improve their organization and their environment.

College students and adults love to regress with a quality children’s book. If you select a well-written, well illustrated book that is relevant to the leaders — you will get a wonderful response from your participants. They will laugh, learn, and gain new insights while enjoying every minute — what more could you hope for?


For more information on Story Book Leadership, read the PC Pop posts as follows:


Pinterest, I’m Outnumbered

In Books, Lists, Malavenda, marketing, Men, Pablo Malavenda, Pinterest, social media, Survivor, Uncategorized on April 13, 2012 at 11:41 am

Pinterest


Recently I raised my bushy man eyebrows at the latest news about Pinterest.  The media has reported that 90% of the Pinterest users are women – and then there’s me.  On Pinterest, I’m Outnumbered! Personally I feel like the luckiest guy on the inter-webs because the odds are in my favor (JK).  For me though it is just one more time where I find myself surrounded by women and quite OK with it.  When I was growing up, the men in my family were the ones in the kitchen.  Not that the women in my family didn’t cook but the men felt just as comfortable in the kitchen cooking the Sunday family feast as did the women.  In high school, when given a choice of elective classes, I wanted to be with the women so I chose “sewing” and “cooking” classes over shop and wood-working. In college after a failed attempt at chemistry I ended up in psychology with a majority of women.  And today, you can find me in the kitchen, doing the weekly grocery shopping, and more likely to bake cookies for the softball team than coaching the team (which my wife does willingly and well).  So it was not much of a surprise to me that I am outnumbered 9 to 1 on Pinterest — and surrounded by women.

I do quite a bit of consulting on social media, communications and marketing; and therefore, explore most of the new emerging sites push pinlike Pinterest. Similar to Twitter (and years ago with MySpace), I did not really see the value in Pinterest at first. The main reason I was drawn to Pinterest was to cross-market my content on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and WordPress. I soon realized that it is quite addictive. I am intrigued and slightly obsessed with Lists.  Pinterest is an ideal platform for list-o-maniacs.  Within a short time, I created boards based on lists like: My Favorite Books, Celebrities I’ve Met, People I Admire, Favorite Places in NYC, Cars I’ve Owned, etc.  In some cases I created the lists from PC Pop blog posts of mine.  This is a great way to get started on Pinterest with minimal effort.

What I have found from my limited use of Pinterest is that it is useful for collectors (and hoarders).  If you have a number of recipes that you refer to often online, Pinterest gives you a place to collect them, store them, share them, and easily retrieve them whenever you need them.  My favorite guacamole is Alton Brown’s recipe which is posted somewhere on the Food Network website.  Each time I need it, I have to do a Google search and hopefully find it.  Well, now, Pinterest allows me to create a “recipe” board and pin Alton’s guacamole recipe – very convenient.  Pinterest has also become my “go to” web-place to search for recipes.  If you search Pinterest, you get quite a few hits and the results have photos and reviews right there at your finger-tips.

I have noticed though that there are a gazillion blogs about food, and these bloggers repost other people’s recipes.  They credit the original chef and link to the original post of the recipe but it is bit annoying.  It’s annoying because you may have to click through a Pixar's Cars 2 - Mater Sandwichcouple of blog posts before you find the original recipe.  The other thing I have noticed is there are a lot of very ambitious DIY bloggers who share their latest theme-related, holiday craft project to do with your kids.  These craft projects are beautiful and inspiring but how in the world would anyone (especially a parent) find the time to do all of these things with your kids.  Personally I struggle getting the Pumpkins carved by Halloween, Easter eggs colored before Easter Sunday, getting the Christmas tree up soon after Thanksgiving (and putting it all away before Valentine’s Day), and getting food on the table for dinner every night.  Making my sandwiches look like Mater from Pixar’s Cars is not a top priority for me most nights.  You have to be careful to not let Pinterest make you feel like a neglectful, under-achieving parent. That being said, our new favorite potato dish, baked ham glaze, and Irish soda bread came from Pinterest.

Similar to Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and my blog, Pinterest gives you great joy when someone follows your boards or “repins” one of your pins. I recently pinned a recipe for cinnamon sweet potatoes and was on cloud 9 because it got close to 100 repins.  Sounds silly but you know you’ve been there.  But seriously, like any social media and marketing site, it only has an impact if it is engaging, people are following you, you’re getting comments on your pins and most importantly with Pinterest, your pins are getting “repinned.”  To make this happen you have to explore other people’s boards, follow others, comment on pins, and repin other’s posts.  You also need to add pins regularly.

Pinterest logo labelLastly, Pinterest is a great place to practice cross-marketing.  If you have a collection of videos on your YouTube channel and several posts on your blog, Pinterest boards give you a place to market and share them.  Create a board on Pinterest with a theme and pin your videos and blog posts.  When your Pinterest followers click on your pin it takes them directly to your blog post.  With videos, it plays the video on Pinterest and allows you to click through to YouTube and watch it there as well.  Another way to increase traffic back to Pinterest is to create a hyperlink within your photos on your blog to a board on Pinterest.  If you click on the photos in my blogs about Survivor Leadership, you will be directed to a board on my Pinterest site called Survivor Leadership.  This board contains all of the photos from all of my blogs post about Survivor.  The pins on this board then link my Pinterest followers to my blog posts.  Cross-marketing is the best way to increase traffic across all of the platforms you’re using.

More and more people are finding Pinterest and joining the fun.  Pinterest’s numbers have exploded in early 2012.  Pinterest is nowhere near the world domination status of Facebook or Twitter. But another measure of success is the amount of media attention a site is getting – and in this category Pinterest is winning the race.  Pinterest is dominating the media lately.  I hope I have given you some ideas in this post on how you can join the party and use Pinterest to increase your presence online.  You will be sucked in initially and spend hours exploring, creating boards and pinning.  (At one point, I thought I needed a Pintervention.) Each day there are more and more companies, politicians and universities jumping on board but for now it is just me and all of these women.  And just like high school cooking class, I’m enjoying being outnumbered and part of the 10%.  Check out my boards, repin my pins and follow me.



Read other PC Pop blog posts about Social Media & Marketing:


Read other PC Pop blog posts about my issues with being a man (and a feminist):


Story Book Leadership – Getting Started – 8 Steps to Powerful Presentations

In Books, Children's Literature, Dr. Seuss, Group Dynamics, Leadership, Literacy Month, Lorax, NEA, Pop Culture, Reading Across America, Story Book Leadership, Theodor Geisel, Uncategorized, Yertle the Turtle on March 15, 2012 at 10:01 am
Story Book Leadership

“Children want the same things we want. To laugh, to be challenged, to be entertained and delighted.”


Inspired by this Dr. Seuss quote and a class project many years ago, I explored the use of story books in my work in higher education. {Read PCPop blog post: Happy Birthday to You, Theodor Geisel!} I have been teaching LEADERSHIP to college students for close to 25 years and have been using Children’s literature for over Dr. Seuss15 years. When attending retreats, workshops and conferences, adults including college students love to regress. The joy on their faces when you pull out a children’s story book is priceless.  Once they realize you are serious about using a children’s book to teach leadership, students really get into it. After reading the book out loud to the group, I lead a discussion using a tried and true “reflection” outline asking three questions: WHAT? – SO WHAT? – NOW WHAT? The discussion is lively, fun, and meaningful. The insights about leadership the students come up with are incredible. It is magical. (Read the entire story in the PCPop blog post: Story Book Leadership – Teaching College Students Using Kiddie Lit.)

So follow these 8 simple Steps for a successful leadership development teaching experience using Children’s literature.


Story Book Leadership guidelines are as follows:

  1. LEARNING OBJECTIVE – Decide what your learning objective is (see list below).
  2. SELECT A BOOK – Select one or several Children’s Book(s) with a similar message. (Read the PCPop blog post: Story Book Leadership – Book List for suggestions.)
  3. FORMAT – Decide how you will use the Children’s Book.  Some ideas are as follows:
    • Read to large group; lead large group discussion.
    • Split large group up into small groups; have each group read the book and have a small group discussion; have all small groups report back to large group; lead large group discussion.
    • Use the book as the focus or a primary part of the workshop or educational session.
    • Use the book as a small part of a larger retreat or full day conference.
  4. Have at least two copies of the book — one for you to read; the other for showing the pictures to the group.
  5. SETTING – Have the room set up like “story time” in Kindergarten; have an arm chair for the reader and ask the students to sit on the floor around the chair. Be creative and have fun with it — wear a cardigan like Mr. Rogers.
  6. ENGAGEMENT – Recruit a volunteer to show pictures to the group. This is where the extra copies of the book come in handy.
  7. GET STARTED – Sit and Start by doing the following:
    • Show the book — Read the title and the author
    • Explain expectations – ask them to:
      • pay attention
      • listen with leadership in mind
      • be ready to have a lively and meaningful discussion after the book is read to the group
    • Read the book – using a lively, animated voice – taking it seriously though
    • Make sure the volunteer showing the pictures from the story is keeping up
    • Finish – repeat the title and author
    • Begin reflection discussion, using the following questions:
      • What?
        • “someone please give us a plot summary describing the main elements and themes of the story”
      • So What?
        • “why do you think that I chose this book to read to you at this time with your group?”
        • “what lessons do you think I had hoped you would get from this story?”
      • Now What?
        • “now — how can you use this new information learned from this story to make a positive change in your group?”
        • “please give some examples of things you may do or changes you may make based on the lessons learned from this story.”
  8. CLOSING
    • Question — “how did you feel during this exercise?”
    • Give a summary of the comments you heard during the reflection discussion
    • Challenge them to follow up on some of the suggestions made during the “Now What?” part of the discussion.
    • Thank them for playing along and being good sports — and emphasize how you can learn a great deal from Children’s literature.

Some of the LEARNING OBJECTIVES or topics that can be further explored using Story Book Leadership techniques are as following:
  • Brainstorming
  • Budgeting – Financial Responsibility
  • Burnout
  • Communication
  • Co-sponsorship
  • Creativity
  • Diversity – Inclusion
  • Fund-Raising
  • Holidays
  • Individuality
  • Meetings
  • Overcoming Fears
  • Peer/group pressure – Group Think
  • Persistence
  • Power
  • Problem Solving
  • Responsibility
  • Risk Taking
  • Role of Advisor
  • Social Action – Civic Engagement
  • Stress management
  • Team-Building
  • Time management – Prioritizing
Also remember that every group, team or organization goes through developmental stages explained well by Tuckman’s Group Development Model. Story Book Leadership works well in starting a discussion with a group to help the members work through or enhance the “stage” in which they are or are approaching. The Tuckman’s stages, as you will recall, are as follows: Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing and Adjourning.  I particularly enjoy using Story Book Leadership during the Storming and Adjourning stages.

Selecting the perfect book is the next challenge. I encourage you to select one of your favorites from your childhood — your passion for the book will add genuine excitement to your presentation.  I would love it if you also went to your local library and bookstores (locally owned, of course), sat on the floor over the course of a few months, discovering and rediscovering the wonderful world of Children’s literature.  But in case you don’t have time for that level of commitment, a list of some of my favorites can be found in the PCPop blog post: Story Book Leadership – Book List.


Please follow PCPop with Pablo to read the series of blog posts featuring many of the Children’s books (listed in  the PCPop blog post: Story Book Leadership – Book List) starting with one of my favorites, Harold & the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson.


For more information on Story Book Leadership, read the PC Pop posts as follows:


Oh, the places you’ll go! There is fun to be done! You’ll be famous as famous can be, with the whole world watching you on TV. Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting. So…get on your way!

(Dr. Seuss)


FrederickBig Bad BruceHarold & the Purple Crayon

Story Book Leadership — Book List

In Big Bird, Books, Cat in Hat, Children's Literature, College Students, creativity, Dr. Seuss, Group Dynamics, Harold & the Purple Crayon, Leader, Leadership, Lists, Literacy Month, Lorax, Malavenda, Maurice Sendak, Pablo Malavenda, Pop Culture, Purdue, Shel Silverstein, Story Book Leadership, Theodor Geisel, UConn, Uncategorized, William Steig, Yertle the Turtle on March 6, 2012 at 7:29 am

stack of children's books

I have been teaching LEADERSHIP to college students for close to 25 years and have been using Children’s literature for over 15 years. When attending retreats, workshops and conferences, adults including college students love to regress.  The joy on their faces when you pull out a children’s story book is priceless.  Once they realize you are serious about using a children’s book to teach leadership, students really get into it. The discussion is lively, fun, and meaningful. It is magical. (Read the entire story in the PCPop blog post: Story Book Leadership – Teaching College Students Using Kiddie Lit.)

If you too want to use Story Book Leadership techniques with your students, find out how to get started by reading the PCPop blog post: Story Book Leadership – Getting Started. Selecting the perfect book is one of the first steps in the process of using Story Book Leadership.

children readingI encourage you to select one of your favorite’s from your childhood — your passion for the book will add genuine excitement to your presentation.  I would love it if you also went to your local library and bookstores (locally owned, of course), sat on the floor over the course of a few months, and discover and rediscover the wonderful world of Children’s literature.  You can learn more about my story by reading the PCPop blog post: Story Book Leadership – Teaching College Students Using Kiddie Lit. But in case you don’t have time for that level of commitment, a list of some of my favorites are as follows:

  • A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein
  • Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith ViorstAlexander
  • Alexander, Who Used to be Rich Last Sunday by Judith Viorst
  • Amelia Bedelia by Peggy Parish
  • Bartholomew and the Oobleck by Dr. Seuss
  • Benjie by Joan Lexau
  • Berenstain Bears and Too Much Pressure by Jan & Stan Berenstain
  • Big Bad Bruce by Bill Peet
  • Brave Irene by William Steig
  • But Not Billy by Charlotte Zolotow
  • Click, Clack, Moo: Cows that Type by Doreen Cronin
  • Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are? by Dr. Seuss
  • Eli by Bill Peet
  • Ella by Bill Peet
  • Farewell to Shady Glade by Bill Peet
  • Five Minutes’ Peace by Jill Murphy
  • Frederick by Leo Lionni
  • Gertrude McFuzz by Dr. SeussBig Bad Bruce
  • Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson
  • Hector, the Accordion-Nosed Dog by John Stadler
  • I Can Lick 30 Tigers Today by Dr. Seuss
  • I Had Trouble in Getting to Solla Sollew by Dr. Seuss
  • I Saw Esau by Iona & Peter Opie
  • If I Were in Charge of the World by Judith Viorst
  • I’m Mad at You! by William Cole
  • Ira Says Goodbye by Bernard Waber
  • Ira Sleeps Over by Bernard Waber
  • It’s Not Fair by Charlotte Zolotow
  • Jennifer and Josephine by Bill Peet
  • King Looie Katz by Dr. Seuss
  • Let’s Be Enemies by Janice May Udry
  • Little Toot by Hardie Gramatky
  • My First Hanukkah Book by Aileen Fisher
  • My First Kwanzaa Book by Deborah M. Newton Chocolate
  • My Mama Says There Aren’t Any Zombies, Ghosts, Vampires, Creatures, Deamons, Monsters, Fiends, Goblins, or Things by Judith Viorst
  • Nobody is Perfick by Bernard WaberHarold and the Purple Crayon
  • Nobody Stole the Pie by Sonia Levitin
  • Oh, the Places You Will Go by Dr. Seuss
  • Oh, the Thinks You Can Think! by Dr. Seuss
  • On Beyond Zebra by Dr. Seuss
  • A Person is Many Wonderful, Strange Things by Marsha Sinetar
  • Play Ball Amelia Bedelia by Peggy Parish
  • Pooh: Oh, Bother! No One’s Listening by Betty Birney
  • Pooh: Oh, Bother! Somebody’s Grumpy by Betty Birney
  • Rosie and Michael by Judith Viorst
  • Seven Candles for Kwanzaa by Andrea Pinkney
  • Sneetches by Dr. Seuss
  • Spinky Sulks by William Steig
  • Tacky the Penguin by Helen LesterFrederick
  • The Ant and the Elephant by Bill Peet
  • The Art Lesson by Tomie dePaola
  • The Big Bragg by Dr. Seuss
  • The Butter Battle Book by Dr. Seuss
  • The Chanukkah Tree by Eric Kimmel
  • The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
  • The Glunk That Got Thunk by Dr. Seuss
  • The Gnats of Knotty Pine by Bill Peet
  • The Hating Book by Charlotte Zolotow
  • The Island of Skog by Steven Kellogg
  • The King’s Stilts by Dr. Seuss
  • The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper
  • The Lorax by Dr. Seuss
  • The Missing Piece by Shel Silverstein
  • The Missing Piece Meets the Big O by Shel Silverstein
  • The Painter and the Wild Swans by Claude Clements
  • The Whingdingdilly by Bill PeetYellow and Pink
  • The Wump World by Bill Peet
  • The Zax by Dr. Seuss
  • Timmy Needs a Thinking Cap by Charlotte Steiner
  • What Was I Scared Of? by Dr. Seuss
  • When the Wind Stops by Charlotte Zolotow
  • Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein
  • Who Wants a Cheap Rhinoceros? by Shel Silverstein
  • William’s Doll by Charlotte Zolotow
  • Yellow and Pink by William Steig
  • Yertle the Turtle by Dr. Seuss

Yertle the TurtlePlease follow PCPop with Pablo to read the series of blog posts featuring many of the Children’s books listed above starting with one of my favorites, Harold & the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson. If you too want to use Story Book Leadership techniques with your students, find out how to get started by reading the PCPop blog post: Story Book Leadership – Getting Started.


For more information on Story Book Leadership, read the PC Pop posts as follows:


To enjoy my Pinterest board on Story Book Leadership, click here.

Children Reading

Please suggest new books for the list — the list is a work in progress and will be updated as needed. What Children’s Books inspire you and would be perfect for teaching LEADERSHIP…and why? I would love to hear your suggestions and stories.

Story Book Leadership – Teaching College Students Using Kiddie Lit

In Big Bird, Books, Cat in Hat, Children's Literature, College Students, creativity, Dr. Seuss, Group Dynamics, Harold & the Purple Crayon, Leader, Leadership, Literacy Month, Lorax, Malavenda, Margaret Hamilton, Maurice Sendak, Pablo Malavenda, Pop Culture, Story Book Leadership, Susan Baum, Theodor Geisel, UConn, Wicked Witch of the West, Willimantic Public Library, Yertle the Turtle on March 4, 2012 at 4:57 pm

Cat in the Hat's Hat

On March 2, the world once again celebrated the brilliance of Dr. Seuss on the day of his birthday.  Dr. Seuss’ birthday is used to launch Dr. Seuss self portraitReading Month and Reading programs and special events in elementary schools around the country. This year Dr. Seuss’ birthday sparked me to share my passion — teaching LEADERSHIP to college students using children’s leadership. This is the first in a series of PCPop blog posts focusing on Story Book Leadership.  Stay tuned for my first book review in honor of Dr. Seuss — Yertle the Turtle. But first here is the story of how I became so passionate about the power and potential of stories originally written and published for pre-school children.

In the summer of 1997, I stumbled on a class that changed my life – the way I think, the way I teach, the way I approach my life.  The class wasthe University of Connecticut EPSY 5750 – Creativity.  It is a part of the curriculum for the Three Summers Sixth Year Program in the Neag Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development at the University of Connecticut in Storrs, Connecticut. The Three Summer program was developed by the gifted education guru, Professor Joseph S. Renzulli, to give teachers from all over the world an opportunity to join a community of colleagues committed to being the best in developing the talent in each child, take classes and participate in a “confratute.” After three consecutive summers, these professionals earn a graduate level degree – a 6th year certificate.

Dr. Susan Baum, who is a member of the program’s summer faculty, was the professor for this particular class. I wasn’t matriculating as a part of the formal program but somehow I was able to enroll in this class as I was still working on the coursework for a PhD in Higher Education Administration at UConn. In the true spirit of creativity, Professor Baum gave us our project and instructed us to pick a topic that would truly excite us – that we were passionate about – something we always wanted to study in the past but needed permission to pursue.  She was giving us permission and inspired us. After weeks of reflection — my topic and my project was decided — using Children’s Literature to teach college students about LEADERSHIP.

Children’s books have always intrigued me. One of the most popular classes at UConn for many, many years was an English class known by all as “Kiddie Lit.” Francelia Butler was an inspiration. Professor Butler also knew a few famous people who visited our class.  I remember Big Bird, the guy who invented Silly Putty, Maurice Sendak, and the Wicked Witch of the West, Margaret Hamilton, coming to visit our little lecture hall in Storrs, Connecticut. At some point in my life I fell in love with and began to collect children’s literature.  The lessons found in these seemingly simple publications are powerful  — lessons about values, respect, courage, honesty, loyality, family, hope, persistence, love, service, humility, and yes, LEADERSHIP.  It wasn’t until I embarked on this journey – this class project – that I saw the true power of the word, the written word of Kiddie Lit.

I spent the entire summer of 1997 sitting on the floor of the Willimantic Public Library, in the Story Book Leadership -- Harold & the Purple Crayonchildren’s section, reading and reading and reading story books, children’s books, and picture books. I soon knew that I was on to something.  I found LEADERSHIP in so many stories that I decided to create a booklet which would serve as a directory for me and perhaps other higher education professionals.  My professional goals include teaching leadership by giving students opportunities to develop their own philosophy and skills — and to use any means to reach them and to teach them — including Children’s Literature.

The Children’s Literature Leadership Booklet that I created in this class during the summer of 1997 has become a valuable part of my professional library.  I refer to it often, and it hasn’t failed me yet. The list of my favorite Children’s books – those that have a profound impact on my teaching – have been compiled in a separate blog post.

Rediscovering the power and potential of using Children’s literature to teach leadership is merely one Story Book Leadership -- Yertle the Turtleexample of how this Creativity course has guided me these past 15 years. By the way, I got an A on the project and an A+ in the class but more importantly — that class, that summer, changed my life.

If you too want to use Story Book Leadership techniques with your students, find out how to get started by reading the PCPop blog post: Story Book Leadership – Getting Started. To see some of the best Children’s books focusing on various aspects of leadership, read the PCPop blog post: Story Book Leadership – Book List.


For more information on Story Book Leadership, read the PC Pop posts as follows:


Leadership Books – Recommended Reading

In Bennis, Blanchard, Books, Burns, Covey, DePree, Exploring Leadership, Group Dynamics, Komives, Leader, Leadership, Lists, Malavenda, Nance Lucas, Pablo Malavenda, Timothy McMahon, Uncategorized, Wooden on June 18, 2011 at 10:01 pm

I am often asked “what’s a good leadership book?” I originally created this list for a keynote entitled Leadership Books that Student Leaders Should Read and have kept it updated since based on new discoveries and suggestions from others. If you have searched the web for leadership books or browse your local bookstore for books about leadership, you know that there are lots and lots of leadership books.  But most of them are not worth your time.  The books below are ones that have inspired me with new ideas, practical methods, and contain important elements of leadership like inclusion, ethics, team-work, service, creativity and social justice. This is not a comprehensive list but rather and guide for getting started.  The second section is called Leadership Light. These titles are intended to re-energize you or be focus on one specific topic.

Leadership Books:

  • Bennis, Warren G. (2009). 4th Edition. On Becoming A Leader. New York: Basic Books.
  • Burns, James MacGregor. (1978). Leadership. New York: HarperCollins.
  • Burns, James MacGregor. (2003). Transforming Leadership: A New Pursuit of Happiness. New York: Atlantic Monthly Press.
  • Collins, James C. (2001). Good to Great. New York: HarperCollins.
  • Covey, Stephen R. (1992). Principle-centered Leadership. New York: Fireside.
  • Covey, Stephen R. (1989). The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. New York: Fireside.
  • Gardner, Howard (1995). Leading Minds: An Anatomy of Leadership. New York: Basic Books.
  • Gardner, John W. (1990). On Leadership. New York: The Free Press.
  • Greenleaf, Robert K. (2002). Servant Leadership: A Journey Into the Nature of Legitimate Power and Greatness – 25th Anniversary Edition. Mahwah, NJ: Paulist Press.
  • Harari, Oren. (2002). The Leadership Secrets of Colin Powell. New York: McGraw-Hill.
  • Hersey, P., & Blanchard, K. (1977) 6th Edition. Management of Organizational Behavior: Utilizing Human Resources. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.
  • Komives, Susan R., Lucas, Nance, & McMahon, Timothy R. (2007). 2nd Edition. Exploring Leadership for College Students Who Want to Make a Difference. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers.
  • Kotter, John P. (1996) Leading Change. Boston: Harvard Business Review Press.
  • Kouzes, James M. & Posner, Barry Z. (2011). Credibility: How Leaders Gain and Lose It, Why People Demand It. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers.
  • Kouzes, James M. & Posner, Barry Z. (2008). 4th Edition. The Leadership Challenge. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers.
  • Kouzes, James M. & Posner, Barry Z. (2008). The Student Leadership Challenge: Five Practices for Exemplary Leaders. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers.
  • Lencioni, Patrick. (1998). The Five Temptations of a CEO. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers.
  • White, B. Joseph (2006). The Nature of Leadership: Reptiles, Mammals, and the Challenge of Becoming a Great Leader. New York: American Management Association.
  • Wooden, John, Jamison, Steve (2005). Wooden on Leadership. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Leadership Light:
  • Byham, William (1988). Zapp! The Lightning of Empowerment. New York: Fawcett Columbine.
  • DePree, Max (1989). Leadership is an Art. New York: Dell Publishing.
  • DePree, Max (1992). Leadership Jazz. New York: Dell Publishing.
  • Farber, Steve, Kelly, Matthew (2009). Greater Than Yourself: the Ultimate Lesson of True Leadership. New York: Crown Publishing.
  •  Hoff, Benjamin. (1982). The Tao of Pooh. New York: Dutton.
  • Johnson, Spencer & Blanchard, Kenneth H. (1993). The One Minute Manager. New York: Berkley.
  • Johnson, Spencer & Blanchard, Kenneth H. (1998). Who Moved My Cheese?: An Amazing Way to Deal With Change in Your Work and in Your Life. New York: Putnam.
  • Lundin, Stephen C. (2000). Fish! A Remarkable Way to Boost Morale and Improve Results. New York: Hyperion.
  • Ruiz, Don Miguel. (1997). The Four Agreements. San Rafael, California: Amber-Allen Publishing.
You will either be led or lead in every aspect of your life from work to school to your family or your neighborhood.  Leadership needs to be thoughtful and leaders must practice, practice, practice.  Taking risks and making mistakes is a critical part of learning and developing your personal leadership skills.

I hope this list gets you motivated to learn more about leadership, be a leader in your community, and become a role model for other aspiring and emerging leaders.

Leader Up!

Books – 15 That Have Influenced My Life

In Books, Lists, Malavenda, Pablo Malavenda, Pop Culture on June 18, 2011 at 9:26 pm

These are the 15 books that have been influential in my life.  Hopefully you will get a better idea of who i am by seeing which books I love and keep going back to.

  1. The Autobiography of Malcolm X – As told to Alex Haley
  2. Black Like Me – John Howard Griffin
  3. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings – Maya Angelou
  4. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn – Betty Smith
  5. She’s Come Undone – Wally Lamb
  6. Fahrenheit 451 – Ray Bradbury
  7. Nickel and Dimed – Barbara Ehrenreich
  8. Harold & the Purple Crayon – Crocket Johnson
  9. The Ransom of Red Chief – O. Henry
  10. High Fidelity – Nick Hornby
  11. The Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger
  12. The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald
  13. To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
  14. The Stranger – Albert Camus
  15. Harry Potter series – JK Rowling

Let me know what you think.  Do you agree with any? Would you add one or two?  What are your 15? Keep reading; encourage others to read; read to others.