Student Leader Toolkit

This "toolkit" is meant to provide you and your student organizations with leadership resources at your fingertips. The Student Organizations, Leadership and Engagement office also has a number of books, materials, and activity ideas for your organization.

You can access some of these materials utilizing "Skillsoft," MIT's Online Learning Resource where you can access a diverse library of content and learning methods, including leadership development. A selection are listed below:

  1. Leadership Lessons of the White House Fellows (Books 24x7
    • Leadership Lessons of the White House Fellows–Learn How to Inspire Others, Achieve Greatness, and Find Success in Any Organization by Charles Garcia, McGraw-Hill, 2009
  2. Problem Solving: Determining Your Strengths (Course) 
    • This one-hour course helps you assess and develop your problem-solving skills, and also aims to help you recognize and overcome several types of bias.
    • The course first takes you through the process of assessing and interpreting your existing problem-solving styles. It then introduces approaches for identifying areas for improvement in your problem-solving skill set and recommends strategies for enhancing key skills. Finally, it explains how to recognize and overcome biases in a problem-solving situation.
    • Materials designed to support blended learning activities aligned with this course are available from the Resources Page. (Presentation and facilitators guide)
  3. Quiet Leadership (Video, 4 minutes) 
    • Lord Nelson, the British leader, was perceived as a center of calmness although in fact he was not at all calm.
    • The keys to quiet leadership are three aspects of reflection:
      1. Remembering personal and organizational experiences
      2. Connective reflection, as when you establish core competencies or values by talking to others in the organization
      3. Reflectivity, or thinking inwardly
  4. Four Weeks in May (Video, 19 minutes) 
    • The Indianapolis 500 Race is one of the toughest competitions in the world. To succeed, you need great drivers, top-notch equipment, a perfectly coordinated team, and great leadership. See how the team trains, collaborates, and perseveres in the face of challenges.
    • In addition, watch Bobby Rahal lead and inspire each member of his team, including rookie driver Danica Patrick. See how this team strives every day to achieve top results in the Indy 500.
  5. Assessing Yourself and Your Environment (Skillbrief, PDF) 
    • A leadership development plan is a map that guides you on your journey to fulfill your leadership potential. 
    • This Skillbrief will inform your thinking as you create your own leadership journey.
  6. Clear and Credible Leadership Messages (Job Aid, PDF) 
    • Use this job aid to review the elements involved in creating a clear and credible leadership message.
  7. Leadership in the Moment (Video, 5 minutes featuring Jim Kouzes) 
    • Leadership is in the little things we do. Every day provides countless moments to lead and to make a difference.
  8. Developing Strategic Thinking Capacity (Job Aid, PDF)
    • Use this job aid to review ways you can develop your capacity to think strategically.
  9. Critical Thinking Elements (Skillbrief, PDF) 
    • Use this Skillbrief to learn the value of critical thinking skills. 
  10. Elements of Critical Thinking (Job Aid, PDF) 
    • Use this job aid to guide your reasoning by applying the elements of critical thinking.
  11. The Four Steps of Overcoming Obstacles (Job Aid, PDF) 
    • Use this job aid to review methods of overcoming obstacles to your goal.


  1. Derek Sivers' "How to Start a Movement"
  2. Diana Laufenberg's "How to Learn? From Mistakes"
  3. Drew Dudley's "Everyday Leadership"
  4. Fields Wicker-Miurin's "Learning from Leadership's 'Missing Manual'"
  5. John Wooden's "The Difference between Winning and Succeeding"
  6. Max Klau's "Social Justice Leadership in Living Systems"
  7. Melissa Marshall's "Talk Nerdy to Me"
  8. Seth Godin's "The Tribes We Lead"
  9. Tony Robins' "Why We Do What We Do"