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Learning about your leadership style


Students will work independently and in small groups to research leadership style surveys, take the surveys and then share the survey results with the class. They will create a poster that reflects their individual leadership style and shows the type of people with whom they work best.


  • Students will work in small groups to research leadership surveys they find online and determine the quality of the source.
  • Students will take leadership surveys individually.
  • Students will create a poster and a presentation to share with the class their findings about their individual leadership styles.

Common Core State Standards

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.9-10.1 Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 9-10 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.9-10.2 Integrate multiple sources of information presented in diverse media or formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) evaluating the credibility and accuracy of each source.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.9-10.4 Present information, findings, and supporting evidence clearly, concisely, and logically such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning and the organization, development, substance, and style are appropriate to purpose, audience, and task.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.6 Use technology, including the Internet, to produce, publish, and update individual or shared writing products, taking advantage of technology’s capacity to link to other information and to display information flexibly and dynamically.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.7 Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question) or solve a problem; narrow or broaden the inquiry when appropriate; synthesize multiple sources on the subject, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.


Three 50-minute classes


Class set: Leadership: Power and status

Slideshow: Leadership

Slideshow: Leadership styles

Class set: Leadership style reflection

Slideshow: What makes a publication great

Internet access and computers (1:1 if possible)

Poster board, markers, old magazines


Rubric: Leadership poster 

Lesson step-by-step

1. Building background — 15 minutes

Explain to students that today they’ll be looking at a variety of leadership style surveys online and establishing what they to believe surveys from reputable sources. Individually, we will then be taking the surveys and defining our own leadership styles.  We will then create a poster and presentation for the class where we will share our leadership styles. As a part of the introduction, the teacher should share copies of “Leadership: Power and status” with the class. Read it aloud and discuss briefly.

As an alternative introduction, show Travis Feil’s presentation “Leadership styles” and have students complete the Leadership style reflection PDF; discuss the results as a full class. Make sure students understand why it’s important to know your own individual leadership style (you will want to have a great journalistic product). Show the short slideshow “What Makes a Publication Great” and discuss with the class why it will be important to know your individual leadership styles (your ultimate goal will be to have a great publication).

2. Group work — 35 minutes

Divide the class up into four or five groups based on the size of your class.  Make sure you have at least three or four people in each group. Assign each group a search engine and have them search “leadership style surveys.” Have each group document the top 10 results of their search. Group members should then do some research to find out as much as they can about the source/creator of the survey (each member will do two or three of the top 10 results). Once they have found out about the sources, they will share with their other group members. As a group, they should decide what they feel the top three or four sources are (number should match the number of people in the group). Putting the names of the sources in a hat, group members should each draw out one of their top sources. This will be the leadership style survey that he/she will take.

3. Leadership survey homework

Spend whatever time necessary to take the individual leadership survey. Document your results and write a reflection paper about how you use these leadership traits in your own life, especially on staff, and ways you think you can improve as a leader. You will also include examples of leadership and projects where you have shown leadership. Document where you are now and make sure to include where you want to be.  Pay particular attention to the types of leaders you work best with and what you need to do to work with other people that you might not work well with. Bring in any magazines or other materials that might really add to your poster or presentation.

4. Class time for creating poster/presentation — 50 minutes

Have every student create a scenario that can be acted out the next day in class.  Warn students that if they are using an actual scenario that has happened on your staff they need to be very careful about how they handle it.  For instance, they should never use real names and if everyone clearly knows the circumstances, they need to adapt it enough so that feelings aren’t hurt.

5. Presentations — 50 minutes

Students will have two-three minutes to explain their poster to the class and describe the results of their findings, both about the leadership style survey and about themselves as a leader.