YLP Class Descriptions

The Center for Social Leadership teaches many leadership themes in the Young Leaders Program depending on the needs and priorities of the youth and our community-based partners. Here are ten of the most commonly taught sessions:

The Characteristics of an Effective Leader

In this workshop we will address the question ‘What are the characteristics of an effective leader?’ You will think about people (both alive and no longer living) whom you consider to be leaders, and the qualities of their character that cause others to relate to them as leaders. CSL will share the results of its 12+ years of research into what characterizes effective leadership, including its review of surveys of tens of thousands of employees around the world who have been asked what they look for in their leaders. You will try to find answers to the questions leaders ask themselves everyday: How do I inspire and motivate others? How do I build trusting relationships with others? How can I lead with empathy and emotional intelligence and make others feel valued, inspired and committed to the work we do together? CSL will also share the Three Spheres of Effective Leadership – a model that distills the three most important leadership qualities and how you can exercise them daily to become an effective leader.

Becoming a Leader in Your Career: How to Balance Your Passion and Your Paycheck

What is the source of your passion? How can you discover it? Your understanding of the roots of your passion will enable you to inspire and motivate others. Your passion is what will make you stand out in a job interview and be more likely to be promoted and get into the college of your choice. It will also make people in your community want to support you in your career and your customers want to purchase from you if you work in a sales position or start your own business. Yet, unlike leadership, passion cannot be learned. You have to tap into what already exists within you. This workshop will take you on an internal journey that will help you to dis-cover your passion and become a leader that inspires and motivates people toward a common vision that you build with them.

Balancing Work and Life

When you are nearing the last days of your life, do you want to look back and see a career, or do you want to see a life? Why is it that you can schedule time for sports and your homework, but it is so difficult for you to schedule time for the people who really matter to you in your life? CSL will examine the most common causes of burn-out among students and working people and then share its time-tested strategies for how you can sustain your passion and motivation in your school and/or work while also developing healthy, meaningful relationships with your family, friends, partner and self. You will learn how to reduce the stress and pressure in your life and, ultimately, how to balance your quest for both success and happiness. This workshop will help you to balance your ambition for what you want with your appreciation for what you already have. You will leave this workshop with concrete, personalized strategies to take care of others while also taking care of yourself and the people you love.

Nine Strategies for Effective Time Management

If you want to go to the movies, how do you get there? You drive to the theater and park, or take the bus directly to the theater and walk in. You don’t drive or take the bus somewhere else, park or get off the bus, and then try to find the movie theater. If you do, you may never get there. What are your most important goals? How can you keep the main thing the main thing? Do you often feel like you’re having trouble making time for what’s most important to you because you spend all of your time reacting to what’s urgent? CSL will address all of these questions in this cutting-edge workshop on the latest developments in Time Management. Yogi Berra once said, “If you keep doin’ what you been doin’, you’ll keep gettin’ what you been gettin’.” You will not only leave this workshop with new time management strategies to move forward with – you will also unlearn and get rid of old strategies that have been cluttering up your schedule and moving you in the wrong direction.

The 15 Principles of Leadership

This workshop is a sequel to ‘The Characteristics of an Effective Leader’ and highlights advanced strategies of effective leadership. It delves deeply into the questions young leaders ask themselves everyday: How can I build a team if I want to start a school club or study group, or be the captain of a sports team, or start my own business? How can I be resilient when I don’t get the results I want in life – such as when I don’t get into the college of my choice or I don’t get offered my first-choice job? How can I handle challenges to my leadership? How can I take the right risks? How can I handle the disapproval that accompanies leadership? Buckle up – this is a fast-paced workshop that covers a lot of ground in a short time.

Know Your Blind Spots/Leadership Style

What type of leader are you? What motivates you the most – cooperating with others, influencing the agenda, or bringing in results? Do you see yourself in the future more as a leader or as a manager? One of the keys to effective leadership is learning self-management, which first requires self-understanding. Are you aware of your own strengths and challenges? Leaders are not people who do not have challenges – in this case there would be no leaders! – but are people who are aware of their challenges and able to handle them while building on their strengths. Becoming a leader begins with your own openness and self-awareness. In this workshop, you will learn how leadership starts with the person staring back at you in the mirror.

Leadership Communication

CSL defines leadership as being primarily about building relationships. How do leaders communicate with others? What sets them aside from the average communicator? In this workshop you will learn CSL’s time-tested strategies for empathetic communication that have been practiced and refined by thousands of executives around the world. You will learn how to become a compassionate leader who makes others feel appreciated and respected, yet also drives forward toward tremendous results. You will learn how to make commitments you can keep and keep the commitments you make. You will learn how to see others as they are, not as you are. You will also learn why leaders always listen at least twice as much as they speak. You will then learn how you can speak with a voice that’s honest, passionate and inspires others. You will learn how to convey what you have to say in ways other people can understand so every word counts. An ancient Chinese proverb tells us ‘He who angers me controls me.’ In this workshop, you will learn how to avoid negative emotional reactions to difficult people or situations and use effective communication to help you move forward toward your life goals.

Balancing Success and Happiness

If success is to live the life you love, happiness is to love the life you live. Many leaders are very skilled at being successful, but not very skilled at being happy. How can you balance the need for both success and happiness in your life? How can you learn how to get what you want and want what you get? In this workshop, CSL will first highlight the 6 P’s of Success – six qualities that will enable you to be successful in whatever you undertake. Then CSL will ask you to define happiness, and also provide some of its own definitions and inspiring anecdotes hailing from our encounters with people from Kenya to Brazil to the Phillipines. Finally, CSL will help you to conceptualize how you can balance your search for both success and happiness in your life. The result: You will learn how to see the cup half-full instead of half-empty. Other people will want to be both like you and with you. This is the hallmark of true personal development and leadership.

Power and Leadership

An old definition of leadership is ‘A leader is someone who has followers.’ CSL redefines leadership with its principle that ‘A leader is someone who empowers other leaders.’ By this new definition, a true leader is not surrounded by followers, but by other leaders. In this workshop, CSL will explore the nature of genuine power with you. Many difficult issues you experience in your life boil down to bids for power or differences over perceptions of power. Are you a friendly leader or a friend and a leader? Becoming aware of the power dynamic can greatly enhance your leadership abilities. Do others have to feel small in order for you to feel large? Does power mean ‘power over’ or ‘power with’? Can you form a definition of power that enables you to move forward toward your goals without alienating others or making them feel mistreated or ignored by you? Is power a zero-sum game (e.g. more for me, less for you)? How can you increase the power of others while also expanding your own power? This workshop is a highly interactive journey into the true nature of power and how a leader can most effectively deploy it for maximum results.

The Currency of Leadership: Building Trust

How do you build trust with your family members, friends, teachers and the people you work with? What makes people feel like you are honest and genuine? Trust is about making and keeping commitments. Just as the dollar is the currency of the United States, trust is the currency of leadership. When a leader runs out of this currency, they’re also out of a job. In this workshop, you will learn how to build your ‘Trust Accounts’ with others by making commitments you can deliver on and delivering on the commitments you make. You will also learn what to do when you’ve made a commitment you can’t deliver on. After this workshop, you will be better able to understand the true inner workings of any company or organization, which are determined by a trust-based structure that CSL will share with you. You will also be able to integrate a deeper understanding of how to build trusting relationships into the way you interact with people from day-to-day. This workshop will help you to become a leader that operates from a core basis of honesty and integrity that inspires loyalty and trust from others.


Contact CSL
if you are interested in setting up a Young Leaders Program for youth in your school, youth organization, region or focus area.

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    Tony has a way of being that is authentic and welcoming. His passion and commitment was evident. The approach was powerfully and passionately delivered…The retreat absolutely exceeded my expectations. PASSION and TRUTH are contagious! Tony is an example of a confident, compassionate, gentle person who has made a difference in this world. He is very special and a treasure.

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    Tony was the perfect facilitator as he had walked the path I am on…I need more time for myself, I need to find balance and hone skills for my staff. I can learn a lot from Tony’s calmness and integrity.

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    I love Tony’s passion for his topic! I also am very inspired by how he merges many cultural philosophies….I like how he makes leadership a ‘concrete’ idea…I wish the retreat had been longer.

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    Tony Silard and the Center for Social Leadership are indeed transforming the way nonprofit leaders lead.

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    Tony's use of examples and stories always help clarify/illustrate his points – and keep the discussion interesting. What I find most important, is that Tony includes stories from his personal experiences and feelings. To me, that adds a level of authenticity and vulnerability that I see as a commitment to teaching and generosity that is unique.

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    The workshop has really helped me to identify my blind spots. After this conference I will have an inclusive decision-making style. I will avoid the ‘I know it all’ attitude.

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    I have worked with 5 national organizations and have had the opportunity to participate in several leadership development programs, all valuable, but none of which compared to the quality and depth of ECPNL...The quality of the presenters was second to none...I highly recommend this Program for nonprofit leaders at any stage of their career.

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 Strategic Development National Outreach – MS Gulf, Coast
Hurricane Katrina Recovery

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    Thank you Tony for helping me find my passion! Forty years of not knowing and to finally have an “ah ha” moment!

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    The conference affected my philosophy of leadership. It taught me not to be a dictator, but to have vision and be a listener.

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    I see myself continuing as an NGO leader because of my skills that I now have after this conference. Tony’s 15 Principles will help me in leading my organization to achieve its vision, mission and goals…This conference was really helpful and it should be organized again for other NGO Directors.

    — Brian Kayongo, Director, Adolescent Reproductive Health Advocates, Zambia

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    I believe that many of us learned a lot more than we anticipated we would. Tony’s workshops fueled conversations that continued through dinners, evening walks on the beach, and late night groups who gathered around wine and intense conversation....Tony helped us regain our focus and renew our passion and vision!

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    CSL's nonprofit leadership training helped me fully appreciate my inner voice. It has allowed my philosophy of leadership to bloom!

    — Holly M. Gartmayer-DeYoung, Healthcare Executive on Sabbatical, Addison, ME

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    I think Tony’s approach was good because we had the chance to discuss the different characteristics of a leader….He made us realize that we all have characteristics of leaders in us.

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