The Leader's Handbook, 2nd Ed. [ebook]

Learning Leadership Skills by Facilitating Fun, Games, Play, and Positive Interaction
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Dimensions:6 x 9
Format: This is the EBOOK format of this title Ebook
Author(s): Bill Michaelis
John M. O'Connell

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The Leader's Handbook (Second Edition) updates the previous edition's references and resources, triples the number of photographs, and adds new chapters on Flow Theory and Behavior Guidance.

This book is based on over 35 years of practical experience, and very few, if any, leadership books have this depth of leadership analysis.

It is geared toward training and management of all age groups, and youth development, and will demonstrate how to effectively work with groups, and lead games play and team-building activities.

Topics include basic concepts, generating enthusiasm, physical and emotional safety, presentation, maintaining the flow of play, closing a game session, game theory, leader roles, managing a large event, positive discipline, situational leadership, and transition activities.

A variety of resources including books, magazines, websites, equipment, and organizations are also provided.

Focusing on more than just theory, The Leader's Handbook is a practical guide that shows leaders how to create fun with real people in real situations and has a special chapter on the application of "facilitative leadership" to a wide range of program areas.

Author Note: 

Longtime CPRS member and SFSU Professor Emeritus Dr. Bill Michaelis was honored that he was invited to be an official entrant in the International Encyclopedia of Play and Playgrounds, which honors select professionals who have made a significant difference in serving children, youth and adults to aid them in the understanding and provision of healthy play alternatives.

His new leadership book The Leader’s Handbook: Learning Leadership Skills by Facilitating Fun, Games, Play and Positive Interaction (Venture/Sagamore) was also considered important enough to be included and

Bill can be reached at

Table of Contents: 

Chapter 1 • On Playing On Purpose
Some Qualities of Play
Some Values of Play(fulness)
Some Forms and Contexts
Elements of the Play Experience

Chapter 2 • The Fundamentals of Play Leadership
Enthusiasm and Safety
What It Is All About

Chapter 3 • Getting It Going
Basic Basics
The Play Community
Facilitation Versus Arbitrary Authority
A Short Quiz: Name the Four Ps
The Four Ps of Getting a Game Going: Purpose, Planning, Preparation, and Presentation
    The Players
                The "New Games" Philosophy
    The Situation
    The Setting
    The Game
                The Leader (You)
                A Few Final Thoughts About Planning
                Recruiting ("Engage, Intrigue, Enlist!")
    Making Teams
Fine Tuna as Needed
Multiple Games

Chapter 3.5 • The Flow Imperative
The Fun Zone
Some Practical Implications of “Flow Theory”
A Few More “Wolf ” Tickets
                More on Flow, Energy, and Sequencing
Flow and “It” Power
                “It” Power Defined
                Some Ways to Moderate the “It” Power
“Flow” and “It” Power—In Summary

Chapter 4 • Keeping It Going (Rollin’ on the River)
The Middle Game—“Keep the Flow, Luke!”
Continue to Nurture and to Build Play Community
The Evolving Game: The Play Community and Shared Player-Leader Roles
Play Exercise: The Roles and Qualities of the Leader
High Viz Versus Low Viz
Support Great Playing
Bending, Shaping, Changing, and Playing Well
                Game Change Quality and Process
                Changing Channels: “Now it’s time for a totally different game” (Really!)

Chapter 5 • Ending It All Well
Ending the Game or Games Session
                                Clock Time: “Begin with the end in mind”
                                Understanding the Game Life Span
                                Multiple Games Sessions and Other Miscellaneous Stuff
                Some Games and Game-Like Activities That Lend Themselves to Good Endings
                                The Lap Sit
                                Progressive Circles
                                Get Down
                                Magic Ball or Magic Pine Cone (Outdoor Version)
                Some Final Final Thoughts
                                One Last Game
Chapter 6 • On Games
Games Storm I
Games Storm II
Why Games? Why Not Just Play?
                Types of Games Bonus Points Exercise!
“Flavors” of Games
                The Bill System
                The John System
Game Segues
Using Games I
Using Games II: “Just when you thought it was safe to play.” (Game Change and Invention)
Elements of Games
End Game

Chapter 7 • Leading (& Orchestrating) Events, or, “The Big Game”
Why Do It?—“More people, more games, more fun”
What This Chapter Will and Won’t Do
A The Song Remains the Same, or, B It’s the Same Old Song: The Fundamentals
What’s Different?
    The Players
                The Situation
    The Setting
    The Games
    The Leaders
A Few Additional Notes on Orchestration and Sideline (Peripheral) Activities and Logistics
Some Notes on the Process of Large Event Development
The Festival Day (the Event, the Play Itself )
    Beginning I
    Beginning II
    The Middle
    Ending I
    Ending II
                Ending III and Beginnings
A Few Different Types of Big Events
    “Dundercon—Magic Fest”
                New Games Festival
                Family Fun Festival
                The Power of Play-Days of Play (Tages de Spiel)
    Freedom Day
    Playfair Events
                And Many More

Chapter 8 • Some Advanced Leadership Skills
Creating Psychological Safety Zones
Pop Quiz #97
Zen and the Art of Play Leadership
Situational Leadership
    The Players
    The Situation
    The Setting
    Some Examples
Another View on Situational Leadership:
                Hersey and Blanchard’s Model
    The Theories
                Some Problem Solving
                Leader Test: What Would You Do?
Advanced Leadership Skills: A Summary

Chapter 8.5 • Positive Discipline: An Approach to Behavior Guidance
Approaches to Positive Behavior
                What Kids Need
Another Look at Front-End Loading
Some General Principles of Positive Discipline
If All Else Fails
Effective Communication: Assertive Discipline, “I” Messages, and Limited Choice Language
                Limited Choice Language
                Steps of Assertive Discipline
Chapter 9 • A Bigger Bag of Tricks
Five (or More) “Openers” That the Pros Use
Ten (or Less) “Can’t Miss When All Else Fails” Games
Ten+ Somewhat Cute and Maybe Even Challenging “Transition” Activities
Three Lesser-Known Leader Talents
Six Great Lines, Cheap Tricks, and Emergency Actions That May Evoke a Smile in Tight Situations
All the Equipment You’ll Never Need
    Day Pack
    Duffel Bag
Chapter 10 • How to Get Better
Set a Pattern for Learning
Set Up a Review Pattern
Keep a “Book”
Develop Resources
Plan Your Own Development Program

Chapter 11 • On the Importance of Being a Playmaker

Chapter 12 • Resources, Connections, and Beyond (The Bigger Picture)
Beyond Games
                In Business and Organizational Settings
                In Schools and Children’s Centers
                For Friends and Families
                As a Community Organizing Tool
                As a Creativity Exercise or Exercise in Self-Renewal
An Even Bigger Picture
Catalogs, Magazines, and Newsletters
Books, Videos, Journals, and Magazine Articles
Organizations, Networks, and Websites
Further Services and Sources of Information From Us

About the Authors

About the Author(s)

Bill Michaelis

Bill Michaelis is Professor Emeritus, former Graduate Coordinator, and former Chair of the Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies at San Francisco State University.

For over 25 years he was also on the faculty of Marian Wright Edelman Institute for Children Youth and Families and taught a behavioral, social science course on Developmental Play Processes that touched many folks working with children and youth.

He is the owner -director of, an international play event and leadership training organization.

Over the past 40 years Bill has presented over 2,000 fun-filled, thought-provoking workshops, events, and keynote speeches around the world to clientele as diverse as Paramount Pictures and the government of Austria.

He has presented keynote addresses at annual association conferences in 27 different states and workshops for many more.

He has presented to just about every type of organization that serves children and youth, including schools, human service and recreation organizations, nonprofit, public and corporate childcare agencies, and the widest range of professional conferences.

His extensive event work includes a 10,000-person family play festival in the Olympic Park in Munich, Germany.

He has written, taught, and consulted extensively in the area of play and its applications to creativity, learning development, self-esteem, and healthy living for all age groups.

He was an early pioneer, lead trainer, and board member of the original New Games Foundation. He is the author of “Fantasy Play Creativity and Mental Health” and Learning Through Noncompetitive Play Activities, and was a contributor to The New Games Book and More New Games (which he also coedited.)

He has also produced four training DVDs on youth development and play leadership.

Bill received both his master’s and doctoral degrees in Education and Anthropology from the University of California at Berkeley, emphasizing Play and Human Development and Multicultural Education.

He currently lives in Pacifica, California, with his wife Dinah, and has two grown kids Paige and Jason, who have playful families of their own.

John M. O'Connell

John O’Connell is director of Interplay Network, an organization development firm specializing in process facilitation, leadership, team development and conflict resolution.

He has worked with a wide range of organizations across the country, from AT&T to The Nature Conservancy.

He has also worked across many levels and boundaries within organizations from front line union members to the top management team at Chrysler Corporation.

John was Co-Director of the New Games Foundation and lead developer of the New Games Training Program.

He was a contributing author of The New Games Book.

John is particularly well-known for his work in “active learning,” using learning games, sea kayaking, and exercises drawn from the martial art of Aikido as methods for experiential education.

He integrates the range of his work experience through a variety of methodologies to engage a group or an organization in the “organizational learning” process.

John currently lives in the San Francisco Bay area, and has a playful grown son Terrence Morgan.