When you have kids to chauffeur and a mile-long to do list, pursuing less immediate needs—like strengthening your leadership skills—tends to be put off to another day. But you don’t have to clear your schedule to learn about leadership. We rounded up a collection of tools to help you hone your skills, whether you have time to read a whole book or just a few minutes while you’re waiting in the school pickup line.

And because we know parent group leaders are budget-conscious, we gathered the best leadership tools available online or from the local library. While many of the experts included here offer paid services like workshops or coaching, we’ve focused on the free tools they provide.

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Growing Leaders

This organization focuses on helping youth and young adults develop leadership skills. On its Facebook page, Growing Leaders shares news and commentary on young leaders that will interest parents as well as insights that can apply to leaders of any age.

Raison Living

Raison Living offers a free app and e-book to help people focus on their goals and make plans to achieve them. Its Facebook page shares news and articles intended to help followers “lead meaningful and happy lives.”

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Energize Inc.

Energize is geared toward professional volunteer coordinators, but much of their advice applies to parent group leaders. Follow Energize on Facebook for interesting news about volunteerism and lots of graphics and quotes about volunteering that you can share with parents.


When You Have a Quick Break

A Minute With Maxwell

John C. Maxwell has written more than 20 books on leadership, works as an executive coach, and leads workshops and courses on leadership development around the country. His 1- to 2-minute video podcasts focus on a single concept, like being a good teammate or motivating others. www.johnmaxwell.com


Tiffany’s Epiphanies

While focused on women improving their leadership skills in the workplace, Tiffany Dufu’s message resonates with anyone who has too many things to do and not enough time to do them. She delves into this further in her new book, Drop the Ball: Achieving More by Doing Less. On her blog, Dufu posts videos called Tiffany’s Epiphanies in which she gives advice on delegating and managing too-long task lists.


When You Have Time for a Book

Learning Leadership: The Five Fundamentals of Becoming an Exemplary Leader, by James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner

You may not think of yourself as a leader, but you can become one as long as you’re committed to learning, according to the authors. Kouzes and Posner have studied successful leaders for more than 30 years and have conducted leadership development programs for hundreds of corporations.
leadershipchallenge.com

Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone To Take Action, by Simon Sinek

Achieving goals requires motivation and determination, which are hard to sustain if you aren’t driven by a larger purpose. Sinek’s book challenges readers to think about what matters most to them and to lead others who feel the same way.

Coach Yourself to Success: 101 Tips To Accomplish Your Personal and Professional Goals, by Talane Miedaner

As a life coach and executive coach, Miedaner helps clients identify and reach their personal and professional goals. Coach Yourself to Success focuses on improving your daily routine, making the most of your time, and strengthening your leadership skills.

While You’re Cooking Dinner

The Art of Making Things Happen

Jennifer Jane Young coaches people to improve their personal and professional lives. In addition to writing for the Huffington Post, she has a weekly podcast in which she addresses topics like stress management and interviews successful entrepreneurs about how they achieved their goals.