While there are numerous approaches and definitions of leadership, in our workshop we explore four main theories: authentic leadership, servant leadership, transformational leadership, and the Social Change Model. To read more about each, click on the links below.
- Authentic leadership (Avolio & Gardner, 2005)
- Servant leadership (Greenleaf, 1977)
- Transformational leadership (Bass, 1990)
- The Social Change Model
The workshop also features the First Follower video, which teaches values lessons about leadership and challenges traditional social understandings of who are leaders. Click here to watch First Follower: Leadership Lessons from Dancing Guy on YouTube.
To learn more about leadership, we encourage you to check out Leadership for the Twenty-First Century (Rost, 1991). We have adopted Rost's definition of leadership in programming; "Leadership is an influence relationship among leaders and followers who intend real changes that reflect their mutual purposes" (Rost, 1991). Leadership includes four essential elements:
- Leadership is a relationship based on influence
- Leaders and followers are the people included in the relationship
- Leaders and followers intend real changes
- Leaders and followers develop mutual purposes
Here are some other resources on leadership that we recommend checking out:
Komives, S. R., Dugan, J. P., Owen, J. E., Slack, C., & Wagner, W. (2011). The handbook for student leadership development. New York: John Wiley & Sons.
Northouse, P. G. (2015). Leadership: Theory and practice. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications.
Leadership that occurs in a wide range of environment requires the knowledge and understanding of context, which includes intercultural awareness and civic engagement. Leadership, taking place in our increasingly connected, diverse, and global societies necessitates a recognition of differences in cultures, identities, and experiences. Citizenship and culture, therefore, are critically linked with leadership in today’s 21st world.
According to Astin and Astin (2000) leadership and citizenship are not only connected, but they are also central components of the educational experience of university students who intend to inspire positive change in society. Included in the definition of citizenship is engagement. Especially in democratic society, citizenship emphasizes civic responsibility and involvement in political affairs, such as voting and advocating for important issues. Social justice is an important part of civic engagement and citizenship; members of society must constantly assess and critically examine governmental practices to determine if systems, practices, rights, etc. are just and fair for everyone in the country. Social justice work demands that citizens take an active role in advocating for the rights of fellow citizens to ensure not only equality, but equity. Thus, rather than being a static position, citizenship is the active process of analyzing and engaging in civic discourses to examine political practices and take action toward positive, meaningful, and transformational change.
The idea of citizenship encourages students to actualize their experiences in multiple contexts and situations; understand the connections between people, processes, and systems in order to collaborate and act with purpose, courtesy, and intention. Citizenship begs for active reflection on experiences and opportunities, application of acquired knowledge in service to others and effective problem-solving skills when dealing with issues within groups, communities, and society.
Consider these resources for more information:
- TED Talk: "Education and civic engagement" by Seth Andrew
- TED Talk: "Culture and leadership" by Joseph Trimble
- TED Talk: "Cultural intelligence: The competitive edge for leaders" by Julia Middleton
- TED Talk: "Empowered voices: Leadership, citizenship, and change" by Lelia Brammer
- "What leadership looks like in different cultures" from the Harvard Business Review
Ethics is the system of moral principles that guide decision-making and actions. Ethics may differ according to culture, society, and/or community.
In this workshop, we consider the famous ethical thought experiment called "The Trolley Problem", including a few twists on the original. Using A Framework for Ethical Decision Making from Santa Clara University, we examine five different ethical perspectives that might alter how one conceptualizes an ethical dilemma.
We also recommend reading about Ethical Leadership to learn more about how ethics and leadership intersect, and how one can develop their ethical leadership.
- Ethical leadership (Brown, Trevino, & Harrison, 2005)
- Ethical leadership review (Brown & Trevino, 2006)
Power refers to the social influence and impact someone has over other people. As such, this idea includes responsibility, accountability, and social justice themes. Not everyone who has power acts ethically, so people in positions of power might take advantage or, or abuse, their ability to influence.
Considering power from a social justice perspective, it is important to understand that each person comes from a position in society that influences their power and ability to achieve their goals. Here is an activity we recommend using to explore social privilege.
Privilege and power also depend on an individual's social identity. To explore social identities, we suggest using the Social Identity Wheel activity from Arizona State University. Here are the facilitator guide and handout:
What motivates you? This is a timeless question that many people encounter in interviews as well as in their personal life. Not always easy to answer, it's an important thought that each leader should explore to determine how and why they do what they do.
To learn how great leaders inspire action, we recommend watching this famous TED Talk by Simon Sinek.
Weiner's Model of Attributions explains that achievement-related events include three main elements:
- Locus: whether the cause of the event is perceived as internal or external to the individual
- Stability: whether the cause is stable or unstable across time and situations
- Controllability: whether the cause of the event is perceived as being under the control of the individual
Depending on how an individual attributions success (or failure) to an event impacts their motivation. For example, if someone feels like they have more control over an outcome, they are likely to be more motivated to engage with the situation since they believe they can positively influence the outcome. In contrast, if an outcome feels less stable to someone, they are more likely to avoid the situation because they believe their impact will not matter as much. You can read more about this model here: Weiner's Model of Attributions (1980)
Communication refers to the act or process of exchanging verbal and non-verbal messages. Effective communication is key to successful leadership. Effective leaders employ useful communication skills to motivate others, take charge of difficult situations, handle conflict, and ensure that team goals are accomplished.
To achieve effective communication, we recommend two models of communication: The Shannon-Weaver Sender-Receiver model and the Barnlund Transactional Model. These models help portray certain relevant facts about communication:
- There is always a sender and receiver in communication.
- Communication is a continuous process, in which we are simultaneously senders and receivers.
- Depending on the situation, one can implement different forms of communication to effectively transmit a message.
- There are distractors, such as noise, that may distort the intended message(s).
- Communication also happens unconsciously.
Effective communication also includes active listening. More than simply listening to the words people say, active listening involves understanding the feelings and the attitudes behind the words, and also calls for the receiver to be engaged and attentive, rather than passive and uninterested. Leadership, which relies on developing and maintaining relationships, requires knowledge and experience with active listening and investing in communication, collaboration with other people.
While the concept of listening comes with many challenges, active listening is a useful approach, central to quality leadership. Some leadership theories, such as servant leadership and transformational leadership, describe a leader who seeks to earn respect and trust from their followers by developing relationships though shared dialogue. Efficient dialogue can only be achieved through effective communication and active listening.
To learn more about communication, we encourage you to consult the following resources:
- TED Talk: "How to speak so that people listen" by Julian Treasure
- TED Talk: "Think fast, talk smart" from the Stanford Graduate School of Business
Being to a change agent is how an individual is able to impact change in their communities. Similar to power, being a change agent depends on a variety of factors, including social identity. Role models are common examples of change agents since people often look to them for guidance and direction.
We encourage you to read this article from Forbes, which explains why every leader must be a change agent.
Conflict management is about recognizing what multiple parties are looking for and what obstacles impede more collaborative, cooperative relations. As such, effectively managing conflict often comes with good negotiation skills as well as the ability to communicate (and listen!) intentionally.
To practice negotiation skills, we encourage using this activity from MIT.
Each person has their own approach to addressing conflict. The Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Instrument (TKI) is a questionnaire that helps individuals identify their personal style to conflict management. According to TKI, there are five management styles:
Becoming familiar with Nonviolent Communication (NVC) is helpful to equip oneself for dealing more effectively with conflict. NVC in it's simplicity and integrity supports the recognition of interconnectedness and purpose. As well, it provides a compassionate process that encourages evolving one's awareness. Here is a link to one article from The Center for Nonviolent Communication site as an introduction.