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Student Leadership Programs

Framework for Leadership Development

Leadership Philosophy

Leadership for the common good is a collaborative and values-driven process1 through which individuals and groups interrogate and disrupt organizational and systemic dynamics2 to positively transform communities.

This process takes place within one’s community and is guided by self reflection and understanding, relationships across difference, articulation of vision, and commitment to action.

Engagement in leadership promotes the development of the motivations, skills, competencies, and efficacy needed to create positive social change.

Each person has the potential to enact leadership.

Leadership development at the University of Dayton is framed through the lens of our Catholic and Marianist identity and emphasizes the following tenets:

Leadership for the common good requires a recognition that each person has the potential to enact leadership and that each person has an ability to affect positive change.

Competencies3: Efficacy, Resiliency

Leadership for the common good requires an awareness of one’s identities and values, an understanding of the communities to which one belongs, and a commitment to personal growth.

Competencies: Self-Understanding, Personal Values, Scope of Competence

Leadership for the common good requires a commitment to the needs and legitimate aspirations4 of others and an understanding of how power, privilege, and structural inequity operate in local and global contexts.

Competencies: Diversity, Inclusion, Social Justice, Social Responsibility

Leadership for the common good requires a commitment to the development of meaningful, inclusive, and reciprocal relationships5 across multiple dimensions of difference.

Competencies: Empathy, Perspective-Taking, Power Dynamics, Group Development

Leadership for the common good requires the development of a collaborative and mutually beneficial purpose and vision that promotes positive social change.

Competencies: Systems Thinking, Vision, Goals

Leadership for the common good requires a commitment to the practice of solidarity and to actions that actively support the good of all and of each individual.
Competencies: Collaboration, Creating Change, Empowerment, Motivation

Leadership for the common good requires a commitment to engaging in self-reflection and continuous development. Growth occurs through reflecting on and assessing one’s strengths and challenges with a focus on continuous improvement.

Competencies: Receiving Feedback, Reflection and Application

1. Higher Education Research Institute. (1996). A social change model of leadership development guidebook. Version III. Los Angeles, CA: Higher Education Research Institute.

2. Owen, J. E., HassellGoodman, S. and Yamanaka, A. (2017), Culturally Relevant Leadership Learning: Identity, Capacity, and Ecacy. Journal of Leadership Studies, 11: 48-54. doi:10.1002/jls.21545

3. Seemiller, C. (2014). The student leadership competencies guidebook: Designing intentional leadership learning and development.

4. Vatican Council, & Flannery, A. (1996). Vatican Council II: The basic sixteen documents : constitutions, decrees, declarations. Dublin, Ireland: Dominican Publications. (as cited in the Commitment to Community)

5. Heft, J. L., SM. (2001). Leadership in the Marianist Tradition. Dayton, OH: University of Dayton.

Special thanks to Tulane University’s Office of New Student and Leadership Programs for the inspiration to develop and present our leadership framework in this way.


Student Leadership Programs

Kennedy Union
300 College Park
Dayton, Ohio 45469 - 0623