Illinois Model of Leadership
A list of competencies provides goals, directions, and outcomes for leadership educators and learners. Competencies help the campus to inclusively define the knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary for effective leadership practice, and they provide a structure to communicate how leadership-specific knowledge, skills, and attitudes are inter-related.
At the ILC, we believe that leadership can be taught. While some may have more inherent skills, everyone can enhance and refine their abilities to lead others. So we have created a set of core competencies, better known as the Illinois Model of Leadership, that we believe all effective leaders should possess. Below is a video of Dr. Gayle Spencer (Director) and Dr. Beth Hoag (Associate Director) discussing the model.
History of the Illinois Model of Leadership
The Illinois Leadership® Center strives to be an internationally acclaimed provider of leadership education. The ILC has always relied on a clear mission, vision, philosophy of leadership, and a set of core leadership skills to ensure Illinois students are learning what is necessary to be a more effective leader. Before the doors of the ILC opened in 2002, a committee of faculty, staff, and students were charged by then Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Dr. Pat Askew to create a set of guiding doctrine to inform and shape the practice of the leadership at Illinois. This committee created the Illinois Philosophy of Leadership and 11 Skills & Attributes, in which the ILC utilized to develop the center's curriculum and programs for over ten years. This same committee also worked to create and structure the initial plans for the ILC, which later included formally establishing this advisory committee as the Illinois Leadership Coordinating Committee, ILCC (now known as the Illinois Leadership Education Campus Collaborative, ILECC).
In 2014-2015, the ILC sought out to reimagine the doctrine that guided the ILC and the broader University’s practice of leadership education. In the fall of that year, four sessions of Campus Conversations on Leadership Education were held. Over 260 faculty, staff, and students participated in the task of identifying the skills, value, attributes an Illinois graduates should demonstrate. Over 3000 post it notes were generated, which then provided themes for competencies and approaches to cultivate leadership on campus.What resulted was a white paper on “An Illinois Model of Leadership Education”, which includes four elements:
- philosophy of leadership,
- leadership learning and practice,
- leadership competencies, and
- a leadership assessment (The Illinois Leadership Inventory)
The cornerstone of our work is based on the Illinois Philosophy of Leadership.
Illinois Philosophy of Leadership
Leaders are individuals who work with others to create positive change. Leadership can be practiced by anyone interested in making a contribution, regardless of formal authority or position.
Leadership development begins with self-knowledge—understanding one’s passions, motivations, strengths, limits, and personal values. Leaders are committed to continual self-discovery, reflection, and learning.
Learning to work with others is essential, since leadership never happens alone.
Leadership is exercised as members of teams, business, civic, and community organizations, and as global citizens. Leaders recognize and value the multitude of voices, opinions, experiences, and identities in our workplaces and communities, and as leaders, we work to promote greater inclusivity and respect.
At the University of Illinois, students learn and practice leadership in their academic coursework and out of classroom activities.
Illinois Leadership Competencies
The Illinois Model of Leadership consist of four levels of practice:
1. PERSONAL/SELF LEVEL
The practice of effective leadership begins within oneself. Leaders work to develop a set of individual skills and attitudes necessary for being productive members of society. To review resources related to this level of practice, visit the library's libguide.
2. INTERPERSONAL/TEAM LEVEL
Effective leadership requires working with and influencing others to achieve common goals and shared vision. Leaders need to develop skills for building personal, authentic, and productive relationships. To review resources related to this level of practice, visit the library's libguide.
- Common Purpose
- Relationship Management
- Group Dynamics
- Cultural Competency
3. ORGANIZATION LEVEL
Significant accomplishments achieved within organizations are the result of teams interacting together. Leaders must navigate systems and influence people when they do not have interpersonal relationships with all others. To review resources related to this level of practice, visit the library's libguide.
- Change Management
- Diversity Advocacy
- Systems Thinking
4. COMMUNITY/SOCIETY LEVEL
The values and actions of individuals, teams, and organizations interact with and affect the broader communities in which they are situated. Leaders are role models and influencers with several communities simultaneously, and must possess skills and attitudes consistent with success in this larger context. To review resources related to this level of practice, visit the library's libguide.
- Human Dignity
- Social Justice
- Global Competence
Leadership education at the University of Illinois consists of developing competence in a set of skills and attitudes within each Level.
The practice of effective leadership begins within oneself. Leaders work to develop a set of individual skills and attitudes necessary for being productive members of society.
Possesses an accurate sense of one’s current interests, values and goals in life
Can describe one’s personality, interests, strengths, and weaknesses
Manages one’s self and actions with a healthy attitude and productive relationships
Consciously identifies one’s goals and works towards them
Starts work on one’s goals and plans
Proposes new ideas or actions after consideration of options
Considers past experiences and current situations to inform current and future actions
Utilizes past mistakes and actions as learning opportunities to improve skills
Understands the perspectives of others, without necessarily agreeing with them
Recognizes and acknowledges the emotional context of interactions
Values new experiences and people
Maintains a strong sense of personal values while being responsive to new ones
Acts to do the “right” thing consistently
Possesses a strong personal character
Effective leadership requires working with and influencing others to achieve common goals and shared vision. Leaders need to develop skills for building personal, authentic, and productive relationships.
Facilitates conversations within groups to agree upon goals and tactics
Builds a sense of commitment from team members
Shares perspectives and gathers viewpoints, in both formal and informal environments
Engages in active listening
Builds and maintains healthy and productive relationships
Adapts personal interaction style to build relationships in a variety of environments
Recognizes how relationships within groups change and accordingly adapts personal leadership style
Manages interpersonal conflict appropriately
Supports other leaders and their initiatives
Challenges the group and other leaders with respect and consideration
Possesses the skills, knowledge, and attitude necessary to create authentic relationships with those from different cultures
Recruits diverse membership within groups or teams
Significant accomplishments achieved within organizations are the result of teams interacting together. Leaders must navigate systems and influence people when they do not have interpersonal relationships with all others.
Creates successful change in organizations with a planned and disciplined process
Engages others in developing a strategic future
Promotes a culture of diversity to make organizations stronger
Advocates for processes that are inclusive of diverse cultures
Creates events and celebrations that teach the value of diversity of cultures
Creates sustainable standard processes for ongoing tasks
Organizes the work of others in a systemic and consistent manner
Values continuous assessment and improvement
Challenges the traditional ways of doing things
Changes processes and structures with purpose and meaning
The values and actions of individuals, teams, and organizations interact with and affect the broader communities in which they are situated. Leaders are role models and influencers with several communities simultaneously, and must possess skills and attitudes consistent with success in this larger context.
Recognizes the worth of all people
Ensures their human rights are a priority
Engages in opportunities to learn about privilege, and the distribution of wealth and resources within a community
Strives to reduce economic, political, and social inequality
Recognizes and understands the value of global perspectives
Respects local cultures within a global context
Finds meaning in their work through service to others
Models service to others by engaging in actions that serve others in and outside of their community
Ensures the impact of work benefits the organization as well as the broader society
Improves environmental conditions within their community