Leadership and Civic Engagement

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Today’s graduates will experience change at an unprecedented pace over the course of their lifetimes.  They will probably not have just one career, but perhaps many.  To cope with this kind of change, they will need leadership skills, self-confidence, and a sense of purpose coupled with adaptability.

UNCG and the Social Change Model of Leadership

All leadership programs at UNCG seek to help students develop skills and behaviors rooted in the Social Change Model for Leadership’s “7 C’s for Change.”

  1. Consciousness of Self: Awareness of the beliefs, values, attitudes, and emotions that motivate one to take action..
  2. Congruence: understanding the roles of self and others in a relationship. At a group level there are ways individuals collaborate to enhance their own qualities and the qualities of others while impacting change.
  3. Commitment: being able to describe and enact the process needed to carry out tasks. It is understanding how to produce steps needed to carry tasks to completion and acting on them effectively and efficiently.
  4. Collaboration: being able to conceptualize and provide a vision for others. This is about innovation synthesis, risk-taking, problem-solving, artistic expression, and abstract thinking.
  5. Common Purpose: the ability to write and speak clearly, coherently, and effectively. It is also about being able to adapt modes of communication to one’s audience as well as being able to actively listen to others.
  6. Controversy with Courage*: understanding a leader’s responsibility to connect with/be involved with the greater communities they are a part of (locally, nationally, globally). At a societal level, leadership is directed to address social concerns and this is competency emphasizes social responsibility for positive change in the community(ies) you are a part of.
  7. Community: understanding the value of working productively because of a diverse group of people (cultures, personality types, religions, economics, diversity of thought, etc.). It emphasizes empathy, sensitivity, understanding, appreciation, collaboration, and acceptance.

*Adapted from the Leadership for Liberation framework by Harper & Kezar, 2021.

CHANGE gives meaning and purpose to the 7 C’s; the ultimate goal of the creative process of leadership is CHANGE – to make a better society for self and others.

Why Does Leadership Development Matter?

  • Employers consistently rank “leadership skills” among the most highly sought-after skills.
  • Our communities need leaders who will impact positive change.
  • Because of leadership training, students develop a strong sense of who they are through self-discovery and personal empowerment.
  • Through leadership programming, students develop confidence and resilience.
  • Discovering your values and purpose through leadership development and community engagement is a fulfilling and meaningful experience.
  • Through our programs, you will create connections to other UNCG students and increase your network.