Illinois Philosophy of Leadership

The University of Illinois Philosophy of Leadership

Preparing to be successful in a career and a life after college requires more than simply taking classes. At Illinois, we recognize that developing leadership skills can give you the extra edge you need to stand out among your peers.

In the Spring of 1999 a group of Illinois students, faculty, staff, and alumni came together to create a leadership philosophy statement. This philosophy serves as a guide in the campus-wide initiative to develop the leadership potential of you, the student.

Here are a few important points from the Illinois Philosophy of Leadership:
  • ALL students exercise leadership. Leadership does not require formal authority or position.
  • Leadership is about people working together, influencing each other to achieve intended results.
  • Leadership development begins with discovering your own passion, motivation, strengths and limitations.
  • Building trusting relationships is essential for the work of leadership. Leadership never happens alone.
  • The practice of leadership is ethical in nature and includes a responsibility for the rights and welfare of those inside and outside of the group.

Four Skill Areas of Leadership

Becoming actively involved in the LEADS community will give you the opportunity to practice and develop the following leadership skills:
  • Self Development Skills: Self development is the ongoing process of determining and continuing to intentionally improve upon your strengths and weaknesses.
  • Interpersonal Development Skills: Generally, interpersonal skills involve how you relate to those around you. Interpersonal skills include relationship building, communication, active listening, conflict resolution, decision making, and intercultural communication skills.
  • Organizational and Group Development Skills: Groups are everywhere—families, classes, organizations, workplaces—these are all groups that you are part of or will be part of at some point in your life. Examining and experiencing the different roles and dynamics that exist in groups will help you be a more effective and productive group member.
  • Transitional Development Skills: Learning and personal growth does not end on graduation day – learning and growing are processes that continue throughout your entire life. Transitional development skills involve finding ways to continue to develop as a leader and develop others as leaders after college and throughout your entire lifetime.

For more information visit the Illinois Leadership Center.