Overview of LEADS LLC

Overview of LEADS for Prospective Students

What is LEADS?

The LEADS program is a residential living-learning community located on the second floor of Hopkins Hall in Champaign’s Ikenberry Commons North Residence Hall Area. The LEADS program focuses on assisting you in developing and practicing leadership skills and styles and exploring service opportunities both on campus and in the local Champaign-Urbana community.

LEADS is an acronym that stands for Leadership Experience through Academic Development and Service. This community name was created by the LEADS residents who attended a planning retreat in April of 2000.

What is Leadership?

We would argue that this question does not have one definitive answer! Leadership can be defined in many ways and everyone has a unique leadership style! When some of us think of leaders, we think of people who hold formal "leadership" positions. Here at Illinois, we recognize that leadership is not just positional, leadership is an active process of learning, developing, and practicing skills that can make us more effective in our classes, careers, and relationships with other people–ANYONE can be a leader! To be an active, involved member of this floor, one needs no prior leadership experience–all you need is the desire to explore and be involved!

LEADS Participation Expectations

Now you are probably wondering exactly how the LEADS program will assist you in developing your leadership skills. The great part about being a member of this community in the YOU will be an integral part of continuing to answer this question.

Since leadership development is such a personal and individual process, leadership is not something that we can "instill" into you. Developing leadership skills is a personal, hands-on experience that you must be actively involved in.  Members of the LEADS community are expected to be involved in the activities offered by the program. We know that leaders have different interests so we encourage LEADS members to select the activities in which they choose to participate in.

LEADS Courses

All LEADS courses are University courses taught through University academic departments by departmentally appointed instructors. Courses are credited through academic departments and appear on your transcripts as regular, credit courses.

Most LEADS courses are general education courses that you will need to take anyway—so why not take them with us?

If you take a LEADS course, you will be in class with fellow LEADS residents. When you take a class with people you live with, you may feel more comfortable participating actively in the class, you may develop study groups outside of class, and you may develop closer social ties with others living in the LEADS community.

Each semester LEADS will offer courses that are either directly or indirectly related to developing leadership skills. You are not required to take a LEADS course, but we encourage you to take advantage of this unique opportunity.

The LEADS courses meet in the Weston Hall classrooms. Weston Hall is located right next to the Student Dining and Residential Programs (SDRP) building and across the Ikenberry Commons courtyard from Hopkins Hall.

LEADS Events & Programs

You can develop leadership skills and build strong ties to the LEADS community by becoming actively involved in our community events. Each semester, we offer a wide variety of events and programs. To see the most recent listing of our events, visit our LEADS community calendar. If you have an idea for a possible event, workshop, speaker, or activity, email us at leads@illinois.edu.

Leadership Resource Material

The following books are just a small sampling of texts that we have available for check-out in the LEADS Library Collection, located in the Ikenberry Residence Hall Library. Please feel free to recommend any resources that would be helpful to your personal leadership development by contacting us at leads@illinois.edu.

  • Becoming a Person of Influence: How to Positively Impact the Lives of Others
  • Credibility: How Leaders Gain and Lose it, Why People Demand it
  • Alternatives to the Peace Corps
  • Encouraging the Heart: A Leader's Guide to Rewarding and Recognizing Others
  • The Leadership Challenge: How to Keep Getting Extraordinary Things Done in Organizations
  • On Becoming a Leader
  • The Transformational Leader: they Key to Global Competitiveness
  • The Female Advantage: Women's Ways of Leadership
  • Leading With Soul
  • Leadership for Global Citizenship
  • The Art of Possibility
  • Who Moved My Cheese?

For additional Leadership Resources, visit the Illinois Leadership Center, 290 Illini Union.