Leadership = Creating Positive Change in our Communities

Alexander Astin, who developed The Social Change Model of Leadership Development, views leadership as a collaborative process where we are able to assert influence and ultimately create change for our groups effectively.

Astin believes there are three sets of leadership values:

1. Individual Values: If you are a person who wanted to lead a change effort (be a leader in that regard) you would be concerned personally with the following:

A. Consciousness of Self – These are the values, attitudes and emotions that empower you to take action

B. Congruence – Thinking, feeling and behaving with consistency, genuineness, authenticity, and honesty toward others. Your actions would match your most deeply held beliefs.

C. Commit – You would use your passion and intensity to persevere to completion.


2. Group Values: If you were going to lead change, you would be conscious of your individual values about yourself (above) you would also move forward to think about the groups with whom you work, considering the following

A. Collaboration – You work with others in a common effort, empowering yourself and others by trust and capitalizing upon multiple talents and people’s various and diverse perspectives.

B. Common Purpose – Astin says that you, as the leader, work with the group to uncover its shared aims and values. The leader assists the group to uncover its true purpose. Essentially, the leader facilitates the group’s ability to engage in a collective analysis and positions the group so that everyone shares in the vision and participates together to articulate the purpose and goals of the change effort.

C. Controversy with Civility– You, as the leader, know that we won’t always agree – there are always going to be disagreements and the concomitant conflict. Astin asserts that while our group might “fight” at times, we are always civil. We need to maintain respectfulness and a willingness to hear other’s views.


3. Community Values or Citizenship – Ultimately, we for positive change on behalf of others and our community. We proceed having a sense of concern for all who might be affected by our decisions.


We acknowledge throughout: leadership is about positive change!

Our next blog article will continue discussing leadership as we look at Kouzes and Posner’s 5 Practices of Exemplary Leaders.




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