The Social Change Model of Leadership | Kent State University

The Social Change Model of Leadership

What is the Social Change Leadership Model?


  • Consciousness of Self means being aware of beliefs, values, attitudes, and emotions that motivate one to take action.
  • Congruence refers to thinking, feeling, and behaving with consistency, genuineness, authenticity, and honesty toward others. Congruent persons are those whose actions are consistent with their most deeply-held beliefs and convictions.
  • Commitment refers to the amount of passion, intensity, and duration dedicated to achieving consciousness of self and congruence. In life, the best possible results occur when people give 100% commitment to whatever they are doing.


  • Collaboration is to work with others in a common effort. It is the primary means of empowering others and self through trust. Collaboration multiplies group effectiveness by capitalizing on the multiple talents and perspectives of each group member to generate creative solutions and actions.
  • Common Purpose means to work with shared aims and values. It is best achieved when all group members share in the vision and actively participate to achieve group purpose and goals.
  • Controversy with Civility recognizes that a group will inevitably have members with different viewpoints and that such differences must be aired openly with civility. Civility implies a respect for others, a willingness to hear each other’s views, and the exercise of restraint in criticizing the views and actions of others.


  • Citizenship is the process whereby the individual and the collaborative group become responsibly connected to the community. To be a good citizen is to work for positive change on behalf of others and the community.
  • Change is the 8th C, the value “hub” that gives meaning and purpose to the other 7 C’s. Change, in other words, is the ultimate goal of the creative process of leadership—to make a better world and a better society for self and others.

Taken from: Higher Education Research Institute. (1996). A Social Change Model of Leadership Development. Los Angeles: The Regents of the University of California.

Why is Kent State University using the Social Change Model?


  • Is inclusive, focusing on the process of leadership and the development of leadership qualities, instead positional leadership.
  • Is a tiered process, that is beneficial for both individual and student organization growth.
  • Has a clearly defined structure.
  • Focuses on the individual’s leadership skills and later, the individual’s responsibility to use those skills for the betterment of society.
  • Encourages the development of values supported by the Kent State University leadership mission - equity, social justice, self knowledge, personal empowerment, collaboration, citizenship and service.
  • Was specifically designed for college students by professionals within higher education.
  • Can be easily used in conjunction with other models of leadership.