Social Change Leadership

lumaxart's photostream / Flickr

On Thursday I participated in an awesome staff retreat with my very awesome teammates. One of the many themes of discussion for the day was the Social Change Model of Leadership, made popular (at least within circles of higher education) by Susan Komives and her community of practice. I’ll let Susan explain it to you:

Awesome, right? If you didn’t catch ‘em, here are the Seven C’s of the Social Change Model of Leadership:

Citizenship: Citizenship occurs when one becomes responsibly connected to the community/society in which one resides by actively working toward change to benefit others through care, service, social responsibility, and community involvement.

Common Purpose: Common purpose necessitates and contributes to a high level of group trust involving all participants in shared responsibility towards collective aims, values, and vision.

Collaboration:Collaboration multiplies a group’s effort through collective contributions, capitalizing on the diversity and strengths of the relationship and interconnections of individuals involved in the change process. Collaboration assumes that a group is working towards a Common Purpose, with mutually beneficial goals, and serves to generate creative solutions as a result of group diversity, requiring participants to engage across difference and share authority, responsibility, and accountability for its success.

Controversy with Civility: Within a diverse group, it is inevitable that differing viewpoints will exist. In order for a group to work toward positive social change, open, critical, and civil discourse can lead to new, creative solutions and is an integral component of the leadership process. Multiple perspectives need to be understood, integrated, and bring value to a group.

Consciousness of Self: Consciousness of self requires an awareness of personal beliefs, values, attitudes, and emotions. Self-awareness, conscious, mindfulness, introspection, and continual personal reflection are foundation elements of the leadership process.

Congruence: Congruence requires that one has identified personal values, beliefs, attitudes, and emotions and acts consistently with those values, beliefs, attitudes, and emotions. A congruent individual is genuine and honest and “walks the talk.”

Commitment: Commitment requires an intrinsic passion, energy, and purposeful investment toward action. Follow-through and willing involvement through commitment lead to positive social change.

An at the centre of the whole model is the concept of change – hey, it’s the only sure thing in life. There are many things to like about the Social Change Model of Leadership and the positive, community-minded change that it seeks to create. In my business – which is career development, or, more interestingly put: fostering a capacity for people to realize their potentiality and make the world a better place through their work – I am excited to combine elements of this model with triple-bottom-line sustainability principles.

The data – from Chaos Theory of Careers to the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change – is already showing us that our future leaders (say, by 2030) will need to really and truly invest in a cradle-to-cradle approach to business, education, governance, technology, and the arts.

Everybody is already talking about the need to prepare learners (in high school or higher ed) for jobs that don’t exist yet. My goal is to prepare learners to lead teams that do work that employers don’t even know they need yet, which is why integrating triple-bottom-line sustainability principles (Natural Step or otherwise) with Social Change Leadership will foster potentiality-realizing leaders who can support their communities through the next next challenge and transform said problems into next next solutions.