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The LeadState Focus

LeadState revolves around several pillars of leadership development that help students navigate where their passions intersect with their goals, so they can identify the steps necessary to meet them.


Using the Clifton Strengths assessment tool, which categorizes talents in 34 general areas, LeadState students are introduced to the top five talent themes that are specific to them.

Through interactive presentations, guidance from our facilitation team, peer testimonials, and self-reflection, each student discovers effective ways to build upon their talents to develop strengths and understand how to apply them to the various roles they may plan on and off campus.


Utilizing resources in Drew Dudley's leadership guide "This is Day One," students will dive into the values that guide their beliefs the most, providing them a space to discover, define, and ultimately deliver the leadership behaviors that matter to them.

Social Change

LeadState endorses and utilizes the Social Change Model for Leadership Development to educate students on the relationship between inclusive leadership and collaborative service efforts. When used together, the two (leadership and service) can create a powerful vehicle for effecting positive societal change.

Based on Komives and Wagner's work in "Leadership for a Better World," the Social Change Model hinges on seven intersecting principles that drive how individuals engage leadership within themselves, within a group, and within a community. They are Consciousness of Self, Congruence, Commitment, Collaboration, Common Purpose, Controversy with Civility, and Citizenship.


In partnership with Jack's Cupboard, LeadState facilitators help coordinate a service focused activity for our students and encourage them to find additional opportunities related to their interests and goals. LeadState participants are grouped into "clusters," each planning and implementing their own service project. We believe that it is through participation in and sharing of meaningful experiences that essential learning takes place.

Learn more about Jack's cupboard

Leadership Development Plan

While not an official tenet of the program, the Leadership Development Plan is a central part of the LeadState Experience. Students are asked to reflect on both the breadth and depth of their past leadership experiences – roles, challenges and accomplishments – as well as their personal perspective on leadership, how it’s defined and the characteristics of effective leaders.

With that foundation, students craft the LDP. The plan involves identifying their values, defining what those values look like in action and affirming those values through accessible, realistic daily goals. Throughout the semester, students reflect on their value commitments with their LeadState coaches and peers.