University Center Activities & Events (ucae)

Leadership Definition and Tenets


Our definition of leadership
Leadership is the relational process that engages scholarship and the life experiences of students to understand and change their communities.

What is your definition of leadership? How does it compare to this one?

Leadership @ Duke invites you to deepen your understanding and practice of leadership through development of character, collaboration, and citizenship in order to create positive change in the world. That's it.

Q: How have my courses and experiences before and at Duke contributed to how I view leadership?
Q: What do I think of when I hear the word leadership?

Think About It...

Leadership is a teachable and learned phenomenon in a lifelong learning process.
Everyone is capable of leadership; thus, leaders are made, not born.  There are opportunities to learn and practice leadership in all parts of life. College is a place to exert real leadership with real, tangible impact. College is your invitation to participate. 

Q: How does my family or community inform my perceptions of leadership?
Q: Where are some places I have learned about leadership in my life?
Q: Who are my role models and teachers?

Leadership is not reliant on position or role.
There is a difference between €œleader€ and practicing leadership; we define leader as a person engaged in the practice of leadership, not as someone in specific role or position of authority.

Q: How do I lead as an individual?
Q: What are examples of leadership without position?
Q: How am I being developed/how am I developing groups or teams of which I am a member?
Q: What does it mean to lead with authenticity? Or to lead authentically?

Those who hold positional roles carry responsibility to use power and authority appropriately/well.
Presidents, Co-Presidents, CFOs, Executive Boards: Take note.

Q: How can I develop the leadership skills of others?
Q: How do the decisions I make impact others?

Leadership involves knowing, being and doing.
and at many times, different parts of them all at the same time.

Q: How do my skills and attitudes contribute to being an effective leader?
Q: Is there a balance between initiating and following?