Philosophy

We believe that:

1. Though related to effective management and administration, both very important to sustain successful work and voluntary organizations, effective leadership requires a different and more strategically applied skill set and a larger, longer term perspective and sense of context.

2. Leadership is required when change is necessary, and leaders can visualize the results of a change initiative.

3. ‘Walking the talk’ of diversity and inclusiveness increases the probability of success when it is a purposeful component of the leader’s overall strategy. Diversity is a competitive advantage.

4. Becoming a leader requires profound self-examination, reflection, and practice throughout a career and lifetime. Yet, effective leaders understand that leading is about ‘them’ – the followers and stakeholders, not the leader. Genuine humility is characteristic of many effective leaders.

5. Effective leaders are passionate about the subject or focus of their leadership. That passion is often expressed in part through an extraordinary work ethic and discipline in achieving goals.

6. Effective leaders have strongly held values and beliefs. Ethical standards and behaviors to match those values are among them, and are visible publicly and when they are alone.

7. Mentors, teachers, coaches, other emerging and experienced leaders, and personal leadership icons – both good and bad – all contribute to developing an effective leader, as do systematic study, research, and ongoing reflective critique.

8. Effective leaders come in all shapes, sizes, shades, and often become such by the simple act of stepping forward and saying, “I’ll do that.” Yet, other than meeting basic survival needs – to include spirituality some will argue – effective leadership may be the most critical component of a fruitful and sustained human society or organization.

9. Quality, quality, and quality are the prime foci in terms of the expectations for and performance of faculty, staff, students, and partners associated with the WVU Leadership Studies Program.

10. In addition to passion and discipline, graduates of the Leadership Studies Minor are articulate, confident, genuinely caring about others, and will earn your trust. They have developed personal and professional networks, know themselves, and thus are able to help others realize their (and their organization’s) aspirations.