Leadership Framework

The UW-Madison Leadership Framework was developed in consultation with students, faculty, and staff from across campus. Grounded by a set of foundational principles, the framework includes institutional and universal leadership values and leadership competencies, which when enacted, can result in positive leadership outcomes. The framework content was validated through a thorough review conducted by external leadership industry experts. The portable and culturally responsive Leadership Framework seeks to:

▪ Articulate ways of engaging in the act of leadership as an individual, group, or community.

▪ Highlight critical leadership concepts that can be connected across contexts to deepen learning.

▪ Inspire purposeful action that results in positive change.

Framework Components

  • Leadership is an action-oriented endeavor, not bound by role, position or level of authority.
  • Context Matters – each situation requires purposeful engagement.
  • Inequity and discrimination are systemically perpetuated requiring the experiences and perspectives of groups that are marginalized* to be honored and centered.
  • The phenomenon of leadership is the act of working toward positive change in an individual, group, or community’s beliefs, values, or behaviors.

*(Those groups include and are not limited to: groups excluded due to race, ethnicity, indigeneity, gender, gender expression, sexual orientation, age, ability, size, language, military affiliation, class, religion, citizenship status, and/or immigration status).

The key values within the UW-Madison Leadership Framework represent a set of cultural beliefs or ideals that are consistent with our University’s history and mission. They serve as a foundation for the framework and help to support the work of leadership development and leadership outcomes.

INTEGRITY – We hold ourselves accountable to acting in accordance with our values, engaging in the constant pursuit of the truth, reaching decisions through an ethical process, and committing to care for our entire community. We aim for transparent, reliable, just and equitable processes. Openness and accessibility advance trust, particularly when there are diverse and divergent perspectives on an issue.

INCLUSIVE ENGAGEMENT – The heart of leadership is the art of inspiring active engagement and informed decision-making in the pursuit of the common good.

CONNECTION AND COMMUNITY – With humility, we seek to foster active partnerships, which are essential and can be made in a variety of ways. Rather than imposing solutions, leadership requires individuals and groups to work with communities rather than on communities by identifying, aligning, and pursuing goals mutually beneficial for all people affected.

The UW-Madison Leadership Framework competencies are skills, abilities, or knowledge sets that can be taught or developed. All competencies have indicators that allow them to be observed and measured.

SELF-AWARENESS – Consistently self-reflecting to reveal strengths, limitations, beliefs, values, attitudes, and motivations that generate engagement; Committing to personal development to provide greater understanding of one’s own identities, experiences, and positionality that affect the ability to facilitate change.

INTERPERSONAL COMMUNICATION – Developing essential relationships through listening, considering, and responding to the needs of individuals and the situation; Having the ability to communicate in tactful, compassionate, and sensitive ways to enable these relationships to evolve.

LEARNING AND DEVELOPMENT OF OTHERS – Encouraging opportunities for growth and supporting the learning of individuals and groups through active, responsive, and multi-directional feedback.

CONTEXT AND CULTURE – Entering collaboration with humility and openness to learning; Examining the organization, culture, politics, and dynamics within a larger context of current and historical power and oppression; Recognizing systemic influence on actions needed to achieve the group’s goals.

DECISION-MAKING – Employing critical, ethical, and strategic thinking to consider and pursue creative solutions; Assessing the systemic pressures and impact of decisions; Providing space for diverse voices and ideas that inform implementation and evaluation.

BRIDGE-BUILDING AND COLLABORATION – Through cooperative participation, encouraging everyone to take ownership of the work that is being done and the outcomes that are created; Creating an environment where differences are appreciated, knowing that conflict can serve to expose new solutions to complex problems.

IDEAS INTO ACTION – Generating a compelling vision that inspires strategy and engagement in complex transformation; Being aware that collaboratively developed processes require steady and flexible interventions.

Leadership outcomes are detailed, specific, measurable/identifiable, and meaningful statements. They are the knowledge, skills, and abilities that might result when an individual upholds the values while endeavoring to demonstrate the competencies in their leadership practice.

The Leadership Framework Full Details document includes the outcomes found at the value and competency intersections.