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Leadership Competency Development: A Higher Education Responsibility

Paper Type: Free Assignment Study Level: University / Undergraduate
Wordcount: 1268 words Published: 27th Apr 2020

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There are so many different levels of leadership within a school district from grade-level, to school-level, to district-level.  All groups strive for success on every level of leadership and all levels are important to the success of a school district.  The only way to achieve this success is to build it through strategy and everyone in the group striving for the same goal or outcome.  Within education is being a leader the responsibility of the administration only?

Research on leadership development has focused on identifying leadership competencies for individuals.  Leadership itself is a competency that very broad.  Many other competencies contribute to successful leadership such as effective communication, strategic planning, and critical evaluation.  (Seemiller, 2016)

Summary of the Article

Competencies are the core elements in a periodic table of human behavior. (Seemiller, 2016)  The definition of competencies has gone through confusion, contradiction, and lack of consistency over the span of many years.  One is left numerous confusing definitions of competencies.  Researchers have developed competencies that are relatable to areas of education and categorized them into two main themes: (1) specific knowledge and skills required to perform a particular task or role and (2) the ability to “carry out valued activities effectively” which constitutes mastery of a general set of high-level competencies.  (Seemiller, 2016)  Even though there is not a common definition for competencies there are two components that have been agreed upon: (1) competencies should be identified for each task or role in an effort to lay out criteria that will provide direction for an individual to improv his or her capacity. (2) Competencies should be measurable.  (Seemiller, 2016)  These two components lead researchers to define competencies as knowledge, values, abilities, and behaviors that contribute to one’s effectiveness in a role or task.  Within the article, leadership development research has focused on identifying leadership competencies for individuals.  Using an overarching framework of leadership skills provides a “common denominator for leader development.”  (Seemiller, 2016)  In 2008, efforts were made to develop a universal leadership model to use with students in higher education.  It was engaged with robust study using documentation analysis within student affairs literature and contemporary models.  Analysis started with learning outcomes from accredited academic programs to uncover any competencies embedded within outcomes of those programs.  Any competencies not already added were viewed and placed into the model.  After being put into place the learning outcomes were revisited.  Changes were needed to the initial student leadership model to reflect the new data, and final model included 60 competencies along with four dimensions.  (Seemiller, 2016)  Eight guidelines were discovered for an institution to begin utilizing leadership competency-based approach.

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What are implications of this research? 

Leadership competencies is a broad term developed to contribute to the most successful leadership…leadership that realizes it takes all members of a group to accomplish goals to be successful.  Leadership competency development is an essential component of higher education to ensure our graduates are leaders in society.  Leadership cannot be left to a handful of individuals within the same group.  It takes all members of faculty and staff to make a school successful and in turn students successful.  Behavioral benchmarking was used to elevate an intentional and measurable way to developing students as leaders and creating a mechanism for behavioral benchmarking.  Faculty, staff, and administrators worked together to enhance the depth of knowledge levels for all students to be able to gain a sense of growth within the search.  This assisted in refining the way the faculty and students maximized leadership within the competency development.

How is the research applicable to instructional leadership and school/district improvement?

Leadership competency development is an essential component of education, whether that is due to the centrality of leadership in institutional mission statements, the desire to employers to hire graduates who have leadership competencies, or because 100% of programmatic accrediting organizations require leadership competencies within their students and staff.  (Seemiller, 2016)  According to our textbook, leadership is a trait in which all employers, higher education, and public-school education seek to employ and to distribute important duties within planning.  (Ornsten, Pajak, & Ornstein, 2015)

What conclusions can be drawn from the research for educational leaders in relation to effective instructional leadership?

Research for educational leaders in relation to effective instructional leadership there are various components that are factors within the success of reaching goals.  Defining the lines of leadership and the expectations of different levels of leadership is what must be determined to fit the group in which creates the drive for our students.

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Which ISLLC standards align with this article and explain why

This study gives eight guidelines for an institution to utilize in leadership competency approach.  The guidelines align with many of the ISLLC Standards.  The one Standard in which it fits the most is Standard 2: A school administrator is an educational leader who promotes the success of all student by advocating, nurturing, and sustaining a school culture and instructional program conducive to student learning and professional growth.  Throughout this article, this standard can be seen through the various research methods to understand and plan to bring a group together within the same understanding needed to accomplish the goal set.  School culture is essential to successful student learning and effective leadership within a school or district.

Further Research

One area in which further research can be done is how to make the system more efficient.  Within in any organization growth is important.  Society is always changing, and it is important to change with them with growth.  There is always room for improvement when dealing with people.  Just as students learn in various ways, so do teachers and leaders.  When breaking down and measuring, there may be several different ways to do this in which is it brings a clearer understanding and making it more applicable to the competencies.

More research is needed to correlate leadership competency and professional learning communities.  They ideas behind each concept are similar, but no research was found to correlate them.


  • Ornsten, A. C., Pajak, E. F., & Ornstein, S. B. (2015). Contemporary Issues in Curriculum. New Jersey: Pearson.
  • Seemiller, C. (2016, Summer). Leadership Competency Development: A Higher Education Responsibility. New Directions for Higher Education, pp. 93-102.


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