The following philosophy about leadership was adopted by the College of Agriculture faculty on August 25, 2005. These beliefs serve as the foundation for the Leadership Development Certificate Program.
We believe that all students can and should exercise leadership. Leadership does not require formal authority or position and can be practiced by anyone interested in making a difference in his/her family, workplace, and community.
Leadership is a process of people working together toward common goals that bring about positive change. The effectiveness of leadership is based on trusting relationships. Through this exchange, people influence one another’s thoughts and actions. By incorporating the diverse skills and viewpoints of others, individuals are empowered and group energy is mobilized to pursue collective goals. Decisions are made and actions are taken.
The development of leadership begins with personal initiative and an understanding of one’s passions, motivations, strengths, limitations, and personal values. This also includes an understanding of the ethical nature of leadership as it relates to one’s character and a commitment to act with trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring, and citizenship.
This process of self-discovery is ongoing and requires a commitment to lifelong learning through getting involved, reflecting on the experience, and stretching oneself to meet new challenges. The purpose of leadership development is not only for the benefit of oneself, but also to enable one to be a more effective leader in addressing important issues that affect oneself and others.
After you submit a Statement of Intent and a resume, you will be matched with a faculty or administrative professional staff member to guide and support you on your leadership journey. S/he will help you identify your leadership goals, connect you with campus resources, and encourage you to stretch yourself beyond your comfort zone by seeking out new leadership opportunities. The program, however, is yours, and the quality of your learning experiences is up to you.