Leadership Development

As a public institution, the University of Washington creates and disseminates knowledge for the greater good. We address contemporary and stubborn challenges. We dive head first into the statement, “I don’t know” and begin to find solutions to big, interconnected problems: sustainability, global health, climate change, education equity, economic justice, to name a few. Part of our responsibility is to pay serious attention to these and other leadership issues that sustain a healthy democracy.

As you progress through the University, we want you to learn about the grand challenges of our time and of all time. We want you to find what you care about. And we want you to act on your knowledge and passion.  We want to know what grabs your heart and shouts, “Urgent!” In what way will, or must, you change the world?

We want to know what grabs your heart and shouts, “Urgent!”

As you begin to discover the answers to these questions and how you will pursue such critical concerns, we invite you to participate in the various programs and opportunities facilitated through the CELE Center.  Further, consider the set of leadership competencies below. We believe these embody the knowledge, attitudes, skills and behaviors you should learn to exercise effective and socially responsible leadership.

What do you already know and how do you want to grow?

Core Tenets

Husky Leaders Are…

  • CRITICAL: Graduates are willing and able to think critically about themselves and their social environment.
  • RESPONSIBLE: Graduates feel a sense of responsibility to their local and global communities. 

Husky Leaders Value…

  • CHANGE: Graduates do not simply accept the status quo; they motivate themselves and influence their communities towards better futures.
  • RELATIONSHIPS: Graduates understand that leadership derives from relationships, not position. Graduates share leadership to create more leaders.

Student Leadership Competencies

This list includes excerpts and summaries from:

Seemiller, C. (2014). The student leadership competencies guidebook: Designing intentional leadership learning and development. San Francisco, CA: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

The Student Leadership Competencies consist of sixty competency areas within eight clusters. Each of the sixty competency areas includes the following domains:


Level 1: 

  • Significance:  Value of utilizing the competency.  Do I believe this competency is important? 
  • Motivation:  Motivation to utilize the competency.  Do I have the motivation within myself to be able to effectively execute the behavior related to this competency?
  • Efficacy:  Belief in one's own ability to utilize the competency.  Do I believe in my ability to utilize this competency?


Level 2: 

  • Cognition: Understanding of the competency.  Do I know how to effectively execute the behavior related to this competency?
  • Proficiency: Skills to utilize the competency.  Do I have the skills I need to be able to effectively execute the behavior related to this competency?


Level 3:  

  • Performance:  Utilizing the competency.  Do I effectively engage in this competency when an appropriate situation arises?


Do you want to study and develop competencies for leadership in your professional and public life?  Learn more about the Minor in Leadership