USU LEAD Conceptual Framework

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Conceptual Framework

The USU LEAD Program’s curriculum, assessment, and research projects are based on the Leader/Follower Framework. The FourCe aspect of the LEAD framework was developed by Dr. Charles Callahan, Colonel (Ret), US Army and Dr. Neil E. Grunberg in 2014, which describes four “C” elements of leadership:  Character, Competence, Context, Communication. The PITO aspect of the LEAD framework (Personal, Interpersonal, Team, Organizational) was based on the USAF Academy Leadership Model to address four psychosocial levels of interaction. This framework applies to leaders, managers, and followers. The four “C” elements (FourCe) include:

  • Character (“Who” the leader is) refers to physical and psychological aspects of the individual (e.g., physical characteristics, appearance, demographics, attributes, personality, attitudes, beliefs, values).
  • Competence (“What” the leader knows and does) refers to role-specific knowledge and skills and to general leadership knowledge and skills (e.g., critical thinking, decision-making, problem solving, motivating others, conflict resolution, emotional intelligence).
  • Context (“When” and “Where” leadership occurs) includes physical (e.g., time of day; climates; nutritional state, sleep, physical well-being), psychological (e.g., behavioral health), social (e.g., size and relationships within a group), and cultural (e.g., cultural values, practices, attitudes, beliefs) environments.
  • Communication (“How” leaders interact with others) includes sending and receiving information, verbally (oral and written) and nonverbally (e.g., body language and facial expressions).

All four “C” elements occur across four psychosocial levels interaction (PITO):

  • Personal refers to psychological and biological aspects of the individual.
  • Interpersonal refers to dyadic relationships and interactions.
  • Team refers to a small group committed to common goals.
  • Organizational refers to large groups, institutions, and systems.

The Leader/Follower Framework is illustrated below.

USU Lead

The Leader/Follower Framework is used to guide: the USU LEAD curriculum; when to deliver curriculum content; how to assess leadership development; and research needs. The USU LEAD program is delivered to students, faculty, and staff in interactive plenary sessions, small group exercises, group discussions, and applied field exercises.  Topics address the four leadership elements (FourCe) at each level of interaction (PITO).