The LEAD Program’s curriculum, assessment, and research projects are based on the Leader-Follower Framework. The four "C" elements of the LEAD framework were developed by Dr. Charles Callahan, Colonel (Ret), US Army and Dr. Neil E. Grunberg in 2014, which describes: Character, Competence, Context, Communication. The PITO aspect of the LEAD framework (Personal, Interpersonal, Team, Organizational) was based on the United States Aair Force Academy Leadership Model to address four psychosocial levels of interaction. This framework applies to leaders, managers, and followers. The four “C” elements include:
- Character (“Who” the individual is) refers to physical and psychological aspects of the individual (e.g., physical characteristics, appearance, demographics, attributes, personality, attitudes, beliefs, values).
- Competence (“What” the individual 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 and followership 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, and stress.
- Communication (“How” individuals 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 Conceptual Framework is illustrated below:
The Leader-Follower Conceptual Framework is used to guide: the LEAD curriculum; when to deliver curriculum content; how to assess leader development; and research needs. The 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 (four "C" elements) at each level of interaction (PITO).