Creative Leadership Framework

The Creative Leadership Framework is Georgia College & State University's signature approach to preparing leaders for the public good.
student and president at graduation

The Creative Leadership Framework is Georgia College & State University's signature approach to preparing leaders for the public good. At Georgia College, leadership means more. Our students experience and practice their leadership through mentoring, civic engagement, social justice & inclusion, strategic thought, and global citizenship. The Creative Leadership Framework combines the deep knowledge students bring from their disciplines with a set of core leadership competencies that all GCSU students encounter in our leadership programs, courses, and initiatives. The Creative Leadership Framework integrates the leadership traits and competencies that Georgia College students must master as they strive to lead fulfilling lives of citizenship, leadership, and service.

creative leadership framework graphic


Download: Creative Leadership Framework

Competency Modeling: Our Processes and Methods 

Executive Summary

To guide our competency modeling process, stakeholders confronted three essential questions: (1) What do we do? (2) How do we do it? (3) Why do we do it? Through in-person and telephone interviews, an electronic survey, and a day-long facilitated workshop, members of our working group arrived at a series of answers.

Our Leadership Hallmarks represent what we do. They comprise the distinct and excellent features of leadership development across the curriculum at Georgia College; they are components that are woven into the fabric of Georgia College that distinguish our institution among its peers and within our community. The GC Leadership Hallmarks are designed to be outward facing—to be the story we tell to the community and world. The Leadership Hallmarks are:

  • Mentorship: Georgia College is a national leader in providing mentored learning experiences for students. 
  • Civic Engagement: Georgia College students work to build stronger, healthier, more prosperous communities. 
  • Social Justice & Inclusion: Georgia College students are committed to equal opportunity and treatment of all persons. 
  • Strategic Thought: Georgia College students study the correlation of world forces that shape leaders’ abilities. 
  • Global Citizenship: Georgia College students analyze and solve global challenges in local and regional contexts. 

Our Core Leadership Competencies represent how we do what we do. They are the leadership traits and competencies that Georgia College students must master as they strive to make a difference in their communities and lead fulfilling lives of citizenship, leadership, and service. The core leadership competencies are primarily inward facing and represent the essential skills that members of the faculty and staff must integrate into their leadership-development programs at GC. The GC Core Leadership Competencies are:

  • Communicates effectively: A Georgia College leader develops and delivers multi-mode communications that convey a clear understanding of unique needs of different audiences. 
  • Collaborates: A Georgia College leader builds partnerships and works collaboratively with others to meet shared objectives.
  • Values difference: A Georgia College leader recognizes the value that different perspectives and cultures bring to an organization.  
  • Demonstrates self-awareness: A Georgia College leader uses a combination of feedback and reflection to gain productive insight into personal strengths and weaknesses.  
  • Manages complexity: A Georgia College leader makes sense of complex, high quantity, and sometimes contradictory information to solve problems effectively. 
  • Reasons ethically: A Georgia College leader gains the confidence and trust of others through honesty, integrity, and authenticity.

The mission of Georgia College describes why we do what we do. Georgia College, as a public liberal arts university, prepares graduates to think independently and lead creatively.

The Leadership Programs staff is working with members of the faculty and staff to integrate those competencies into their leadership-development efforts—particularly helping to identify measurable and assessable learning outcomes and to integrate LEAP High-Impact Practices across the university.

A Basis for Competency Modeling

The competency modeling we have completed at Georgia College adapts a universal process from the private sector for academic purposes. Such an approach sets Georgia College apart from its peers for its distinctive and innovative approach to leadership development across the curriculum. Our approach simultaneously positions the GCSU liberal arts experience—an often misunderstood concept and phrase—for greater clarity among our external stakeholders, including prospective students and their families. Of equal importance, building on the strength of the GCSU Career Planning Milestones program, by adapting a private-sector process to describe Georgia College’s program for intentional student leadership development, we can communicate more effectively with prospective employers and internship partners about the liberal arts experience and how it prepares students for professional success.

Processes and Methods

In 2018, the Office of Leadership Programs has led a university-wide initiative to identify Georgia College’s leadership competency model. The GCSU Core Leadership Competencies are based on the Korn Ferry Leadership Architect Global Competency Framework. Korn Ferry is the universally recognized gold standard within the private sector, providing leadership competencies to 93 of Fortune 100 companies. The Leadership Architect Global Competency Framework relies on long-term data gathering through a series of well-designed, psychometrically validated studies and has benefited from extensive scrutiny through normative and validity tests.