A Social Change Model of Leadership Development

Today, there’s a lot of talk in education about 21st Century Skills and the “4 Cs.”

The 4 Cs (critical thinking, creativity, collaboration, and communication) are great and super important.

If you read about our Golden Circle, you know that two of these skills are at the core of why Storillo even exists in the first place!

But what is the outcome we want from developing those skills?

We want leaders!


Now there’s a great model for leadership that we have been greatly influenced by called, “A Social Change Model of Leadership Development,” or SCM for short.

It was developed by a group of researchers that referred to themselves as "The Ensemble." It was part of a research grant received by UCLA's Higher Education Research Insitute in 1993, from the Eisenhower Leadership Program of the U.S. Department of Education.

That may seem a little outdated, but SCM was designed by The Ensemble to "transform the way we conceptualize and practice leadership as we move to confront the challenges of the 21st Century" (Guidebook, p. 12).

Here are a few key assumptions they had about leadership:

  1. Leadership is concerned with effecting change on behalf of others and society
  2. Leadership is collaborative
  3. Leadership is a process rather than a position
  4. Leadership should be value-based
  5. All students (not just those who hold formal leadership positions) are potential leaders
  6. Service is a powerful vehicle for developing students' leadership skills (Guidebook, p. 10)

That's why leaders aren't just people with titles like“Director,” or “President,” or one of the dozen other titles that are now proxies for leadership.

People with these titles are what we like to call “Big L Leaders.” Their position gives them leadership responsibilities.

But, like The Ensemble, we like to think of leadership not as a position, but as an action—while not everyone has a title, everyone can lead!

We call these people “little l leaders.” It is important to remember that leadership is first and foremost service, and we can serve each other every day, regardless of our position.

We also have always liked that it was “a” model, and not “the” model. It may be a minor matter of semantics to most, but it is an important philosophical switch.

Storillo is not the end-all, be-all, edtech solution. We are a solution that we hope works for the people who decide to use it.

But what we really like about the SCM is they don't just have 4 Cs, no, they have 7!

Cs 1 through 3 encompass Individual Values, Cs 4 through 6 cover Group Values, and C #7 is the Community/Societal Value.

  1. Consciousness of Self & Others
  2. Commitment
  3. Congruence
  4. Collaboration
  5. Common Purpose
  6. Controversy with Civility
  7. Citizenship

Each C builds on the last: When you know yourself, you know your strengths, and you know your group role. When you have a common purpose, it focuses the group to look beyond themselves, and to work together. And since you are looking beyond yourself, you are looking to serve the greater world, and by engaging with that world, you make a difference and you learn!

If you’re more a visual learner, here’s a graphical (that's a word, right?) breakdown:

Social Change Model for Leadership Development

Storillo wants to help students develop each one of these values so they can go out and make positive changes in their own lives, the lives of others, and the world we live in!

If you want to learn more about SCM, check out the Guidebook.

Want to learn more about Storillo?

Contact us!

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