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Ohio University Leadership Endorsement

Program Overview

The Leadership Endorsement provides students at Ohio University with the opportunity to learn about leadership areas, build eight skills employers seek, reflect on personal growth, and prepare to articulate skill areas to employers and graduate or professional schools. Sometimes called soft or transferable skills, these are the skill sets that are useful in any workplace and are highly desired by employers. These types of skills are critical for success in all industries. Completing activities and reflections associated with skill areas requires analysis about experiences that developed personal skill areas. This program's combination of reflection and future thinking will help you analyze growth in a skill area and where you hope to grow while achieving your goals as a leader.

There are eight skills in the Leadership Endorsement program: self-awareness, team development, interpersonal communication, intercultural competency, innovation, adaptability, problem solving, and well-being. These eight skills are consistent with what employers nationally report seeking from graduates.

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Description: An individual who is competent in adaptability can recognize when a change is needed and demonstrate resilience in shifting environments.

Why this skill is important: Industries and organizations shift constantly to meet changing needs and demands of users and consumers. Being able to adapt to environments, challenges, and work styles will empower you to work confidently and capably in any setting.


Description: An individual who is competent in innovation is able to develop creative ideas, take calculated risks to test ideas, and engage and challenge others by conveying the need for dynamic change.

Why this skill is important: Taking risks and getting colleagues on board with ideas is a critical part of developing creative approaches to projects and issues. Innovators push the edge of change forward in all industries by thinking in different ways and challenging the status quo.

Intercultural Competency

Description: An interculturally competent individual is able to support and engage in creating an environment of cultural respect and inclusion.

Why this skill is important: Actively including people who are different from you is key to developing supportive and engaging organizations and communities. Seeking to understand others and making them feel welcome is valuable in your personal and professional life as it serves to broaden your own awareness of the varied experiences people have.

Interpersonal Communication

Description: An individual who is competent in interpersonal communication can build effective relationships through clear communication and understanding with others by listening, verbal and nonverbal communication, confidence, empathy, and respect.

Why this skill is important: Communication and relationship-building skills are essential to personal and professional success. Building strong interpersonal communication skills through experience will enhance your ability to interface with a range of individuals and groups.

Problem Solving

Description: An individual who is competent in problem solving is able to think critically about all factors associated with a problem; evaluate potential solutions from a systems perspective and make an informed decision about which option to implement; and evaluate the chosen solution's effectiveness following implementation.

Why this skill is important: Having critical thinking and systems thinking skills associated with problem solving enables you to tackle obstacles efficiently and expertly. Since problem solving is a constant in any workplace, having the skills to confidently handle issues will make you a sought-after colleague.


Description: An individual who is competent in self-awareness can identify personal interests, skills, values, strengths, and motivations, and can incorporate self-knowledge into decision-making.

Why this skill is important: Knowing about yourself and making informed decisions is critical to being a successful leader. Having a consistent approach to making decisions will help you build confidence and think strategically about effectively using your personal qualities, like your values and skills.

Team Development

Description: An individual who is competent in team development is able to work toward a shared purpose through facilitation, collaboration, compromise, and conflict resolution.

Why this skill is important: Working with teams is an essential component of any successful workplace. Having extensive experience working with teams along with effective team development skills will make you a desirable employee in any industry.


Definition: Well-Being is achieving personal growth and fulfillment through an active process by making positive choices, engaging in meaningful experiences, and connecting with others.

Why this skill is important: Focusing on the varied facets of your wellbeing can inspire you to achieve and maintain a satisfying and healthy life. Having skills in wellbeing will help you manage your personal resources, relieve stress, and channel your energy and interests into satisfying pursuits inside and outside of the workplace.