Hart Leadership Framework

Hart Center Leadership Arch

The Hart Leadership Framework—our guide to leadership and professional development—emphasizes these key elements of leadership growth:

  • Personal
  • Relational
  • Functional
  • Contextual

A Good Personal Leader:

Is Self-Aware: Exhibits knowledge of personal values, strengths, shortcomings, and developmental opportunities. Uses self-assessment strategies to inform personal growth and development.

Learns Intentionally: Has knowledge of personal learning style and leverages this knowledge to enhance personal performance, knowledge of self, others, and leadership ability.

Communicates Effectively: Has the ability to communicate effectively through a variety of methods and media and within a range of contexts.

A Good Relational Leader:

Develops Relationships: Creates a positive, welcoming environment; sees issues from multiple points of view; and builds effective inter- and intra-group relationships.

Embraces Diversity & Differences: Recognizes the value of different perspectives, skillsets, and people; is able to facilitate productive outcomes in diverse groups.

Engages Others: Enables others to step up and lead; creates conditions for others to shine; generates collective commitment and learning.

A Good Functional Leader:

Sets Direction: Coordinates members and maintains accountability for effective outcomes. Sets direction, communicates expectations, and monitors progress.

Champions Effective Processes: Establishes systems and processes that facilitate efficient and effective outcomes.

Solves Problems: Facilitates effective problem identification and solving strategies; identifies and cultivates resources; delivers results.

A Good Contextual Leader:

Seeks Innovative Solutions: Displays the courage to initiate positive change, is innovative, and will risk failing in front of peers.

Upholds Ethics & Integrity: Knowledgeable of and committed to a meaningful set of ethical guidelines and principles. Actions are consistent with personal values.

Keeps Strategic Perspective: Able to evaluate issues from multiple perspectives and identify the core problem; considers options and trade-offs; makes effective use of resources.


“At the beginning of the year, I took an evaluation, and from that evaluation I increased my attentiveness to others when problems arise, rather than trying to solve problems as I see them.”

~SMU-Lyle Student