Here on the Hilltop, we define leadership for all of campus as: Framing Leadership at SMU! It serves as the backbone of leadership programs and positions throughout campus. If you want to further your leadership skills, it will serve as your guide. The framework also helps describe the type of leaders we have in positions at SMU. Below you can find several resources for Framing Leadership at SMU.


Faculty & Staff Resources

Leadership is ACCESSIBLE to everyone


SMU Leaders take many forms and can be anyone in the campus community regardless of formalized positions or titles. With the right support and motivation, we have the opportunity to engage in leadership. Leaders on the Hilltop choose to lead and follow through with their commitments.


Leadership is a LIFELONG process


SMU Leaders pursue knowledge and personal growth throughout our entire lives. We take time to understand ourselves – our own values, beliefs, and identities – and how we interact with others. We are constantly changing and developing to become better leaders.


Leadership is inherently ETHICAL


SMU Leaders seek to do the right thing and live in congruence with our values. We consider the immediate impact and future ramifications of our behavior and decisions. Understanding we are imperfect; we work to accept the consequences that come with our actions and respond in an appropriate manner.


Leadership is RELATIONAL


SMU Leaders build and maintain relationships by respecting people from all identities, exercising empathy, communicating effectively, and practicing conflict with civility. Our relationships create a magnetic community. We invest in and connect with the people we are leading and serving.


Leadership is courageously INCLUSIVE


SMU leaders have a responsibility to explore the ways privilege, power, and identity shape their understanding of the world. With historical context, we are globally-focused and driven to inspire and enact positive change. We work to create space for all.


Leadership is PROPELLING vision into action


SMU Leaders create plans focused on possibility rather than problems and are resourceful in our solutions as we work to meet those plans. We think boldly to solve challenges in new, creative ways and complete the actions we are expected to complete. Predicting what will be needed in the future, we develop the detailed steps necessary to move towards a solution before we are asked to step in and help.


Leadership is committed to DEVELOPING more leaders


SMU Leaders recognize our time on the Hilltop is short-lived and understand it is our responsibility to invest in the next generation of leaders. Identifying the talents and skills of our peers, we connect them with opportunities to utilize their strengths. We bring others in and empower them to become better leaders.