Leader Identity Development in College Students


Kenneth Lyle II
Jordan Dunnigan
Zoey Skidmore
Donna Chrobat-Mason


By Kenneth Lyle II, Organizational Leadership; Jordan Dunnigan, Psychology; Zoey Skidmore, Psychology

Advisor: Donna Chrobat-Mason

Abstract: Not everyone views themselves as a leader; however, everyone has the ability to lead. Each individual has a cognitive schema of leadership in which certain characteristics and attributes define one's view of an ideal leader. Understanding ways to cultivate positive leader identity is important because it impacts those in leadership roles, and can have a significant influence on those dependent on the leaders of an organization. Leadership behaviors, along with claiming and granting behaviors, are important factors to identify in order to find solutions and effective ways toward building their identity. However, students may face both internal and external barriers in their leader identity development (e.g., low self-esteem & lack of resources, respectively). These factors can become barriers, hindering students reaching their potential in terms of becoming the leader they are working toward. This presentation aims to increase students' self-awareness and understand unique barriers undergraduate students may face when developing their leader identity. In this presentation, leader identity antecedents and barriers, both internal and external, will be discussed. Understanding the development of leader identity in undergraduate students will better equip colleges and universities to foster leader identity development. We will discuss various approaches to leader identity, identify and address barriers that underrepresented groups may experience, and equip participants with tools to overcome those barriers. Finally, participants will engage in guided sensemaking where they will reflect on experiences, in which characteristics and behaviors aligning with one's schema of leadership were performed and consolidate those experiences to craft their leadership narrative.


Classic Poster (9:45-11:45 AM)