5 Domains of Leadership

At Havergal, we believe that leadership is a diverse constellation of skills, strategies and mindsets and action. This is captured in our 5 Domains of Leadership, each one significant on their own, and highly interconnected. Our leadership development program approach is framed by the four Cs of contemporary competencies (Communication, Collaboration, Critical and Creative thinking) and our four core values of Inquiry, Integrity, Compassion and Courage. With these at the centre of our leadership program, we are recognizing that leadership looks, sounds and feels different for our students. Click here to view our 5 Domains of Leadership poster.


Formal Leadership

Formal Leadership is best characterized by our very visible elected leaders of the school. In these roles, students are elected or take on the responsibility of leading with a vision, leading and collaborating with others for the purpose of improving the school. This is most clearly demonstrated through working with councils and student groups on the coordination of events, such as Prayers and assemblies, school-wide initiatives and developing and leading House programming. However, it is also characterized by the heavy-lifting of research, dialogue and in some cases consensus building; through the setting of agendas, running of meetings and of using their free time in service to the school. Working with dedicated faculty mentors, formal leaders are essentially in a work-study: working as leaders while learning and growing as leaders.


Intellectual Leadership

Intellectual Leadership is best characterized by curiosity and a growth mindset towards an intellectual pursuit. Students cultivate their voice and agency in the classroom and approach challenges with a critical mind. These leaders recognize that there is more than one right answer and a myriad of ways of getting to those answers. They are design thinkers and value experiments. In class, they work with their teachers and enable the voices of others around a Harkness table; they might also engage in events that deepen and extend their learning outside the classroom through the Forum for Change, Global Experience Programming and Day 9 opportunities or through our clubs and initiatives.


Self Leadership

Self Leadership is characterized by a growing sense of self through metacognition. Strong self leadership is about students being open to new experiences, accepting feedback and growing their executive functioning and social emotional skills. It is taking on pursuits that deepen their sense of self. Strong self leadership is also about seeking out ways to build one’s own self-concept and self-confidence. Working with our Guidance and Learning Strategies teachers, these leaders are growing their capacity for resiliency.


Community Leadership

A connected community leader seeks out and listens to different perspectives of lived experiences of others. At Havergal, they work with the Forum for Change and community partnerships to connect with the broader challenges and opportunities of our world and endeavor to understand the complexity of social issues. They are curious and humble on their journey as they strive to make the world a better place through ethical and responsible social action.


Informal Leadership

Informal leadership captures those students that are champions of change, are bridge builders and strong supporters of others. They demonstrate an internal drive to make change through different avenues than formal leadership and through building capacity in themselves and others. Working with faculty and staff, these leaders are able to influence positive change. Informal leadership can be quiet and behind the scenes and it can be powerful and impactful as well. It is our hope that more of our community sees the value and importance of leading in this way, and that it is something we are all capable of doing, and have the permission to do.


These 5 Domains of Leadership are not a hierarchy. They are not ranked in any order. In fact, they work together, can be manifested in different ways at different times, and there are shared skills and dispositions. The shared skills are effective communication, collaboration, critical thinking and creativity. The four core competencies of contemporary learning.

The disposition is best captured by Havergal’s core values. It is our mission to prepare young women to make a difference and being curious about the ideas and experiences of others (inquiry) isn key to this. We want our leaders to have the capacity for compassion and to lead knowing that others will be impacted by decisions and to be aware of that impact. To that end, we are developing integrity in our student leaders by emphasising the importance of purpose and leading with a strong sense of ‘why’. We want our student leaders to be courageous, not audacious, in the way they lead. These five domains give us a shared language and framework to surface, celebrate and value the incredible ways our students make Havergal and beyond a better place.