Significant challenges exist when leading others without legitimate or formal authority, as different and limited leadership skills and competencies may be required, especially when leading peers. This article analyzes the leader competencies and skills needed for college/university-level effective peer leadership. A review of related research identified four competencies cited frequently as important to lead peers successfully: (a) communication, (b) support, (c) mental/hard work ethic, and (d) reflection/feedback. Also, an analysis of a Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) leadership assessment database generally supported the findings from previous research, while providing additional insights impacting the above named peer leadership. The lack of existing instruments to measure peer leadership competencies and skills necessitated the development of an influence survey. Data collection included undergraduate students at a state comprehensive university and identified four significant components that affected peer leadership: Assist, Reflect, Participate, and Presence. No significant differences were found in perceptions of peer leadership from freshmen to seniors, suggesting that one may develop skills necessary to lead peers earlier in life, with those skills remaining consistent throughout life.
Baker, John P.
"Peer Leadership on the College Campus -- Competencies and Skills for Success,"
International Journal of Leadership and Change:
1, Article 6.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.wku.edu/ijlc/vol3/iss1/6