The Action-Centered Leadership Model was developed by John Adair during the 1960s and 1970s. Adair’s work is built on the previous thinking about human needs and motivation by Maslow, Herzberg, and Fayol. The Action-Centered Leadership Model is one of the first models that shows that leadership is more than an inborn ability. It demonstrates that leadership is a trainable skill.

The Action-Centered Leadership Model is multi-dimensional and it involves skills in decision-making, communication, and time-management. When utilized in the correct context, actual results include examples of building better team morale, improving outcome quality, and increasing both individual and team contributor productivity. (Note: This information on the Action-Centered Leadership Model and John Adair is from (Links to an external site.).)

The Action-Centered Leadership Model involves three intersecting circles representing responsibilities for the task, the team, and each individual. Each of the three elements are mutually dependent, as well as, being separately essential to the overall leadership role in the Service-Learning Project at Animal Friends and the Leadership Tools Marathon.



The primary goal at the beginning of the Service-Learning Project at Animal Friends and the Leadership Tools Marathon is to develop a very firm set of work expectations. Several oral and/or written informal proposals may be outlined by the individual before a final iteration is reached in the determination of the scope of the Service-Learning Project individual accountabilities. Most Service-Learning Project outlines generally take a few days of thinking, reflecting, and/or talking with others before agreement is reached among the student and all necessary individuals from Animal Friends. Students should plan to draft, and then to review, their materials over the course of a few days.

Each student must utilize the process of planning to put the issues in the right order and to establish the relationship(s) and the link(s) between each issue. It may be useful to work backwards from the calendar end, identifying everything that needs to be put in place and completed. Thus, the process of planning should be examined in reverse order. In most complex Service-Learning Projects, like the Leadership Tools Marathon, there are a number of activities running in parallel. Interdependent parts of the project need careful consideration and planning. In the Service-Learning Project at Animal Friends, there is a logical order that will result in the successful creation of the final written summary.

The template section for the Action-Centered Leadership Model Introduction consists of the following three steps that are to be completed:

  1. As part of the Service-Learning Project planning process, the student must agree with the client on the project description and the project specifications that are required to deliver a successful result(s) to the organization. The student must describe the Service-Learning Project at Animal Friends in one sentence.
  2. When the written summary describing the Service-Learning Project planning process is finally completed by each student, the Leadership Tools Marathon should tell a story that someone unfamiliar with the work can follow and fully understand. The student working at Animal Friends must explain the purpose (with a clear explanation explaining WHY this Service-Learning Project is important to undertake), the individual steps detailing HOW the Service-Learning Project will be completed, the participants WHO are involved, a set of realistic timelines that show WHEN the individual work items will be completed, the location(s) showing WHERE the Service-Learning Project and/or the organizational event is expected to occur, and the measurable criteria for evaluation in terms of WHAT benefits and/or the features that the student hopes to deliver to the organization. This last point is very important – be sure to clearly state what will be considered to be a successful outcome for the Service-Learning Project at Animal Friends.
  3. The student should think about possible ways to measure the goals and/or the objectives that he/she sets out to do at the Service-Learning Project’s outset.       Business leaders define “developing metrics” as the approaches) that measure successes and/or failures.       In “developing metrics,” each student should create two to three specific measures that can be used to establish the success(es) and/or the failure(s) at the end of the Service-Learning Project. Metrics must be both meaningful and actionable. For example, if the student is working on a plan to increase sales for an organization, an evaluator might say that a workable yearly sales plan with an increase of 20% means that the plan was successful.       In this section, each student should list the two to three measures or metrics that will allow the performance of the student to be evaluated in both a qualitative and quantitative sense. Note that any tools, measures, metrics, and/or other processes that are used to evaluate performance must provide concrete answers in terms of meaningful and actionable accomplishments.

The Action-Centered Leadership Model is an excellent way to help a student work through all of the details necessary to build a cohesive plan and a strong Service-Learning Project written summary. Mapping out the upcoming semester offers an abundance of advantages in the Service-Learning Project at Animal Friends and the Leadership Tools Marathon.

The template section for the Service-Learning Project Description and Specifications Summary includes the following components that are to be completed by each student:

  1. Describe the Service-Learning Project purpose(s) and the expected deliverables.
  2. State the critical parameters. This includes the creative range (if any) and/or scope of date and time execution along with a bulleted list of comprehensive duties/responsibilities of the student. Be sure that it is feasible to fully complete the Service-Learning Project within the scope of one semester.
  3. Establish the milestone points (dates) where the student working can review and check on progress. Agree on the deadlines. When must the job be finished? When are the interim and/or the final reports due and to whom?       Describe the Service-Learning Project review process, the re-assessments, and/or the adjustments to the Service-Learning Project plan, methodologies, and/or targets as necessary. Get out a calendar and put all agreements in writing. Be sure to build in some lead time(s) so that the “crunch” time at the end of the semester does not become overwhelming.
  4. Determine how progress and the results will be measured – in terms of the individual contributor, and/or for the organization in existence. How will each activity and/or task be measured? Make sure that the intentions of each assignment are clear.       Thus, be specific and detailed in describing the expected standards of the finished product in terms of quality, quantity, and overall performance.
  5. Each student should detail the three goals (minimum) that he/she would like to change to improve his/her leadership skills as an individual contributor and what steps should be taken to reach his/her three goals? Be specific.



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