Although the dominant narrative of leadership focuses on leader-centric studies and practice, it does not describe the effective practice of leadership when groups of people collaborate in their shared interests. The definition of leadership must also include leadership practices in teams and larger collectives by organizing the definition around processes that incorporate direction, alignment, and commitment. In this chapter, we stress that these processes should be integrated into college students’ understanding of leadership and into their developmental education. We summarize contemporary research on the concepts and processes of leadership in hierarchically structured, shared, and collective leadership spaces. Finally, we suggest a new agenda for research on student leadership development that incorporates team and collective levels of analysis more explicitly and attends to the roles that power and systems play in shaping each of these.

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