• Photo of matador Statue

Leadership Principles

Leadership, regardless of the setting, can often be intangible. But successful leaders share common traits. At CSUN, with our unyielding commitment to student success, the following leadership principles are absolutely essential. Every CSUN leader should strive to model these attributes day in, day out. These qualities, which are all important and listed in no particular order or ranking, should not feel overly aspirational or even inspirational. Rather, these characteristics should feel familiar and routine. Living these principles creates the environment where employees and students achieve their goals and ultimately success.

Mission Aligned

Develops priorities for areas of responsibility in alignment with those of the university. Formulates and implements effective strategies that are aligned with CSUN's mission, values and priorities. Demonstrates a personal commitment to student success and the university's vision, values and priorities.

Ethical and Collegial

Treats all people with dignity, respect and fairness. Honors commitments to others and models and maintains high ethical standards and integrity. Is responsive to team and others. Is open to feedback and desires to learn new things from people with different perspectives. Earns trust through consistent alignment of words and actions. Maintains high ethical standards and can be trusted to follow through.


Creates an engaging, collaborative work environment by bringing diverse people and roles together. Fosters teamwork through inclusion, support, cooperation, and productivity. Cultivates an active network of relationships inside and outside of the functional area. Demonstrates an interest in others' interests, needs and concerns, regardless of the delivery of the feedback. Builds consensus or buy-in and seeks solutions that benefit all involved parties while advancing University priorities.


Holds self and team responsible and accountable for achieving promised results. Establishes clear responsibilities for others to achieve excellent outcomes. Sets priorities effectively and identifies problems, obstacles or opportunities. Demonstrates knowledge of applicable laws, regulations and policies.

Courageous and Resilient

Demonstrates the courage to speak up and to do the right thing despite discomfort. Pursues work with energy, drive and passion. Perseveres even when faced with challenges or setbacks. Addresses employee or team problems quickly and directly. Provides current, direct, complete and actionable positive and corrective feedback in a professional manner.


Promotes the engagement, development and equitable treatment of all people. Demonstrates awareness of and respect for individual differences. Supports, through action and example, fair treatment and opportunity for all. Actively engages the rich background and diverse talents of university faculty and staff to propel CSUN forward and achieve inclusive excellence. Speaks out against words or actions that are insensitive or inconsistent with CSUN's mission and values.


Recognizes that CSUN is a publicly supported institution and keeps the public good in mind. Creates a trusting, supportive, caring environment where individuals and teams can accomplish great things. Considers the needs of team members and the impact decisions have on the team. Shares the spotlight, giving credit where credit is due. Embraces the notion that successful teams accomplish more than successful individuals.


Communicates effectively with all audiences. Actively listens to others and incorporates new knowledge or perspectives into thinking. Ensures that others have access to the information needed to work effectively. Encourages open exchange of ideas and different points of view. Communicates the truth with empathy, even when it is challenging or uncomfortable. Solicits and values honest input.

Talent Builder

Attracts, retains and develops high caliber employees with a wide range of diversity and capabilities. Accurately assesses the strengths of employees and develops capable people for higher-level responsibilities. Builds and stewards a team where strong performance is valued and recognized and where poor performance and lack of respect are corrected. Provides insightful, constructive and motivating feedback and coaching. Mentors team members and ensures that development plans and processes are in place to build talent and expertise for today and the future.


Serves as a catalyst for continuous departmental and institutional improvement. Develops and encourages creative approaches to addressing issues and challenges. Is receptive to change and to new ways of operating. Looks for opportunities to bring disparate perspectives and partners together to spark innovation. Has the courage to take smart risks, creating an environment to innovate. Constantly seeking to learn and stay abreast of new trends in the relevant areas.