Thing 19: What is citizen leadership and how can I promote it?

In Thing 19 you will watch a video, reflect on some of the key messages on citizen leadership and apply some of the ideas to your own work.

Open Badge information

Open Badge: SSSC 23 Things Leadership – Thing 19:  What is citizen leadership and how can I promote it?

You may find it helpful to complete Things 1-4 before starting Thing 19.


Scotland’s social services need effective leadership at all levels of the workforce and everyone has a leadership role to play. Citizen Leadership is about:

  • recognising the leadership skills of children, young people, their families or carers using services
  • supporting their leadership development; and
  • involving them to make sure services meet their needs.

Leaders aren’t all at the top.  People at all levels should be given opportunities to lead. Leadership is about doing the right thing.  A good leader sticks to their values and isn’t knocked off course. Leaders need not necessarily be managers, but all managers should be good leaders. (Scottish Executive 2006)

You can read more about Citizen Leadership here.


1. Watch this video called Dreaming of the Future

In the video Alexander Warren talks about the importance of people being listened to and ‘recognised for who they are as a person and not their labels’. Steve Coulson also talks about the importance of helping people using services to develop their skills and talents.

2. Think about the people using your service:

  • What are some of the labels people using your service might have experienced?
  • How might these labels have limited their opportunities or participation?
  • How have you helped someone using your service to develop and use their leadership skills and talents?
  • How have people using services been involved as citizen leaders within your organisation — for example, in helping to shape services?

3. In at least 200 words reflect on the questions above to show how you have promoted citizen leadership.

You can provide the statement on the Open Badge application form or provide a link to your own *blog/portfolio. You may find it helpful to look at Recording Your Learning and Reflecting on Leadership.

*If you want to use a blog or ePortfolio entry as evidence, you might find our guide to preparing and publishing your evidence useful.

Click here to access helpful resources for Thing 19