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Leadership is a key component towards development in every institution. The future of leadership, which entails leadership development, is hereby a crucial segment that requires proper implementation. According to Dugan (2011), leadership development does not necessarily entail training and education. This is a progressive approach towards the expansion of skills, awareness and the capabilities of people to meet a common goal. However, there has been a pervasive myth when it comes to leadership. Over the years, most people perceive leadership as for those who have titles or specific skills. Effective leadership has been associated with particular characters, making it a challenge to get the best leaders. A recent research has however revealed that leadership is a cooperate responsibility among the members of the group. The factual reality that ‘everyone is a leader’ brings on board the element of cultivating leadership potential in order to achieve leadership development.
In order to cultivate effective leadership skills and achieve leadership development, an integrated model has to be employed. Although there is no universal model towards leadership approach, most researchers agree on the need for research. The aspect of research helps to establish the leadership skills required in a particular environment. The research will highlight the gap between the required resources and skills and those available among the institution and its employees. The element of training now comes in, where the ‘perceived leaders’ are exposed to universal or tailored leadership training programs. These training programs may involve mentoring, coaching, virtual learning initiatives to improve the leadership skills and abilities of the group (Riggio 2008).
My critical analysis of leadership development is based on the leadership development approach. I concur with Northouse (2010), that the success of leadership development is based on the strategic approach. A particular approach towards leadership development such as trait, skill or behavioral approach may be successful in a particular situation but fail in another. Some leadership situations require more of skills, while others will depend on the character and traits. A combined application of these approaches may make leadership development more effective. In a general summary, I can put leadership development in five words, monitoring and training towards the improvement of skills, character, and behavior.
The aspect of leadership development is dynamic in nature, clouded by contradicting theories and stances. My philosophy of leadership is that leadership development is not centered towards the leaders. It is a combination of the skills, traits and the surrounding environments and resources that can make leadership a success. Although the contradicting situation does not give an ultimate solution, there is a need for keen analysis on trait aspects, behavior aspect, skills aspect and the situation in order to come up with a strategic approach towards leadership development.
No one is born a leader. Developing a leader is progressive. It cannot be achieved on a single strategy. In my case, I can develop a leader in me by employing various strategies. I would first analyze myself to establish the kind of leader I am. Through the evaluation, I would establish my weak points in relation to the roles and the group and the situation. I would then take action, either to adopt the necessary and missing straits and skills and drop the poor leadership traits in me. These actions will also include the necessary training in order to get leadership skills. In conclusion, leadership development is a sequence. It is not based solely on the leader. There is a need for awareness and empowerment of the entire group in order to achieve leadership development.
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