The benefits of a long-lens approach to leader development: Understanding the seeds of leadership

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The benefits of a long-lens approach to leader development: Understanding the seeds of leadership
The Leadership Quarterly

Although research has identified techniques for leader development most of the extant research has focused on development in adulthood ignoring development at an early age. A recent resurgence in interest in the genetic or other early development factors such as attachment points to the benefits of understanding the developmental trajectories (Day Harrison & Halpin 2009) of individuals throughout adulthood. This paper argues for an examination of the earliest framework that explores the tasks of leadership at various ages before adulthood the skills required to accomplish these tasks and the mechanism by which younger leaders develo these skills. In understanding what skills and what features of leadership identity have long roots we can begin to understand more fully the developmental needs of adults. Without a more comprehensive look at leadership over the lifespan leader development practices will not meet their full potential.

Citation: 
The Leadership Quarterly 22 (2011) 459 – 470

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