The goal of leader development is “the expansion of the person’s capacity to be effective in leadership roles and processes.” The two central elements to this are:
Leadership can be learned…people do learn, grow, and change
Leader development helps to make a person effective in a variety of formal and informal leadership roles.Leader development promotes personal growth, helping individuals develop their abilities to manage themselves, to work effectively with others, and to ensure that the work gets done.
Leadership development promotes organizational growth, helping the group as a whole develop the leaders it needs to carry out such tasks as securing the commitment of members and setting direction.Establishing connections with people who can help one achieve one’s goals will increase your chances of emerging as a leader in an organizational context.
A great deal of a leader’s development happens internally. Leadership development is an “inside-out” process that starts within the leader and then moves outward to impact others. A leader’s effectiveness is based on character principles like fairness, integrity, honesty, service, excellence, and growth. According to Stephen Covey’s The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, habits are a combination of knowledge (what to do and why to do it), skill (how to do it), and motivation (wanting to do it).
Habit 1 is to be proactive; proactive leaders realize that they can choose how they respond to events.
Habit 2 is to begin with the end in mind; effective leaders always keep their ultimate goals in mind.
Habit 3 is to put first things first; leader’s time should be organized around priorities.
Habit 4 is to think win/win; those with win/win perspectives take a mutual gains approach to communication, believing that the best solution benefits both parties.
Habit 5 is to seek first to understand, and then to be understood; effective leaders put aside their personal concerns to engage in empathetic listening.
Habit 6 is synergize; synergy creates a solution that is greater than the sum of its parts.
Habit 7 is to sharpen the saw; continual renewal of the physical, social/emotional, spiritual, and mental dimensions of the self.Spirituality has played a critical role in leaders development, “helping them to make and follow through on their moral choices, develop virtues and character, identify their values and purpose, reaching job assignments and hardships.” There are some common spiritual practices that promote leader effectiveness, such as 1. Treating others fairly, 2. Expressing care and concern, 3. Listening responsively, 4. Appreciating the contributions of others, 5. Engaging in reflective practice., or “Personal Mastery”, the first pathway in Cashman’s Seven Pathways to Mastery.