I’ve always believed that effective leadership is something that develops with wisdom, experience and reflection. Today I ran across a great blog post on some research conducted by the Work Foundation in Britain about leadership in the workplace, called What Kind of Leadership Will Work in 2010?. It’s well worth the read.
Here is an interesting excerpt about leadership development from the study:
Becoming an outstanding leader is likely to depend a great deal on maturity, self-awareness and self-development within the job. Some of the outstanding leaders featured in the research did not originally have a people-focused approach, but realised the impact they were having on people and therefore adjusted their style accordingly. They arrived at this point through experience, maturity and reflection. They had a very sophisticated understanding of cause and effect and how their actions can dramatically affect outcomes.
One of my earlier posts talks about the millennial generation, who don’t value experience in a leader, but rather charisma. I believe that effective leaders need both the ability to inspire and the wisdom and experience to understand people. This is hard to do well, which is why we have so few effective leaders. It’s also why it often takes leaders a while to emerge. Perhaps we value leadership so much because effective leadership is so rare. My economist friends tell me that when something is in short supply and high demand, that it is very valuable indeed.