Saturday, November 3, 2012

Leadership Development

What does the "expert" leader look like?  Moreover, how would we know we are in the presence of an expert leader?  The National Research Council (NRC) (2000) suggests the following as attributes of experts. Which do you think apply to leadership?

  • Experts notice features and meaningful patterns of information that are not noticed by novices (NRC)
  • Experts have acquired a great deal of content knowledge that is organized in ways that reflect a deep understanding of their subject matter (NRC)
  • Experts' knowledge cannot be reduced to sets of isolated facts or propositions but, instead, reflects contexts of applicability: that is the knowledge is "conditioned" on a set of circumstances (NRC)
  • Experts are able to flexibly retrieve important aspects of their knowledge with little attentional effort (NRC)
  • Though experts know their disciplines thoroughly, this does not guarantee that they are able to teach others (NRC)
  • Experts have varying levels of flexibility in their approach to new situations (NRC)

So does any of this sound like an expert leader?  Which of the bullets apply?  Which may not?  More important, what are additional attributes of an individual who is displaying expertise in the ream of leadership?  Lord & Hall (2005) would suggest that there are six specific skill domains when it comes to leadership:

  1. task
  2. emotional
  3. social
  4. identity level
  5. meta-monitoring
  6. value orientation
So this is interesting ... do you think that the leader needs to show expertise in each of the six domains outlined by Lord & Hall?  Seems like a tall order, but perhaps that's is truly being asked of a man or woman who has chosen to take on a formal or informal leadership role.  What do you think?  It’s an amazing conversation.

[Developing the "Expert" Leader from Center For Leader Development by Scott J. Allen]

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