The purpose of this paper is to synthesize the advice executives gave aspiring student leaders in one‐hour talks. The author was interested in understanding how well the aspiring student leaders interpreted the messages given by the executives.
Thematic analysis was used to identify common themes across speakers. The themes were given to students in questionnaire format to determine if the students heard the same message.
The themes identified within and across speakers suggested that their recommendations for leader development were relatively consistent. Themes included people orientation, relationships, communication skill, full commitment, accepting difficult challenges, ethics, and continued education. Participants were able to identify the presence of themes and did not project their individual differences onto the message when interpreting the speakers’ insights.
The findings suggested the researcher‐identified themes were also generally identified by the students. Future research should seek to determine which themes students dedicate the most effort towards accomplishing.
The themes provide a unique vantage point of perceptions by executives of what led to their effective leadership. Identification of these behaviors and experiences illuminated ways that aspiring leaders could learn and develop their leadership capability.
The research applied qualitative and quantitative data creation, analysis, and interpretation thereby exhibiting an inductive and mixed methods research approach. Mixed method research may lead to more valid results and helps understand the leadership development process. The research indicates that leadership relationships are fundamentally rooted in communication and that language is the dominant mode of interaction between leaders and staff.
CitationDownload as .RIS
Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited