The actions of outstanding leaders who are introducing changes in their organizations are best viewed as complex mosaics which pervade most aspects of their management. Argues that these mosaics cannot be produced by a cookbook approach to management. Such action sets can only be generated from leader theories of the employee learning processes. Outstanding leaders were observed in a set of service sector case studies. These leaders use their theory to guide information collection. Information is collected from a network of formal and informal sources. The focus of the theory and information collection is ensuring message reception, creating and embedding an intellectual transformation, motivating, raising self‐confidence and enabling employees to navigate through change. The model challenges the effectiveness of leader development which is conducted out of the leader’s context, is prescriptive or within a single time period.
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