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Developmental Factors Influencing Effective Leaders: A Life Story View of Executive Leadership Development

Emotions and Leadership

ISBN: 978-1-83867-202-7, eISBN: 978-1-83867-201-0

Publication date: 26 August 2019



This research investigates developmental experiences of executive leaders that result in effective capabilities over their lifetimes.


Qualitative study with 31 C-suite, Vice President, and Director-level executives, Methods used include semi-structured, critical incident interviews, constant comparative analysis, thematic analysis, protocol coding style, inductive coding, and NVivo.


Eight of the competencies from the emotional and social competency inventory – (ESCI) and three new themes, continuous learning, environmental aesthetic, and duality of awareness are identified as key differentiators of effective executive leaders.

Research Limitations/Implications

The sample consisted of four organizations; study participants represented small- to medium-size private organizations in both profit and non-profit spheres, and the study relied on respondent’s recollections of past lived experiences.

Practical Implications

My analysis suggests that this unique blend of competencies, themes, and behaviors enables leadership effectiveness within the healthcare, manufacturing, and professional services industries.


Contributions to leadership development literature through empirically rigorous, scientific study with executive leaders in the field suggest that emotional intelligence competencies are differentiators of executive performance and propose that executive development opportunities include multiple dimensions of emotional intelligence.



Nash, J.A. (2019), "Developmental Factors Influencing Effective Leaders: A Life Story View of Executive Leadership Development", Emotions and Leadership (Research on Emotion in Organizations, Vol. 15), Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 225-245.



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