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Article
Publication date: 25 February 2020

Mark R. Shannon, Maurice Buford, Bruce E. Winston and James Andy Wood

The purpose of this study is to examine the role of trigger events and leadership crucibles in the lives of authentic leaders. The study was based on two theories…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to examine the role of trigger events and leadership crucibles in the lives of authentic leaders. The study was based on two theories: authentic leadership theory and born versus made theory.

Design/methodology/approach

Participants were included in the study if they scored between 64 and 80 on the Authentic Leadership Questionnaire (ALQ). The qualified leaders were then asked to participate in a qualitative interview utilizing an interview guide born out of the relevant literature. The interview followed the guidelines of the Critical Incident Technique (CIT).

Findings

The data indicated that trigger events and leadership crucibles play a significant role in authentic leadership development.

Practical implications

Practitioners should emphasize the prominent themes of self-awareness, relational transparency, balanced processing and moral perspective and the connection with other themes that emerged from the current study when developing or training leaders. Furthermore, practitioners concerned with creating an authentic leadership culture may consider the findings of the current study to develop and employ hiring and promotion strategies that increase the probabilities of hiring and promoting leaders that exhibit authentic leadership behaviors.

Originality/value

The findings of the research indicate that trigger events and crucibles both affect authentic leadership development. The research findings confirm characteristics associated with authentic leadership theory were predominant in the participants. However, one theme that prevailed was that of spirituality, which may or may not be considered to be part of an authentic leader's moral perspective

Details

Journal of Management Development, vol. 39 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0262-1711

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Article
Publication date: 2 January 2009

Robert J. Thomas

The purpose of this article is to explore different types of crucible experiences – transformative events that happen both on and off the job and that are the raw material

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this article is to explore different types of crucible experiences – transformative events that happen both on and off the job and that are the raw material from which outstanding leaders derive their core qualities.

Design/methodology/approach

Primarily through interviews with leaders in a wide range of organizations, the author analyzed nearly 200 crucible experiences and identified three varieties: “New Territory” (encounters with the unknown); “Reversal” (loss, impairment, or defeat); and “Suspension” (an extended period of contemplation).

Findings

Each type of crucible conveys different lessons for aspiring or established leaders. While the lessons vary, common themes emerge: the importance of relying on others; the interdependence of people within organizations; the need to continually ask questions, not just give answers; the importance of having a mission and recognizing that you are not bulletproof.

Originality/value

The article takes the idea of learning from experience and gives it a unique twist by focusing on life's most difficult experiences. Readers will appreciate the need to get out of the classroom and to mine the value of their own experiences.

Details

Journal of Business Strategy, vol. 30 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0275-6668

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 23 December 2020

Firm performance can be significantly enhanced when its leaders are authentic. A focus on trigger events and leadership crucibles can help such leaders to learn from past…

Abstract

Purpose

Firm performance can be significantly enhanced when its leaders are authentic. A focus on trigger events and leadership crucibles can help such leaders to learn from past experiences and acquire and enhance the key qualities required to increase the overall effectiveness of authentic leadership development.

Design/methodology/approach

This briefing is prepared by an independent writer who adds their own impartial comments and places the articles in context.

Findings

Firm performance can be significantly enhanced when its leaders are authentic. A focus on trigger events and leadership crucibles can help such leaders to learn from past experiences and acquire and enhance the key qualities required to increase the overall effectiveness of authentic leadership development.

Originality/value

The briefing saves busy executives and researchers hours of reading time by selecting only the very best, most pertinent information and presenting it in a condensed and easy-to-digest format.

Details

Development and Learning in Organizations: An International Journal, vol. 35 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-7282

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Article
Publication date: 12 April 2013

Andrew Rothwell and Brandon Charleston

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the experiences of individuals in transition between education and work during international volunteering expeditions. While it…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the experiences of individuals in transition between education and work during international volunteering expeditions. While it was expected that outcomes might include employability enhancement and skill development, the authors aimed to clarify what the main factors were, examine employability related factors in relation to other groups of variables, investigate development needs perceived by individuals, and evaluate the extent to which factors explored were influenced by participant attributes. Finally, the authors aim to integrate these findings into a series of recommendations for future research.

Design/methodology/approach

The study involved 406 respondents in three countries, where data were collected in the field. Survey design was based on previous related studies in volunteering and employability. Principal components analyses revealed a four‐component structure relating to leadership and teamwork, the environment and empathy, values and volunteering, and personal skills.

Findings

Employability enhancement was not a primary motive for engaging in the expeditions. Data suggest that respondents had much more altruistic motivations, with perceived benefits more associated with emotional capital development and authentic leadership, although respondents also acknowledged an enhanced ability to deal with selection processes due to their enriched experiences.

Research limitations/implications

In undertaking this work using quantitative methods, the authors acknowledge that they have limited access to the richness of data that might emerge from more in depth narrative analysis. Further research could engage respondents in focus group studies.

Practical implications

The implications of this research are for individuals, that engagement with international volunteering for disingenuous reasons such as CV enhancement is likely to lead to failure, and for employers that individuals who have engaged are likely to have benefited from significant development in leadership skills. For international volunteering organisations, promotion of the employability‐enhancing attributes of the expedition may be less relevant to potential participants than the richness of the experience itself.

Social implications

Engagement with international volunteering is personally transformative as well as delivering benefits in the context of the communities where the volunteering took place. While some respondents were drawn from a “widening participation” background there were no significant differences in their responses.

Originality/value

The authors believe this is the first study to attempt a detailed analysis of the range of attributes potentially held by individuals engaging in international volunteering expeditions.

Details

Education + Training, vol. 55 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0040-0912

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Article
Publication date: 5 September 2008

Robert J. Allio

Findings by leadership researcher Robert J. Thomas suggest that organizations reconsider what they know about how successful leaders actually learn. In an interview Thomas

Abstract

Purpose

Findings by leadership researcher Robert J. Thomas suggest that organizations reconsider what they know about how successful leaders actually learn. In an interview Thomas aims to explain what he means by crucible experiences and how leaders learn from them.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper takes the form of an interview with leadership researcher Robert J. Thomas.

Findings

Thomas believes that organizations can develop more leaders by helping promising employees learn from experience, especially situations he calls “crucibles.” Potential leaders, he says, must then develop and apply a personal learning strategy, and they must practice as they perform. Aspiring leaders must learn from experience, develop and apply a personal learning strategy, and practice their craft as they perform it. The five criteria for experience‐based leadership development are presented.

Practical implications

Thomas found that leaders benefit from difficult experiences that transform their attitudes or behavior. These tests – crucible experiences – can and often do provide rich opportunities to learn leadership lessons and learning perspectives that last a lifetime.

Originality/value

Thomas describes the methods of Toyota and Boeing (with its Waypoint program), two corporate exemplars of experience‐based leader development. These programs prepare people to extract learning from experience. They understand that people have to be supported while they're engaged in experienced‐based learning.

Details

Strategy & Leadership, vol. 36 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1087-8572

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Article
Publication date: 26 April 2013

Brian Leavy

This article sets out to examine what is different about top leadership and what is required beyond proven professional competence to be highly effective at this level.

Abstract

Purpose

This article sets out to examine what is different about top leadership and what is required beyond proven professional competence to be highly effective at this level.

Design/methodology/approach

The article is a masterclass – essentially a thematic review and synthesis of some of the most influential ideas on the topic from research and practice over the last two decades.

Findings

The main conclusions are that: the top job is different, not just a step up, and has its own unique tasks that top leaders need to keep their focus on; effectiveness at this level requires more than generic professional competencies, it also requires finding an individual leadership voice and sense of higher ambition; and effectiveness at the top also requires the development of contextual awareness and sensitivity to find and rise to the right leadership challenge in the right institution at the right time.

Originality/value

The practical implications flow directly from the findings above.

Details

Strategy & Leadership, vol. 41 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1087-8572

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 7 November 2019

Stuart Allen and Louis W. Fry

Spiritual topics emerge in executive leadership coaching. However, the scholarly literature has emphasized the performance development aspects of executive coaching (EC…

Abstract

Purpose

Spiritual topics emerge in executive leadership coaching. However, the scholarly literature has emphasized the performance development aspects of executive coaching (EC) more than the development of executives’ inner lives, although there is some evidence of practitioners addressing spiritual topics. Executive leaders have spiritual needs and executive coaches may be well positioned to address the intersection of the leaders’ work and spiritual lives, provided coaches observe skill boundaries and the limitations of the coaching context. The purpose of this paper is to discuss the merits of including spiritual development (SDev) in EC and how executive coaches can incorporate it in their practice.

Design/methodology/approach

EC, SDev and spiritual direction are compared, drawing attention to conflicting and complementary aspects of SDev applied in EC. Organizations’, clients’ and coaches’ likely concerns about such integration are explored and addressed. Suitable contexts, principles, a basic developmental framework and practical steps for executive coaches considering the inclusion of SDev in EC are proposed.

Findings

The paper provides coaches, consultants, executives and those charged with executive development with a foundational understanding of the role of SDev in EC.

Originality/value

A framework is provided for professionals involved in executive management development to address executive leaders’ spiritual needs through EC.

Details

Journal of Management Development, vol. 38 no. 10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0262-1711

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 1 April 2003

Robert J. Allio

Abstract

Details

Strategy & Leadership, vol. 31 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1087-8572

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Article
Publication date: 2 February 2010

Stephen Kempster and Jason Cope

The purpose of this paper is to explore the nature of leadership learning in the entrepreneurial context, by building a dynamic learning perspective of entrepreneurship…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the nature of leadership learning in the entrepreneurial context, by building a dynamic learning perspective of entrepreneurship. It draws on contemporary leadership literature to appreciate entrepreneurial leadership as a social process of becoming located in particular contexts and communities.

Design/methodology/approach

Through qualitative phenomenological interviews with nine entrepreneurs the lived experience of learning to lead is explored. The principles of interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) are utilised to analyse the data and enable inductive theory‐building.

Findings

The findings illustrate situated leadership patterns and relationships unique to the entrepreneurial context. A number of significant structural and experiential factors are identified that both shape and restrict the development of leadership practice in small ventures. Specifically, the limited opportunities for leadership enactment and observation, the dominance of the business as the crucible for leadership learning, the influence of the family and the low salience of leadership are highlighted.

Research limitations/implications

In appreciating the leadership learning task that nascent entrepreneurs are faced with it is vital that further research delves deeper into the varying levels of “leadership preparedness” brought to new venture creation. From a policy perspective, there is significant value in enabling entrepreneurs to engage in meaningful dialogue, critical reflection and purposive action with their peers through the creation of leadership “learning networks”.

Originality/value

The research demonstrates leadership learning processes and pathways that are significantly different to those experienced by managers in the employed context. In so doing, this article represents the first systematic attempt to apply a learning perspective to the subject of entrepreneurial leadership.

Details

International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, vol. 16 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-2554

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Article
Publication date: 20 September 2011

Farid A. Muna

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the effect of context and culture on leadership and decision‐making styles of Lebanese‐born executives working in the USA, the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the effect of context and culture on leadership and decision‐making styles of Lebanese‐born executives working in the USA, the Gulf Cooperation Council countries, and Lebanon.

Design/methodology/approach

Using a semi‐structured questionnaire, 76 successful Lebanese executives were interviewed in three regions of the world. Comparisons among the three groups are made on three elements: early ingredients for success particularly during childhood and educational years, emotional intelligence (EI) leadership styles, and decision‐making styles.

Findings

Although successful leaders, born and raised in Lebanon, share the early ingredients for success, they differ significantly in their decision making and EI leadership styles when working outside Lebanon with multicultural and diverse followers.

Research limitations/implications

The research findings strongly suggest that future research on cross‐cultural leadership will be more fruitful when context and culture are taken into account, and if researchers use a non‐Western conceptualization of culture, and when the research is conducted by multicultural and interdisciplinary researchers.

Originality/value

The study lends support to the notion that successful leaders adapt to their new culture and context, learning from adversity and experience, and mastering the cultural context.

Details

Journal of Management Development, vol. 30 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0262-1711

Keywords

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