Leaders in need: perceptions of local authority senior leaders on leadership development.
University of Southampton, Education,
'Leaders In Need’ is a qualitative study contributing to an understanding of the mechanisms for exploring and identifying leadership development requirements and needs. It explores the views of senior leaders in local government as they reflect upon their individual leadership development needs and the organisational requirements expected of them. The research identifies four themes: becoming a leader, organisational requirements, individual needs and potential for improvements.
Theme one explores the entry, experience and education of leaders as they prepare to make a transition from professional to leader. Theme two explores organisational requirements, organisational change, challenge and capability. Theme three explores how individual development needs are defined, identified and satisfied. Theme four explores whether improvements can be made to the mechanisms for investigating organisational development requirements and individual development needs.
The research finds that leaders and their organisation do have development needs and requirements responsive to transformative modernisation. There are processes and mechanisms available to assist organisations and individuals explore and identify leadership development. When they are applied they are perceived to lack the rigour and effectiveness to adequately explore and identify leadership development requirements and needs. Perceived performance levels influence the mechanisms for exploring development requirements and needs. Leaders direct personal development activity when performance levels are perceived as acceptable. The organisation directs leadership development when performance levels are perceived as unacceptable. There is potential to improve a leadership development response by ensuring individual and organisational development activities overlap
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