Early involvement in leadership development is important and has been found to be beneficial. As Hilliard (2010:95) explains that having early, involvement in leadership development builds and strengthens skills and abilities, which individuals are able to use as they grow into maturity. Encouraging such early involvement can be argued as providing a foundation to prepare for instant students for their career readiness. By doing so, areas that require increase support and development can be identified and appropriate mechanisms can be implemented. Additionally cultivating the abilities of young individuals early will be influential to a community, as their role and position within such communities will be more active as they grow (Redmond & Dolan, 2016:261).

To understand the build up of what influences leadership development for young individuals, contributing factors need to be understood first, as Murphy and Johnson (2011:461), proposed in the model of leader development across the lifespan. The model of leader development across the lifespan (Figure 3.2) provides insight into the influences that affect early leadership development (Murphy & Johnson, 2011:460). This will help one to understand better the development of students. Thus, student leadership development can be catered for strategically.


Figure 3.2: A life span approach to leader development

(Murphy & Johnson, 2011:461)

Early developmental factors are grouped into three categories as seen in Figure 3.2, namely, early influences, parenting styles and early learning experiences. Early influences are contributing factors like an individual’s genetics, temperament, and gender. These are considered to be the seeds to which grow towards leadership development and are those external factors that are not in control of the holder (Murphy & Johnson, 2011:462). Parenting styles can differ, ranging from authoritative parenting styles, authoritative parenting styles, laissez faire parenting styles to neglectful and attachment focus parenting styles. Early developmental factors Early influences  Genetics  Temperament  Gender Parenting styles  Authoritarian vs. Authoritative vs. Laissez Faire vs. Neglectful  Attachment focus Early learning experiences  Education  Sports  Practice Leader identity  Implicit theories of leadership

 Self schema for leadership / leadership identity  Motivation to lead Self-regulation  Self-efficacy  Self management  Coping styles and

resilience Future development experiences Leadership effectiveness


A combination of education, sport, and practice in leadership positions additionally affects the development of leadership. Practice is included in early development, since the more often a skill is practiced, the better one would become. As they say, practice makes perfect, which is key for attaining and strengthening one’s ability for long-term.

Murphy and Johnson (2011:462) in their work identified leadership identity and self- regulatory as key factors to development. Leadership identity speaks of an individual’s identity to leadership, it views one’s duties and effectiveness as a leader; this links to the concept of one’s self schema (Day, Harrison & Halpin; Lord & Hall; Lord, Hall & Halpin; Murphy as cited in Murphy & Johnson, 2011:461). One’s level of motivation is also included in the leader identity box. A must have for pursuing leadership development is motivation, which at times is difficult to achieve. As it is known that, there are also factors that affect motivation.

Self-regulation can be viewed as how one defines themselves, including their level of responsibility and accountability. Joshi, Trauth, Kvasny and McPherson (2013:4) describe self-regulation as a process that “is grounded in the concept of self-definition”. Self- regulation encompasses one’s self-efficacy, self-management, and coping styles and resilience. Earlier studies have shown that self-regulation includes other activities such as setting goals, which are important also to one’s level of motivation (Carver & Scheier; Manz as cited in Murphy & Johnson, 2011:465). Self-regulation can be influenced by parenting styles, as young individuals who are encouraged by their parents developed more positive self-regulation to those whose parents are overly attached (Manian, Papadakis, Strauman & Essex as cited in Murphy & Reichard, 2012).

A significant factor to take note of, is that all the influences of early leadership development is based on context, which has been identified as developmental stages, societal expectations and time in history (Murphy & Johnson, 2011:465). These factors are important since it can influence one’s leadership identity and self-regulatory in good leadership behaviour and their willingness to continue with leadership development (Murphy & Johnson, 2011:462). As arrows link each category, emphasis is created in highlighting the importance of reinforcing this development (Murphy & Johnson, 2011:461).


As mentioned earlier, young individuals are of a malleable age, where their developmental stages are sensitive. Early introduction and developmental opportunities can lead young individuals to develop good leadership practices (Murphy & Reichard, 2012). With age comes experience, therefore depending on one’s stage of development, will their leadership become more effective (Murphy & Johnson, 2011:462).

Adding to this is societal expectations and time in history. Societal ideologies of leadership emerge from the expectations that societies have on leadership development. These expectations filter through all demographics within a society. Understanding diversity is therefore key.

Ricketts and Rudd (2002:11) in their study have found for instance that there are many differences as well as similarities among individuals. Differences can arise from various individual attributes, of which some relate to gender and generational differences, which are further discussed in the next section. Within these differences, also lie societies’ expectations for all citizens. Murphy and Johnson (2011:467) propose that as a society grows so too will its citizens and its expectations of leadership will change. Although societal views are present, it is influenced by the concept of time. As time changes, so too will the expectations of a society change. Consequently, this will lead to time influencing leadership development. This will ultimately affect the expectations and development of future leads.

The life span approach to leader development provides a looking glass into the factors that influence specifically leader and leadership development, as it explores early developmental influences. Murphy and Johnson (2011:460), state the creation of the model is based on, acknowledging and understanding the various early influences that contribute to leadership development. As it is said, reinforcement of the idea of development is created by the connection made from leader identity and self-regulation to future development experiences and leadership effectiveness. Together with early influences, our experiences over time will alter and vary, and based on these will we achieve effective leadership development or not.


In document Leadership development : is this skill important for students at UKZN? (Page 43-47)