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Leadership Is Developed Through Education and Experience

Autor:   •  September 13, 2015  •  Essay  •  2,760 Words (12 Pages)  •  1,257 Views

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The Action –Observation –Reflection Model

Consider for a moment what a young person might learn from spending a year working in two very different environment :as a staff assistant in the U>S . Congress or as a carpenter on a house construction crew . Each activity has a rich store of leadership lessons there for the taking . working in congress , for example, would provide opportunities to observe political leaders both onstage in the public eye and backstage in more private moments . It would provide opportunities to see members of congress interacting with different constituencies , to see them in political defeat and political victory , and to see a range of leadership styles. A young person could also learn a lot by working on a building crew as it turned plans and materials into the reality of a finished house : watching the coordination with subcontractors , watching skilled craftspeople train younger ones , watching the leaders reactions to problems and delays , watching the leader set standards and assure quality work . At the same time , a person could work in either environment and not grow much if he or she were not disposed to . Leadership development depends not just on the kinds of experiences one has but also on how one uses them to foster growth .The successful executives found one important quality  characterized them and it was an “ extraordinary tenacity in extracting something worthwhile from their experience and in seeking experiences rich in opportunities for growth .”

Experiential learning theorists , such as kolb , believe people learn more from their experiences when they spend time thinking about them . These ideas are extended to leadership in the action-observation-reflection(A-O-R) model, depicted in figure which shows that leadership development is enhanced when the experience involves three different processes: action , observation , and reflection . if a person acts but does not observe the consequences of her actions or reflect on their significance and meaning , then it makes little sense to say she has learned from an experience . Because some people neither observe the consequences of their actions nor reflect on how they could change their actions to become better leaders , leadership development through all three phases rather than merely in terms of some objective dimension like time . we believe that the most productive way to develop as a leader is to travel along the spiral of experience depicted in figure .

Now let us examine this incident in light of the A-O-R model . Action refers to powell’s multiple calls for the parachutists to check their lines . We might speculate from his se4lf – description that powell might have felt slightly uncomfortable with such repeated emphasis on checking the lines , even though he persisted in the behavior . Perhaps you , too, sometimes have acted in a certain manner despite feeling a little embarrassed about about it , and then , if it was successful , felt more comfortable the next time acting the same way . That  seems to just what happened with powell here . The observation ohase refers to powell’s shocked realized of the potentially fatal accident that would have occurred had he not double – checked the static lines . And the reflection phase refers to the lesson powell drew from the experience.“Always check the small things .’’In a real sense , powell was “ spiraling ‘’ through a lesson he’d learned from other experiences too , but embracing it even more this , making it part of his style .


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