We tested whether we could teach individuals to behave more charismatically, and whether changes in charisma affected leader outcomes. In Study 1, a mixed-design field experiment, we randomly assigned 34 middle-level managers to a control or an experimental group. Three months later, we reassessed the managers using their coworker ratings (Time 1 raters = 343; Time 2 raters = 321). In Study 2, a within-subjects laboratory experiment, we videotaped 41 MBA participants giving a speech. We then taught them how to behave more charismatically, and they redelivered the speech 6 weeks later. Independent assessors (n = 135) rated the speeches. Results from the studies indicated that the training had significant effects on ratings of leader charisma (mean D = .62) and that charisma had significant effects on ratings of leader prototypicality and emergence.
Implicit leadership theories (ILTs) are lay images of leadership, which are individually and socially determined. We discuss how teaching implicit leadership theories contributes to developing leaders and leaderships by raising self- and social awareness for the contexts in which leadership takes place. We present and discuss a drawing exercise to illustrate different implicit leadership theories and discuss the implications for leaders and leadership, with a particular focus on how leaders claim, and are granted, leader identities in groups.
While practitioners and scholars tout the importance of mentorship in leader development, few studies have empirically determined whether mentoring actually positively impacts a leader's development, and if so, in what ways. In a longitudinal field experiment, we examined how a targeted mentorship program that unfolded over 6 months enhanced the development of protégés' leader efficacy and performance. Results showed that the targeted mentorship intervention increased protégés' level of leader efficacy more than a comparison intervention that was based on a more eclectic leadership education program delivered in a group setting. Leader efficacy then predicted rated leader performance. Both protégés' preferences for feedback and trust in the mentor served as important moderators in contributing to the development of leader efficacy. Findings from this longitudinal field experiment could be used by educational institutions and other organizations to enhance their mentorship programs in content, focus, and evaluation of impact.
Courses that aim to foster reflection and personal development in the service of leaders' development are increasingly popular within MBA curricula and executive education portfolios. We explore the process through which these courses enrich their institutional context and enhance students' ongoing development and practice of leadership. Through an inductive, qualitative study of the Personal Development Elective, an offering within the leadership curriculum of an international MBA that gives students the option to work with a psychotherapist, we develop a model of how the interplay between the regressive and holding features of an intensive management program foster the personalization of management learning. The personalization process, we posit, allows management education to provide the foundations for leaders' development by transforming potentially regressive experiences into material for participants' personal learning, experimentation, and growth.
Leadership development is often cited as an important organizational priority. Despite the criticisms of MBA education, MBA graduates represent one important source of future leaders. Although we have amassed significant knowledge about the roles and functions of senior leaders, we know far less about the challenges faced by younger ones. Indeed, Linda Hill's seminal work on new managers is predicated on the study of only 19 recently promoted sales managers from two companies (). Our work here investigates the early career challenges of 55 young leaders who had graduated from an MBA program in the past decade. Based on in-depth interviews, we identified three types of transition that these young leaders described as particularly important to their development, and the four most common challenges they struggled with throughout these transitions. The process of working through these challenges led many of these young leaders to fundamentally change the way they thought about and practiced leadership, thereby facilitating their evolution from individual contributor to experienced leader. Drawing on these observations, we provide suggestions for how MBA programs can be modified to help students prepare for the experiences they will likely have to navigate early in their careers.
We conceptualize leadership development as identity work and show how subtle forms of gender bias in the culture and in organizations interfere with the identity work of women leaders. Based on this insight, we revisit traditional approaches to standard leadership topics, such as negotiations and leading change, as well as currently popular developmental tools, such as 360-degree feedback and networking; reinterpret them through the lens of women's experiences in organizations; and revise them to meet the particular challenges women face when transitioning into senior leadership. By framing leadership development as identity work, we reveal the gender dynamics involved in becoming a leader, offer a theoretical rationale for teaching leadership in women-only groups, and suggest design and delivery principles to increase the likelihood that women's leadership programs will help women advance into more senior leadership roles.
In recent years, organizations have expended considerable effort and resources to develop and improve managers' leadership skills through various forms of play. I explore the role of play in leadership development processes. Drawing on theories of leader and leadership development and theories of play, I develop a conceptual framework, suggesting that play can contribute to different components of leader and leadership development processes (i.e., leadership identity, cognitive abilities, and behavioral skills). Furthermore, the role of creating safe play spaces in leadership development processes is highlighted. The discussion examines the implications and applications of play for leadership development processes, points to the dangers of misuse of play, and outlines directions for further empirical research.