According to Bennis1—an expert in the study of leadership—an important threat facing the world today is the lack of effective leadership of our human institutions. Indeed, Lipman-Blumen2 has called attention to the failure of leadership in government, universities, healthcare and financial institutions. Organisations need competent and effective leaders now more than ever to face the threats and challenges of the modern world.3,4

Long time scholars in the field of leadership, Vroom and Jago5 defined leadership as a ‘process of motivating people to work together collaboratively to accomplish great things’ (p. 18). Accordingly, leadership is a process, not a property of a person. It involves a particular form of influence called motivating, resulting in collaboration in pursuit of a common goal to achieve the great things that are in the minds of both leader and followers.5

Leadership theories

In a recent meta-analysis of trait and behavioural theories of leadership, Derue et al10concluded that much of the research evidence fails to provide an integrated framework for understanding what constitutes leadership effectiveness. They did empirically identify some leader traits and behaviours that represent effective leadership, however. The concept of leadership overlaps with two similar terms, management and administration. The former is used widely in Europe and Africa, while the latter is preferred in the USA, Canada and Australia. Leadership is often of great contemporary interest in most countries in the developed world.11

Some leadership researchers distinguish between leadership, administration and management. They suggest that leadership is synonymous with change, while management and administration are considered as maintenance. All three dimensions are identified as critical functions of organizational activity. Taken together, leadership can be construed as a means of shaping the goals, motivations and actions of others to initiate change or maintain stability.12 Some researchers have adopted a social perspective to conceptualize leadership. Spillane et al,13for example, argued that leadership activity is defined or constructed through the interaction of leaders and followers during the execution of leadership tasks.

The importance of effective leadership

Leadership is a complex multifaceted phenomenon that is widely observed but poorly understood.

Many authors 6,14have argued that high-quality leadership is imperative to the success of organizations. Many researchers have emphasized idealized personal characteristics such as educational visionaries, instructional and curriculum leaders, assessment experts, community builders, public relations experts, budget analysts, facility managers, special programmes administrators and expert overseers of legal, contractual and policy mandates, and initiatives are thought to characterize effective leaders. The preponderance of empirical evidence, however, does not support this trait model of leadership effectiveness.10Although effective leaders can have a positive influence on achievement, poor leaders can have a marginal or even negative impact on success.14

Waters and Grubb14in their study reported three major findings that support the notion that school-level leadership matters in student achievement. First, they found that principal leadership was correlated with student achievement; one SD improvement in principal leadership was associated with a 10 percentile increase in student achievement. Second, they identified several leadership practices or processes required to fulfil a number of responsibilities that were significantly and directly related to student achievement. Third, they found a differential impact of leadership—just as leaders can have a positive impact on student’s achievement, they also can have marginal or, worse, a negative impact on student’s achievement.

Leadership is a complex multifaceted phenomenon that is widely observed but poorly understood. In consonance with the conclusions of others1,10,15 the foregoing review indicates that further empirical work in leadership is required. Given that leadership is associated with employee achievement, successful team functioning and efficient institutional operations, it is critical that an empirically supported comprehensive definition be developed.

Leadership Competencies

Although there is no commonly agreed upon definition of a general theory of leadership,  leadership has been pragmatically defined as a process of motivating people to achieve great things. However, defining the required competencies for effective leadership is complex and poorly understood. One innovative study on this subject was performed by Çitaku et al.15in which a carefully validated questionnaire of 63 items were sent to the key leaders in six countries: Austria, Canada, Germany, Switzerland, UK and USA. This study received a large number of responses and uncovered interesting variations in the valuation of specific leadership competencies. This study also revealed interesting differences in the valuation of specific competencies depending on the sex, native language, and area of specialization of the respondent, especially for the domains of social responsibility, innovation, and justice orientation.

The Çitaku et al study15is considered important because the authors proposed a tool that enables an objective and standardized assessment of perceptions on leadership competencies. Furthermore, this tool was specifically developed to be applied in the health care setting. Measuring leadership competencies is important to guide and tailor the training of current and aspiring leaders. Since the publication of this landmark study, limited research has been performed specifically in the field leadership. Çitaku et al15study indicates that core competencies in leadership can be empirically identified and categorized into five factors: (1) Social Responsibility, (2) Innovation, (3) Self-Management, (4) Task Management, and (5) Justice Orientation that are theoretically meaningful, coherent, internal consistent and parsimonious in explaining the variance of the data. Although there are some between-group differences in the factors, there are no substantive differences by country or language (English vs German language). Accordingly, the competencies appear to be stable and coherent.

Other research outcomes that promise a big improvement in Leadership are the outcomes from the Neuroscience, emphasizing the importance of brain knowledge for leaders. For example the importance of Social responsibility as a key factor in Leadership. These outcomes correlate very well with Çitaku’s Leadership Competency Model since this model at the very top includes the leadership domain social responsibility.

 If we want our leaders to get better, we have to provide them with the newest insights of leadership, gained from robust and reliable research outcomes.

Conclusion

The insights gained from the newest published studies demonstrate that leadership competencies can be learned. Currently, we further witness that there are a lot of courses and programs of management but little research-based courses or programs are offered that are evidence-based in the science of leadership. If we want our leaders to get better, we have to provide them with the newest insights of leadership, gained from robust and reliable research outcomes. Unfortunately, in many courses or programs worldwide, leadership is still being taught from the facilitators, who lack of knowledge of evidence-based leadership. We agree that leadership competencies can be learned, only by qualified teachers that indeed understand the science of leadership.

 

References
  1. Bennis W. The challenge of leadership in the modern world:
    introduction
    to special issue. Am Psych 2007;62:2–5.
  2. Lipman-Blumen J. The Allure of Toxic Leaders: Why We Follow Destructive Bosses and Corrupt Politicians—and How We Can Survive Them. New York: Oxford University Press, 2006.
  3. Bisbee DC. Looking for leaders: current practices in leadership identification in higher education. Plan Chang 2007;38:77–88.
  4. Zaccaro SJ.

    Traits based

    perspectives of leadership. Am Psych 2007;62:6–16.
  5. Vroom VH, Jago AG. The role of the situation in leadership. Am Psych 2007;62:17–24.
  6. Taylor CA, Taylor JC, Stoller JK. Exploring leadership competencies in established and aspiring physician leaders: an interview-based study. J Gen Intern Med 2008;23:748–54.
  7. Minvielle E. Beyond quality management methods: meeting the challenges of health care reform. Int J Qual Health Care 1997;9:189–92.
  8. Wharton CR. Leadership in medical education: the challenge of diversity. J Med Educ 1987;62:86–94.
  9. Schwartz R, Pogge C. Physician leadership is essential to the survival of teaching hospitals. Am J Surg 2000;179:462–8.
  • Derue DS, Nahrgang JD, Wellman N, et al. Trait and

    behavioral

    theories of leadership: an integration and meta-analytic test of their relative validity. Personnel Psych 2011;64:7–52.
  • Bush T. Theories Of Educational Leadership And Management. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications Ltd, 2003.
  • Bush T. Educational leadership and management: theory, policy, and practice. South Afr J Educ 2007;27:391–406.
  • Spillane JP, Halverson R, Diamond JB. Towards a theory of leadership practice: a distributed perspective. J Curric Stud 2004;36:3–34.
  • Waters T, Grubb S. The Leadership We Need: Using Research to Strengthen the Use of Standards for Administrator Preparation and Licensure Programs. Aurora, CO: Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning, 2004.
  • Çitaku F, Violato C,Beran T,etal. Leadershipcompetencies for medicaleducation and healthcareprofessions:population-based study.BMJOpen2012;2:e000812.doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2012-00081
Prof. Dr. Fadil Çitaku
Prof. Dr. Fadil Çitaku, PhD, MME (Uni Bern), CEO Professor of Leadership and Emotional Intelligence for PhD, Doctorate, MSc. and MAS programs; Founder and CEO of the Academy of Leadership Sciences Switzerland; Supervisor at the prestigious ETH, Switzerland; Senior Scientist, Advisor and Coach; Keynote Speaker in many reputable international conferences. Contact: info@alss-edu.ch www.alss-edu.ch

42 COMMENTS

  1. I have been exploring for a little for any high quality articles
    or blog posts in this sort of space . Exploring in Yahoo
    I eventually stumbled upon this web site. Reading this info
    So i’m happy to express that I’ve an incredibly good
    uncanny feeling I found out just what I needed. I such a lot
    indisputably will make certain to don?t fail to remember this site and provides it a glance on a constant basis.

  2. I precisely had to thank you so much again. I’m not certain the things I could possibly have handled in the absence of the points contributed by you on my industry. It has been a frustrating problem in my position, but noticing a new specialized strategy you managed that took me to leap with fulfillment. I am grateful for your service and thus believe you comprehend what a great job you are accomplishing training people today via your webpage. I know that you’ve never met any of us.

  3. I have to point out my passion for your kind-heartedness giving support to people who need help on this idea. Your personal dedication to getting the message across became particularly helpful and have encouraged employees like me to realize their desired goals. Your warm and friendly tutorial signifies this much a person like me and still more to my peers. Thanks a lot; from everyone of us.

  4. I want to voice my passion for your generosity in support of those individuals that really want help on this important area. Your personal dedication to getting the solution all-around appeared to be definitely insightful and has regularly enabled most people much like me to get to their objectives. Your entire invaluable guidelines signifies much a person like me and much more to my office workers. Regards; from everyone of us.

  5. I wanted to create you a little observation to give many thanks over again about the breathtaking tricks you’ve documented in this case. It is simply incredibly open-handed of you to allow without restraint all that a lot of people could have marketed as an ebook to help make some money for their own end, mostly considering that you might have done it in case you desired. The pointers likewise served like a good way to recognize that the rest have the same eagerness similar to my personal own to know the truth great deal more when it comes to this matter. I am sure there are many more fun sessions in the future for people who read carefully your blog.

  6. I wish to express my passion for your generosity for folks who absolutely need assistance with this important concept. Your special commitment to getting the solution up and down turned out to be certainly functional and have usually helped professionals much like me to arrive at their aims. This informative guide denotes so much a person like me and far more to my office workers. Regards; from all of us.

  7. A lot of thanks for your own effort on this site. Kim loves doing internet research and it’s easy to see why. Almost all know all concerning the lively ways you render advantageous guidelines on this web blog and foster response from some other people on that matter plus my princess is undoubtedly being taught a great deal. Take pleasure in the rest of the new year. You are always conducting a glorious job.

  8. My wife and i ended up being now comfortable Peter could finish up his research through your precious recommendations he made while using the web site. It is now and again perplexing just to find yourself handing out tricks that many men and women could have been trying to sell. Therefore we remember we now have you to thank for that. The most important explanations you’ve made, the easy site navigation, the friendships you will help create – it’s most awesome, and it is letting our son in addition to us recognize that the situation is awesome, which is certainly unbelievably pressing. Many thanks for the whole thing!

  9. I’m just commenting to make you know of the exceptional discovery my wife’s daughter found using your blog. She picked up several pieces, not to mention how it is like to have an ideal giving mindset to let folks without problems grasp certain multifaceted issues. You actually did more than people’s desires. Thanks for imparting the helpful, dependable, informative and as well as cool thoughts on the topic to Tanya.

  10. I happen to be writing to let you know what a perfect experience our princess found checking yuor web blog. She discovered a lot of things, including what it’s like to possess an ideal giving style to make certain people without problems completely grasp various hard to do matters. You undoubtedly surpassed our own expectations. Thank you for showing those important, healthy, explanatory and in addition fun tips on that topic to Ethel.

  11. I as well as my friends were found to be reviewing the great recommendations located on your website while the sudden I got a terrible suspicion I had not thanked the blog owner for those secrets. The people came certainly thrilled to study them and already have surely been taking advantage of them. Appreciation for truly being simply thoughtful as well as for considering certain wonderful subject matter millions of individuals are really eager to know about. Our own sincere regret for not expressing appreciation to you sooner.

  12. I precisely desired to say thanks once more. I do not know the things that I might have carried out without the type of solutions shared by you directly on such area. It has been a very daunting crisis in my position, nevertheless observing a new specialized manner you handled the issue forced me to weep over delight. I will be happier for your work and then hope you recognize what a powerful job you have been accomplishing training people today all through a blog. I’m certain you have never met any of us.

  13. I would like to express my respect for your kind-heartedness for folks who really want guidance on the field. Your personal commitment to passing the message all around was rather informative and has without exception made employees like me to get to their goals. Your amazing insightful advice entails this much a person like me and further more to my office colleagues. Regards; from each one of us.

  14. Thanks for your own efforts on this web page. Debby really likes doing investigation and it is obvious why. A number of us know all regarding the dynamic ways you produce great tactics through this website and even invigorate response from others on that article then our own child is truly understanding a whole lot. Have fun with the remaining portion of the year. You’re carrying out a great job.

  15. I enjoy you because of each of your efforts on this site. Ellie loves going through investigations and it’s really obvious why. A lot of people learn all regarding the lively way you present reliable tips through your website and therefore increase contribution from other people on the area so our child is without a doubt being taught a lot of things. Take pleasure in the rest of the year. You have been doing a brilliant job.

  16. I needed to write you this little note in order to thank you very much over again for your personal beautiful strategies you have discussed in this article. This is certainly remarkably generous of you to make freely what exactly most of us would’ve made available for an e-book to end up making some cash for their own end, and in particular considering the fact that you might well have done it if you ever decided. These tactics also served as the easy way to realize that some people have similar zeal just as my very own to learn more and more in terms of this problem. I’m certain there are thousands of more fun occasions up front for many who scan your website.

  17. I precisely had to appreciate you all over again. I am not sure the things I would have carried out without those tips and hints revealed by you concerning my concern. This was the scary case for me, however , discovering a expert form you dealt with it forced me to jump over happiness. I am just happier for the work and in addition believe you recognize what an amazing job that you’re putting in educating many people via your blog post. Most probably you’ve never encountered any of us.

  18. I and also my guys came reading the nice key points found on your web page and then I got a terrible feeling I had not thanked the website owner for those tips. All of the young boys appeared to be totally glad to read through them and have now quite simply been using these things. Many thanks for indeed being very kind and for settling on certain extraordinary things most people are really desperate to learn about. Our own honest regret for not expressing appreciation to you sooner.

  19. I happen to be writing to let you know of the superb discovery my wife’s girl found viewing your blog. She even learned many pieces, with the inclusion of how it is like to possess a marvelous helping mindset to make the mediocre ones quite simply fully grasp some extremely tough subject areas. You really did more than my expectations. Many thanks for giving those practical, trustworthy, informative and also unique guidance on this topic to Sandra.

  20. Thank you for all your valuable work on this web site. Betty loves getting into internet research and it’s really easy to see why. Most of us hear all of the powerful form you offer important things via this web blog and as well strongly encourage participation from website visitors on this theme and our favorite daughter has been starting to learn so much. Enjoy the rest of the new year. You are always carrying out a tremendous job.

  21. Thank you so much for providing individuals with a very remarkable chance to read from here. It is usually so kind plus full of amusement for me personally and my office peers to search your blog particularly 3 times a week to read the latest items you will have. Not to mention, we are actually happy with your mind-boggling creative concepts you serve. Selected 3 points in this article are unequivocally the best we’ve had.

  22. I must express my thanks to you just for rescuing me from this type of crisis. Right after searching through the world-wide-web and finding views which were not productive, I figured my entire life was done. Living without the answers to the issues you’ve fixed through your main report is a critical case, as well as ones that would have badly affected my career if I hadn’t noticed your web page. Your own understanding and kindness in taking care of all the pieces was invaluable. I am not sure what I would’ve done if I hadn’t encountered such a step like this. I can also at this time relish my future. Thanks so much for the reliable and result oriented help. I will not think twice to propose your site to any person who should get care on this subject matter.

  23. I as well as my friends have been taking note of the great information and facts located on the website and then immediately got a terrible feeling I had not thanked you for those tips. All the men became absolutely thrilled to see all of them and now have absolutely been enjoying those things. We appreciate you truly being well accommodating and then for having certain essential information millions of individuals are really desirous to discover. My very own honest apologies for not saying thanks to you sooner.

  24. Needed to put you this bit of observation to say thanks as before for those fantastic solutions you have contributed here. It is quite tremendously open-handed with you giving freely precisely what many of us would have marketed as an e book in making some bucks for themselves, notably since you might have tried it if you ever decided. The basics also served like a good way to realize that many people have the same interest like my personal own to understand a great deal more with reference to this problem. Certainly there are a lot more pleasurable occasions in the future for people who looked over your blog.

  25. I am only commenting to make you be aware of of the fabulous experience my friend’s princess experienced going through your site. She noticed a wide variety of pieces, not to mention what it’s like to possess an awesome teaching character to make many people quite simply grasp certain multifaceted topics. You truly surpassed people’s desires. I appreciate you for rendering those good, healthy, informative and cool tips on the topic to Gloria.

  26. I enjoy you because of all your effort on this web site. My daughter takes pleasure in participating in research and it is easy to see why. I hear all of the lively method you provide very important things via your web blog and therefore cause response from some other people on this issue while my princess is certainly becoming educated a whole lot. Take advantage of the remaining portion of the year. Your carrying out a fabulous job.

  27. What i don’t understood is actually how you’re not actually a lot more neatly-preferred than you might be right now.
    You’re so intelligent. You recognize thus significantly in the case of
    this matter, produced me in my opinion believe it from a lot of various angles.
    Its like men and women are not involved except it is something to accomplish
    with Girl gaga! Your personal stuffs outstanding. All the time take care of it
    up!

  28. May I simply say what a relief to discover somebody that actually understands what they’re talking about on the net.
    You certainly know how to bring an issue to light and make it important.
    More and more people need to look at this and understand this side of your
    story. I was surprised that you’re not more popular since you surely have the gift.

  29. Magnificent beat ! I would like to apprentice
    while you amend your website, how could i subscribe for a blog web site?
    The account aided me a acceptable deal. I had been tiny bit acquainted of this
    your broadcast offered bright clear idea

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here