Self Development As An Effective Tool For Leadership Development

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There have been many discussions on the definition of leadership throughout the history, but so far there is no concrete agreement on the most practical definition of leadership. Abu Daud Silong and Zaharah Hassan (2009) had stated that despite the multitude of ways leadership has been defined, and after reviewing some of the major definitions, there are four key elements of importance to leadership; first leadership is a group phenomenon which involves the leader and followers, second leadership occurs in a context, a community, organization or group; third is leadership involves influence and the last one is leadership involves accomplishment of goals.

Based on the above understanding it can be said that leadership is about influence, and to influence, a leader must have followers and the process of influencing occurs in a context towards some kinds of goals. In order to achieve that a visionary leader should be able to use any effective approaches to influence others.

One of the approaches is through self development as this blog perceive it as an effective tool for leadership development. Self-development is taking personal responsibility for one’s own learning and development through a process of assessment, reflection, and taking action.

It is a process by which an individual improves his body and mind through a conscious effort. In the process, an individual knows himself better, mentally and emotionally.

The main purpose of self development is to continually update skills and remain relevant and the other one is to determine future career direction. Every individual can take steps to improve either on their own or take the help of someone who can act as their mentor. However, one should be very careful in deciding the mentor. This is very crucial in self-development. It has to be a person with whom the individual is comfortable with and that person must definitely have a positive frame of mind with an optimistic outlook towards life.

Normally the process of self development needs support from the surrounding and society a person live in, this is where the word ‘mentor’ comes in. According to The Merriam-Webster Dictionary, a mentor is considered as “a trusted counselor or guide”.

A mentor is an individual, usually older, always more experienced, who helps and guides another individual’s development. This guidance is not done for personal gain. One of the most valuable assets your career can have is a good mentor. At the same time mentor-ship can be referred as a developmental relationship in which a more experienced or more knowledgeable person helps a less experienced or less knowledgeable person to develop in a specified capacity.

As a matter of fact the idea of self development is in accordance with John C. Maxwell’s potential leader’s qualities. Maxwell (1995) in his book “Developing the Leaders Around You”, mentioned that it takes a leader with vision to see the future leader within the person. Leaders must have the same kind of vision when viewing potential leaders.