The with the skills, knowledge and capabilities

The same distinction can be done when it comes to leadership development and management development. It has been suggested that leadership development differs from management development in a way which involves the idea of preparing people for situations which are beyond the experience they have at the moment (Day, 2001). Day claims that management development provides the managers with the skills, knowledge and capabilities to increase the overall performance on already known tasks through the application of already tested and proven solutions while leadership development is more defined as “orientated towards building capacity in anticipation of unforeseen challenges” (Day, 2001). He goes on by making a distinction also between the individual leader and leadership development, where he argues that leader development means developing individuals in leadership roles, while leadership development represents a process which involves all the people from an organization taking into consideration a relational view in this case. Having said this, Day is of the opinion that leadership development is mainly concerned with the “development of the collective organizational capacity” (Day, 2001).
This distinction is crucial to take into account as it encourages people to think what it is exactly that they want to obtain through executive development, even though Day’s concept of leadership development may seem too idealistic in real life situations. The idea of ‘leader development’ represents an investment in human capital to boost intra-personal competence for the people, whereas ‘leadership development’ represents an investment in social capital to enlarge inter-personal networks and improve the cooperation within each organization or any other social environment. Both concepts are extremely important even though the original development programs focused more on the leadership development. It must be acknowledged that both types of development are required and should always be a part of any development and training initiative (Bolden, 2005).
Even after considering leadership development in this context, it still remains unclear to say what exactly leadership and leadership development represents in comparison with any other form of development. It was argued by Campbell and his colleagues that so many different views on leadership development coming from many different people is misleading as it makes researchers to believe and inform further that leadership development constitutes anything that develops a certain individual and that all of the development activities are in the same way and do the same thing. (Campbell et al., 2003)
Campbell and his colleagues identified and suggested in their review, same as Day, that the area and subject of leadership development is dominated by individualistic approaches to development. Such approaches focus on developing five principle categories:
1. Intra-personal attributes;
2. Inter-personal qualities;
3. Cognitive abilities;
4. Communication skills;
5. Task-specific skills; (Bolden, 2005)
At the intra-personal level it could be argued that “there is no difference between becoming an effective leader and becoming a fully integrated human being” (Bennis, 1999) and therefore Campbell et al. (2003) could draw the conclusion that “there is little reason to label this leadership development, except in the broad sense that the developing individuals hold leadership positions”. The inter-personal level fits better with Day’s conception of leadership development, believing that leadership represents a social influence and the aim of this kind of development is to strengthen inter-personal abilities in order to gain the respect and trust of other people (Campbell et al., 2003,). The following three principles (cognitive abilities, communication skills and task-specific skills) represent a range of personal abilities that help people to improve his/her inter-personal influence. Nevertheless, in all cases there is a difficulty that still remains as to how to identify the types of skills which are required to become a leader as opposed to a manager and a follower, and which ones are not necessary. The answer is highly dependent on the theoretical and philosophical points of view on the nature of leadership.
Campbell and his colleagues use the notion of leadership developed by Katz and Kahn’s (1978) and consider it as the foundation for their conception of leadership development. Thus, the aim of leadership development is to increase the “inter-personal influence over and above the influence that stems from a person’s positional authority or legitimate power” (Campbell et al., 2003). By looking at this perspective, it seems that the most effective leadership development and training methods are more likely to be those that develop core-influencing skills such as moral values, motivational, problem-solving skills, and communication skills.
When it comes to developing people in leadership positions, it is extremely important to develop the required skills also by looking at the respective context, situation as well as at the cultural aspects within the organizational environment. When looking at leadership, rather than management, the emphasis should be on the development, enabling and facilitating people to think beyond the certain restrictions of the situation that they face at the respective time and to enhance the capabilities to move between operational and strategic thinking. The main idea is to have equilibrium between having an attention for details and an understanding of the big picture (Bolden, 2005).
“All in all, leadership development within management education should develop the ‘character’, integrity, skills and discursive intelligence necessary for the responsible exercise of power” (Gosling, 2004).
Because of this, it is possible that leadership development may also include parts of management and self-development programs (such as project-management, time management, self-awareness etc.) but having as an aim the idea of creating a space in which the leader or a manager can reflect on his/her experience. Therefore, leadership development should not only be offered to senior managers because there are a lot of reasons to encourage this kind of development and training at all levels of the organizations to build up collective as well as individual capacity. Of course the way in which this could be applied varies on many things such as job position, job sector, level of experience of the participants etc (Bolden, 2005).
“Leadership development is broader than programs of activity or intervention. It is concerned with the way in which attitudes are fostered, action empowered, and the learning organization stimulated” (Bush and Glover, 2004, p19, citing the work of Frost and Durrant, 2002).
So what is leadership?
Most respected business thinkers have defined leadership in the following ways:
Peter Drucker: “The only definition of a leader is someone who has followers” as cited by Kruse, 2013.
Warren Bennis: “Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality” as cited by Kruse, 2013.
Bill Gates: “As we look ahead into the next century, leaders will be those who empower others” as cited by Kruse, 2013.
John Maxwell: “Leadership is influence – nothing more, nothing less” as cited by Kruse, 2013.
Combining these ideas, it can be said that leadership is more about social influence, rather than power, it implies people, followers, vision. It does not require a certain personality or attributes, it can have many styles and ways to success. It has a clear goal, by transforming the vision into reality (Kruse, 2018).
Moreover, there has recently been an increasing interest in the importance of diversity in the area of leadership and management, as well as attention to ethical and more socially responsible behavior by leaders and managers (Thorpe, Mumford and Gold, 2016).
During these days when so much energy seems to be spent on manuals and maintenance, on bureaucracy and quantification, to be a leader is to enjoy the privileges of complexity, of ambiguity, of diversity. “To be a leader means, especially, having the opportunity to make a meaningful difference in the lives of those who permit leaders to lead” (Max DePree, 1990).