Developing as a leader and decison maker

In A Leadership Perspective on Decision Making. Oslo: Cappelen Academic Publishers. pp. 147-176 (2010)
Authors
Marcus Selart
Norwegian School of Economics
Abstract
This chapter makes it clear that a significant element of both leadership and decision making is the development aspect. Leaders develop in their decision making by being confronted with difficult decision situations. However, they also develop through various forms of systemized training and education. Different leaders tend to develop in different directions. For this reason, one can identify a number of key leadership styles based on different ways of leading. These different styles are appropriate for various types of organization. Some organizations require a strict and authoritative style, while others are in greater need of a more democratic style. Senior leaders often have the capacity to switch between different leadership styles depending on how the situation develops. In addition, there are a number of key decision-making roles that leaders are expected to manage. These include the role of entrepreneur, problem-solver, resource-allocator and negotiator. Leaders must also learn to work with clarity, conviction, courage, and communication in order to facilitate their decisions. Research shows that leaders who face severe adversity in their careers often are forced to make many difficult decisions. As a result they develop. Being forced to make difficult decisions actually leads to reflection, self-awareness and self-knowledge of one’s own values. Leaders also develop by communicating their problems in a structured way with more experienced colleagues. The fact that leaders develop by making difficult decisions leads to various forms of action having a central role. It is by putting decisions into action that leaders develop, as well as by reflecting on what alternative decisions could have been made. An action perspective on leadership decisions is closely linked to the concept of sense-making. This phenomenon implies observation, action, revision and communication in the aftermath of a decision. There is research indicating that reflection, critical thinking, intuition, ethics and communication are important dimensions of leaders and decision makers who are generally perceived as wise.
Keywords Leadership  Decision Making  Organizations  Leadership Development
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