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• Leadership development origins and

Introducing •
Core principles underlying leadership
development in developing countries,

Leadership in • Inspiring examples from developing

countries on the impact of leadership,

Development • The influence of culture in leadership

development work in developing

A complement to the Resource Corner…
This Short Paper is intended to complement
the Resource Corner initiative of UNDP-SNV


where you will find many relevant leadership
development resources, including those
recommended for further reading in this
1. About this Paper 1
2. Why Leadership is Important 1 Paper (marked with a ).
3. Why Leadership in 3
4. Leadership Theories: 4
5. Leadership in Development: 6
Definitions and Principles
Leadership is not just about abstract study of
6. Leadership in Development: 7
Examples to Inspire ‘great figures’ that many of us might struggle
7. Leadership in Development: 9 to identify with. After all, you may ask
The Challenge of Culture yourself, how much do I have in common
8. Concluding Remarks 12
with Nelson Mandela? No, leadership is much,
9. Suggestions for Further 12
Reading much more than that; it can also be about
Acknowledgements 13 YOU developing your own sense of ambition,
of setting goals, of asking more of yourself -
in other words leadership of the self – Your

But, actually, this does not contradict the

Overview of this Paper
study of those that we might call ‘great’
In this introductory Paper we explore:
leaders. Most of the people providing
• Why leadership is important,
leadership everyday are doing so quietly and
• Why the need for Short Papers focussed
out of the spotlight of the media, regardless
on Leadership in Development,
of whether they providing their leadership in

Introducing Leadership in Development – January 2007 1

a community health centre, a village tribe, or Leadership can contribute to promoting
in their own family. inclusion of weak or marginalised
communities or groups in our societies, as
Our history is full of inspiring examples of well as empowering them. Just consider the
ordinary people We easily forget that impact that the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh
that have often great things have been (see Section 6
often accomplished by
accomplished below) has had in Nelson Mandela’s
ordinary persons like
charismatic leadership
extraordinary you and me …….. helping bring of South Africa towards
Persons who struggled
things - people Bangladeshi a more inclusive society
with their own self-
gave new hope to
that struggled doubt and the choices women out of millions of South
they had made, but
to overcome poverty. Africans.
who stuck stubbornly
challenges, to their vision and
doubted And bad
themselves, and were tired at times like all of leadership has a
us. In Section 6 below we will look at such price…
examples. Another way of
understanding the
His transformation of
So Why Is Leadership Important? importance of South Africa’s political
and social system
Leadership takes place in many contexts in leadership
marked an incredible
our societies – we have political leadership, development is to journey that began
with many years in
leadership in businesses, leadership in social think about the
organisations, etc. Leadership remains today effects and
a key requirement in allowing our global consequences of bad leadership on
society to face and address effectively the countries, communities and human beings in
challenges we face. general. The misguided and exclusionary
visions of Adolf Hitler in Germany and of Pol
Leadership engages people and Pot in Cambodia are just two of the 20th
processes to find solutions to common Century’s most horrific examples.
problems that they face, at whatever level
But there are many more examples where
or context that may be; e.g. a community
poor or incompetent leadership has led to
facing a challenge of securing a reliable and
economic mismanagement and increased
safe source of drinking water, or the big
poverty. For example, the 1985-1990
challenge of global warming.
government of Alan García in Perú saw
average income levels drop below income
Good Leadership promotes good
levels in 1960, while Gross Domestic Product
governance through a focus on effective and
decreased by 20%. More profoundly, the rule
responsive performance and transparent and
of Samora Machel in Mozambique between
accountable ways of working. Leaders can
1975 and 1986 witnessed significant
thus play a key role in improving the
economic decline and negative growth, with
prospects for greater success and wellbeing.
an average growth rate of -7.7% during this

Introducing Leadership in Development – January 2007 2

culture-related factors influence how
they approach leadership development
See for example the article:
“Do Leaders Matter – National
Leadership and Growth since World War ii. Differing leadership development
II” (B. Jones and B. Olken, March 2004). needs in developing countries: Some of
the needs regarding leadership development
in developing countries are distinctly different
- for example there is generally much less
focus on leadership development in business
organisations, and a greater focus for
There are many compelling reasons for a example on leadership development in the
more focussed discussion on Leadership in Government and NGO sectors. At the top of
Development. Here are just two key the political spectrum, for example, some
reasons: African countries are struggling to develop a
leadership cadre that can promote good
i. Leadership in the West Vs leadership in governance and end corruption.
developing countries: One key reason is
the sometimes limited relevance of much of Not only will the needs be different but the
the existing body of research and published content of such leadership development
work on leadership, which has focussed to a programmes is likely to be very different – for
significant extent on leadership in large example there may be a need to include
business corporations, and particularly in the development of basic management skills that
USA1. would not be necessary in a Western
programme. Similarly, local conditions may
Not only is much of the business-oriented require a different delivery for a local
Western material not designed for the leadership development programme – for
differing socio-economic contexts in example, maybe participants can only come
developing countries, but it is all too often a for one week instead of two. Thus, adapting
poor fit with developing countries’ cultures. the design of leadership development
Culture can include many factors, such as programmes and materials can be a key
local beliefs and values – for example some issue.
populations believe that leadership ability
comes only with seniority and age, or that An example of a leadership development
one should not question one’s leaders. Later programme adapted to a developing country
in this Paper, we talk with leadership
context is the Vision Quest Africa
development practitioners on how
Programme. This programme was borne out
This has been linked to a significant extent by
of the realisation that programmes based on
the emergence of new business organisations developing organisational skills and
such as Multinational Corporations (MNCs)
during the decades following World War II and effectiveness were not sufficient for capacity
the need to understand and respond to building and that more personal-level factors,
leadership needs and challenges in these
business organisations. especially personal leadership and self-

Introducing Leadership in Development – January 2007 3

management, were key issues to be be difficult to achieve a precise definition of
addressed in tandem in order to achieve leadership that satisfies everyone. Some of
success. the principal theories are quickly summarised
below. Reading about the core essence of
Hopefully, these Papers focussing on
these theories will help provide a glimpse of
leadership development in Developing
how leadership thinking and concepts have
Countries will make a small contribution to
evolved during the 60 years since World War
re-addressing the balance in favour of the
developing world, as well as shedding some
further light on existing experiences and
learning regarding leadership development in
1. The Traits Theory on leadership
developing countries.
2. The Behaviour Theory on leadership

And many examples of good leadership and 3. The Situational Theory on leadership

leaders exist. The Grameen Bank, founded in 4. The Transformational Theory on

1976 by Prof. Muhammad Yunus (a recent leadership

recipient of the Nobel Laureate for his work 5. Servant-based Theory on leadership

with Grameen Bank) is one of the most well 6. Team Leadership (Informal Leadership)

known. Grameen Bank has now lent over $5 7. Distributed Leadership

billion to over 4 million poor with 96% of the 8. Community-based Leadership

loans being to mostly illiterate rural

Bangladeshi women), and has helped millions 1. Developed in the early part of the 20th

of the poor in Bangladesh regain their dignity century, the Traits theory on leadership

and given them the opportunity to help basically explained leadership through the

themselves. But Grameen Bank is only one study of traits and personality type exhibited

example (albeit a spectacular one) of many by the individual leader, e.g. physical vitality

examples of good leadership across the and stamina, intelligence, keenness to accept

developing world. responsibility, courage, trustworthiness,

ability to communicate with people, self
confidence etc.. While valuable in many
4. LEADERSHIP THEORIES – respects, one weakness was its implicit
A 1- MINUTE OVERVIEW assumption that the leader’s actions would
not be influenced by the situation or the

In the coming sections we provide a quick group (e.g. followers) reaction to him/her. A

overview of some traditional theories on second weakness was its lack of reference to

leadership, and then consider some of the non-Western societies and cultures.

fundamental principles of leadership

development in developing countries. 2. The Behaviour theory on leadership
followed, focussing on examining what

A. Some Theories on Leadership leaders do and how they behave specifically

Many models and theories on leadership towards their followers. This resulted in a set

exist, and this sometimes means that it can of ‘styles’ of leadership - ‘concern for task’,

Introducing Leadership in Development – January 2007 4

‘concern for people’, ‘directive leadership’ and is more motivated to provide leadership out
‘participative leadership’. But behaviour of a desire to serve others that to be in a
could not be fixed and the theory failed to leadership position. The altruistic view of
explain how leadership styles respond to the human nature underlying this theory has
environment in which they operate or how made it particularly popular in the non-profit
they are affected by people with whom the and NGO sector.
leaders interact.
6. The Team Leadership concept has some
3. The Situational theory on leadership linkages to the servant-based concept,
built on the previous theories and placed emphasising as it does the importance of
particular emphasis on the contingent nature leaders knowing when to follow and the
of leadership - in other words the extent to importance of the leader acting as a facilitator
which the situation influences the practice of rather than a director. This concept thus
leadership and hence the styles of leadership promotes the leader as someone who should
used by leaders. While the Situational ask questions rather than give answers and
theory shed light on culture as a component undertake real work in support of others
in leadership it is restricted primarily to North instead of only the reverse.
American corporate culture and does not
account for reactions to styles of leadership in 7. A more recent theory of leadership has
other settings (for example in cultures where been that of Distributed Leadership. This
family is valued over bureaucratic structures). approach has also been labelled the ‘informal
leadership’ or ‘dispersed leadership’ theory
4. In the Transformational theory on and promotes a less formalised model of
leadership, more attention to culture is given leadership where leadership responsibility is
while the main focus is on individual or self disassociated from an organisation’s
development. Here, the leader is seen as a hierarchy.
catalyst or change agent and as being
‘visionary’, seeking to ‘bring out the best in Thus, this concept suggests that persons at
followers and move towards higher and more all levels in the organisation and in all roles
universal objectives’. The goal of (and not simply those with a formal
transformational leadership is to change management role) can exert leadership
people in heart and mind. Critics of this view influence over their colleagues and thus
of leadership point out that the individual influence the overall direction of the
transformative leader is portrayed as the organisation. An important feature of this
focus for answers and solutions and concept is that the notions of ‘leader’ and
possessing special qualities that set them ‘leadership’ are separated - leadership is
apart from followers. regarded as a process of sense-making and
direction-giving within a group and the leader
5. In the Servant-based Leadership
can only be identified on the basis of his/her
theory an important emphasis is placed on
relationship with others in the social group
the ethical and moral dimensions of
who are behaving as followers.
leadership. In this model, the servant leader

Introducing Leadership in Development – January 2007 5

8. Related to the above, Community-based at a given point in time and they were meant
leadership has become a major area of to address the challenges of that time.
focus during the past 25 years, and centres in
part on a greater attention to the potential Underlying the evolution of different theories
within communities and members to grow and models of leadership development over
and develop their own leadership capacities the last 20 years as been a shift in paradigms
and address the challenges that they face as to what might be expected of leaders.
themselves. Developing countries have also Earlier theories of leaders were developed in
seen a steady increase in the focus on the context of more stable (post-WWII)
developing the capacity of community-based economies and often based on the
organisations (CBOs) during the last two assumption of slow-moving hierarchical
decades. organisations.

In today’s much faster-changing world where

Several theories, but none is definitive…
information technology and globalisation are
As implied in the above summary of some of
exerting profound influences on all types of
the main theories there is probably no one
organisations, such challenges and others are
theory that can explain all circumstances.
creating many new competencies required for
Indeed, in his paper “What is Leadership?”,
today’s leaders. Today, new leadership
Richard Bolden2 points out that each theory
competencies are much more about:
has its own strengths and weaknesses and
the choice of which theory is accepted owes
• The ability to think in terms of systems
as much to personal beliefs and experience as
and knowing how to lead systems
to empirical evidence.
• The ability to understand the variability
of work planning and problem solving
All theories probably do share to some extent
• Understanding how we learn, develop
a common weakness – that of failing to
and improve, and leading true learning
sufficiently take in to consideration the
and improvement
context of non-Western cultures and to
• Understanding people and why they
what extent these models are
behave as they do
appropriate for leadership development
• Being able to give vision, meaning and
in developing countries (this is however
direction and focus to the organisation
much less the case with community


However, it is also important to realise that “What is Leadership?” (Bolden, R.; July
no model is completely right or wrong 2004; Leadership South West, Centre for
Leadership Studies, University of Exeter).
since these models evolved according to the
stage of development of people and societies

See the suggestion for further reading at the
end of this section.

Introducing Leadership in Development – January 2007 6

cultural influences can manifest themselves in
the case of Laos and in the case of Africa.

iii. Leadership in development promotes

What kind of Leadership Development
a sense of local responsibility and
can make a contribution to Leadership in
empowerment: Leadership development
practitioners in developing countries can
provide opportunities for learning. However,
Leadership development is very much about
leaders must assume the responsibility to
creating and articulating a clear and
develop themselves and their organisations
shared vision for the people concerned
and societies. Similarly, leadership
and facilitating processes for the
development practitioners need to continually
collective attainment of that vision.
pay attention to their own personal
development (this is one point that comes out
We can also identify what might be a
of the interview with practitioners in Laos in
common set of core principles that underpin
Section 7 below). The Resource Corner can
leadership in development. Here are a couple
be one source of help in this effort, by
of such possible core principles – maybe you
making research and publications relevant to
can think of some more?
leadership in development more easily
available to practitioners regardless of where
i. Leadership development is guided by a
they are located.
rights- and sustainable development
approach. It is underpinned by a common
iv. Leadership development in
value of equal rights to all human beings. It
developing countries seeks to retain a
also highlights the importance of Leaders in
paradigm of a global, interconnected
promoting the sustainable use of resources
world: Even if there are not global issues
and in combating social exclusion, poverty
related to the vision work of a leadership
reduction etc.
development initiative, leadership should
ideally seek to inculcate the perspective that
ii. Leadership in development is sensitive
we are all global citizens and live in an
to the local context: Leadership
interdependent world.
development practitioners in Developing
Countries strive to undertake leadership
v. Leadership development in developing
development that ‘fits’ with the cultural
countries strives to be practical:
specificities of that country, rather than for
Leadership development practitioners in
example trying to apply an “off the shelf’
developing countries want to provide real
Western-centred approach.
help to the communities or groups that they
work with in addressing challenges and issues
Section 7 below considers the influence of
of concern to them. For example, it seeks to
culture on leadership development work in
take into account the existing situation and
developing countries, looking briefly at how
capacity as a starting point and build further
on that, and tries to avoid engaging those

Introducing Leadership in Development – January 2007 7

developing their leadership skills in Grameen Bank, Bangladesh
assignments and activities that have little Grameen Bank was started in 1976 in the
relevance to their current needs and work village of Jobra. By the end of 2005 Grameen
challenges (see for instance the interview will have lent over $5 billion to over 4 million
with Laos-based practitioners in Section 7 poor, with 96% of the loans being to women
below). As an example, a leadership (mostly illiterate rural Bangladeshi women),
development initiative targeting members of yet the recovery rate is 99%. Borrowers from
a community in a remote African region the bank own 94% of the total equity of the
would need to take account of the long bank and the Bank has been profitable for 17
distances that participants would need to of the last 20 years. The Grameen micro-
travel when designing the length and credit program has helped millions of the
frequency of group sessions that require poor-most often the poorest of the poor-
onsite attendance. regain their dignity and realize their dreams
by giving them the opportunity to help



Despite the above-mentioned lack of
information that exists on leadership in The Story of Dr. Guindo – Director of Health
developing countries, and how it can it be in Dioila District, Mali
harnessed to allow persons, organizations
Dr. Guindo is medical doctor and the Director
and communities to shape better futures for
of Health in the district of Dioila in Mali, which
themselves, there are nonetheless many
has about 200,000 inhabitants. The health
examples of ordinary people that have made
service in the district comprises 1 hospital
extraordinary contributions to their
and 15 basic health clinics; 30 medical staff,
communities or a cause.
25 non-medical personnel and 180 volunteers
at village-level, and thus involves significant
The Orangi Pilot Project (OPP), Pakistan
management and administration
In Pakistan, for example, the late Akhtar
Hameed Khan (now considered an icon of
community leadership by many working in Dr. Guindo was a participant in the SNV
the field of community development) started Leadership Development Programme in Mali
in slum dwellings what later became the OPP over a period of 9 months during 2005-2006.
initiative ( The programme consisted of 3 workshops,
and which demonstrated that neighbourhood with coaching in between. When asked what,
level people in these deprived areas can if anything, changed after his participation in
finance and manage facilities like sewerage, the leadership trajectory, Dr Guindo identified
water supply, schools, clinics, solid waste a number of important changes
disposal and security.
Before participating in the leadership

Introducing Leadership in Development – January 2007 8

programme Dr. Guindo had always felt that same. This has resulted in fewer prescriptions
he was (and had to be) the big ‘chief’, the and therefore cheaper health care for the
person that had to have a vision and give poor.
instructions to others. But nowadays, the
Dr. Guindo and his colleagues have started to
vision for the health services in Dioila is
sensitise the population on the ‘why’ of
developed by all personnel together, including
preventive measures, such as vaccinations
clear objectives, indicators and a planning for
and prenatal consultation. This was done
each division and employee. The programme
together with the municipalities and
made him realise that a good medial doctor is
traditional leaders. The latter resulted from
not automatically a good manager or leader.
his dialogues, and alliances with different
Management and leadership skills and
municipal councils, which are formally
attitudes can and need to be developed,
responsible for primary health care. This is
including gaining the confidence of your
very innovative in Mali, and is now being
taken to the national level.
Since the programme Dr. Guindo has been
[Adapted from an account by Jeanette de
organising weekly meetings with his staff.
Regt, former SNV Country Director Mali]
Whereas before he was the only one who
talked during meetings and who gave
instructions, he now asks questions and
listens. All participants talk, and they make
decisions on the basis of consensus. 7. LEADERSHIP IN DEVELOPMENT:
As a consequence, employees have started
liking the meetings, and have stopped looking
Culture presents a big challenge to all
for excuses to be absent. They even look
leadership development practitioners.
forward to them, and participation is
Cultural differences may often mean that
generally high. In addition to more
what works in one region or country does not
interactive meetings, Dr. Guindo has started
work as well in another country, and thus the
to delegate tasks to colleagues, which gives
material and the leadership development
them the feeling that they are being valued,
approach may need to be adapted or revised.
and allows him to free time for other things.

The training also helped him realise that PRACTITIONER PERSPECTIVE: LEADERSHIP

health (care) is not just a technical matter, DEVELOPMENT IN LAOS

but also a question of good interpersonal
communication. And that a patient had Interview with Wannila
primary responsibility for his/her health. Thongchan & Karin
Before Dr. Guindo was a typical Malinese Schulz, who are both
doctor, who would diagnose and write Leadership development
prescriptions. Now he discusses with his facilitators and trainers
patients and urges his colleagues to do the working in Laos.

Introducing Leadership in Development – January 2007 9

Q. What is SNV doing in Lao PDR with experienced in Central America and in some
regard to leadership development? African countries, but in general the academic
level is lower in Laos. It is a challenge in all
Wannila: “We are piloting leadership
our work, to avoid spending time writing
development in Lao PDR through several
things that nobody will read. That is why we
development interventions, such as a
need to “package” the knowledge into
leadership learning programme for managers.
something attractive. I have searched a lot
We also work closely with three local training
for pictures, proverbs, poems, videos etc. It
organisations in order to ensure that the
is not easy to find something to fit all
programme is rooted in the Lao context as
cultures, but worth the effort!
well as to develop the capacity of local
leadership practitioners. Our approach is to
Q. As a Lao practitioner, do you see
provide a mix of training and “on-the-job-
differences in how SNV introduces
application & reflection”. We have organised
leadership development in Lao PDR?
4 modules of learning events of 3 days each,
during a 4-6 months period. The topics are: Wannila: Here in Lao PDR there is a school
leading yourself, leading your team, leading that trains young government professionals in
your organisation and leading your society. In leadership but this is more politically
between the modules the managers go back oriented. Our SNV approach on leadership
to their work places and hopefully practice learning focuses more on people skills and
and apply their new learning. performance. Participatory approaches and
interaction is our way of learning. We try to
Q. What are the challenges with limit one-way communication and spoon-
leadership development in Lao PDR? feeding that is more customary in the Lao
society. In our way, the participants are
Karin: One of the main challenges in the Lao
encouraged to contribute and to take
context is the hierarchical systems and formal
initiative. They learn not only from us, the
roles that are related to leadership. The
facilitators, but also from each other. They
respect towards senior persons and senior
also have the opportunity to reflect between
officials leads to limited openness in
the learning events. We believe in Confucius’
organisations. In our leadership programme
wise words: “hear and forget, see and
we include a lot of opportunities for self-
remember, do and understand”.
reflection and development, and practice on
how to communicate with and support the Q. What have you learnt as a practitioner
staff. Expressing what you think and feel in working in such a different culture?
an assertive way is an important part of good
Karin: I have learnt from the Lao people to
control my self more. I now avoid more
acting upon my immediate reactions, since
Another challenge is that most people in Laos
showing strong emotions easily can offend
are not used to reading long complex
people. But I have also learnt that we are
documents (they are much better at telling
very much alike as human beings. Working
stories). This is something I have also
with leadership development in Latin

Introducing Leadership in Development – January 2007 10

America, as I did before, or in Lao PDR is not the Capacity Development Consultants
so different. We all have basic human needs
organisation (CADECO) in Malawi.
that affect our behaviour.
“Firstly, most African societies are fatalistic –
Q. What is particular about working with people do not feel that they are not in control
leadership? of their future. Secondly, there is a
widespread belief in much of Africa that
Karin: It is amazingly rewarding to see the
‘development will come from the North’,
participants develop and not only becoming
something that is made worse by politicians
better leaders but also gaining control of their
who claim that if they are kept in power they
lives. For many it is the first time they ever
will ‘bring development’. The aid system
they reflect on themselves, their history,
today reinforces the same thinking - for
feelings, motives and intentions with their
example most donors will not allow their
work. It is very difficult to measure the real
partners in the South to invest in activities
impact of this kind of experience, especially
that will ensure their own self-reliance in the
on the short term. Participants claim it has
long term, thereby reinforcing the
improved their relations to their children as
dependency mentality stifling indigenous
well as the effectiveness of their organisation.
leadership development in the process.
But how can we cover all aspects in a normal
assessment of a leadership programme?
A third challenge is self-esteem, which is a
very big issue in Africa and it has great
Wannila: Leadership knowledge and skills
implications for leadership development. The
need not always come from books or by
systematic damage caused by slave trade,
attending expensive trainings. I learned a lot
colonialism, the cold war and now
from just listening to real life leadership
globalization has led to the problem of low
stories shared by our participants. One could
self-esteem among most Africans who see all
both learn from the good lessons they shared
other people as being more superior to them.
and be reminded by the mistakes they made.
This problem is aggravated among women
It is a wonderful opportunity for me to take
and the youths. People believe anything
part as a facilitator in the SNV Leadership
foreign is superior to what is their own. A
Learning Programme”.
fourth challenge facing leadership practice in
Africa is fear of leaders by followers. People
fear those in authority, possibly a
consequence of slavery and colonialism and
bad leadership from those in authority in
general. People get punished and sometimes
The Culture Challenge in Africa killed for questioning their leaders.
Leadership Development in Africa faces a Unfortunately”, says Chiku, “people with low
number of specific problems, according to self-esteem and a fatalistic outlook to life
Chiku Malunga, a practitioner working with cannot practice and experience leadership

Introducing Leadership in Development – January 2007 11

When asked how he tries to address these environments can be very important.
challenges in his leadership development When people are exposed to wider
work, Chiku Malunga responds: environments it gives them an
opportunity to compare themselves with
1. “Regarding tackling peoples’ fatalistic
others and to accept that they are just
outlook on life, if effective leadership is
like anybody else and that they have a
about helping communities create a
choice to develop themselves or not.
vision of their desired futures then the
challenge is how can leadership convince 4. Regarding the fear of leaders by
people that they can indeed create their followers, leadership development must
futures and how to create the shared aim at helping leaders to become
vision and communicate it with fatalistic comfortable with ‘negative feedback’ and
people. One of the ways we have used is that followers must be empowered to
to challenge people to think about what question their leaders and also to take it
type of life they would want their children as their responsibility to question the
to live. We discovered that no matter leaders”.
how fatalistic they are about the future,
they would want their children to live a
better life than they have. This forms the
basis of their community vision or desired
This Paper has provided an introduction to
2. Secondly, it is important that leadership the theme of Leadership in Development. We
development initiatives must help people have seen why there is a pressing need for
to understand not only where they want more leadership development information
to go (their vision) but also where they and material that is relevant to the needs of
are today and why they are where they Developing Countries, and the importance of
are. Leadership development efforts must leadership in allowing these countries to
aim at helping people to understand move forward. We have looked at some
themselves, who they are, where they principles of leadership in development, and
are coming from, where they are headed considered some of the challenges that
and their place in history and the differing cultures pose.
changes needed for them to determine
their own destiny. Critically I think No doubt, the challenges facing leadership
leadership developments efforts must development practitioners are many. For
enable people to really understand that those seeking to become better leaders, it is
no one can be responsible for the a journey that requires investment in you,
development of any person but oneself. facing your doubts and limitations in an effort
to become a better human being. So what
3. Thirdly, regarding tackling the lack of
can you do now? Work on your leadership
self-esteem, mentorship aimed building
development? Improve your prioritisation
self-esteem could play a key role here
skills? Or improving your time management
and exposure to multicultural and diverse

Introducing Leadership in Development – January 2007 12

and delegation skills? The Resource Corner is
an excellent first starting point in checking ARTICLES AND READING RESOURCES.…
what tools might be of you use to you.
On the challenges – and passions – of
Suggestions from Dr Muna Odeh, Senior
developing the leadership capacity of persons Programme Officer, United Nations University
in Amman and Jordan:
in Developing Countries Chiku Malunga’s
overall perspective is resolutely upbeat: “I
“Classical Leadership” (Doyle, M.E. and
believe that the message of leadership, in Smith, M. K.)
spite all the above mentioned challenges, “Shared Leadership” (Doyle, M.E. and
must be one of hope as it is this hope that is Smith, M.K.)
the source of the energy that drives change.
The role of leadership must not be to hide Suggestion from Karin Schultz, SNV, Laos:

nasty aspects of reality but rather to show

”What is Leadership?” Leadership South
that ‘united the ants can carry a dead
West, Centre for Leadership Studies,
elephant to their cave’”. University of Exeter.


Suggestions from Anne-Marie Schreven,

SNV Bhutan:
“Leadership Lessons from the Real
World” (Wheatley, M.J)
Where to find the publications below “How is Your Leadership Changing?”
All of the publications listed below can be (Wheatley, M.J.)
accessed through the RESOURCE CORNER

Suggestions from Chiku Malunga, Capacity Development Consultants organisation
(CADECO), Malawi:

“Learning Leadership Development

We provide below some suggestions on
from African Cultures: A Personal
further reading, based on suggestions from Perspective” (Malunga, C.; INTRAC Praxis
Note 25).
practitioners in the leadership in development

“Do Leaders Matter – National

Leadership and Growth since World War
II” (Jones, B and Olken, B; March 2004).


Suggestion from Karin Schultz, SNV, Laos

Introducing Leadership in Development – January 2007 13

About the Resource Corner ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
The Resource Corner initiative seeks to make
available relevant resources, such as
The author would like to thank in particular
information, publication and tools on various
Karin Schulz, José K. Romero and Chiku
aspects of leadership in development.
Malunga for making time available to provide
Become a member of the resource corner to
their feedback on the initial outline for this
upload documents, share your profile, and
Paper, as well as providing feedback on a first
contact others. Just visit the corner and sign
draft. Responsibility for any inaccuracies or
unintentional misrepresentation remains
however solely with the author. Thanks also
About the Author to Lara Yocarini for her feedback and
Seán J. Burke is principal of New Frontier suggestions. Thanks also to Muna Odeh for
Services (, a providing suggestions on relevant reading
Brussels-based organisation providing resources.
consulting and training services to both the
EU Institutions and other public bodies and A final thanks also to those members of the
private organisations. He can be reached at UNDP-SNV Leadership Discussion Group for their many responses and suggestions
regarding the focus of the initial Short

Introducing Leadership in Development – January 2007 14