Charting the Journey of Young Leaders: A New Model of Transferability of Skills

Despoina Karagianni, Olga Lainidi, Anthony Montgomery

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Abstract

Globally, adolescents and young adults are calling for action from governments on global humanitarian crises, taking on leadership roles that have contributed to redefining leadership in terms of behavior and action rather than qualities and status. However, there is a significant gap with regard to the conceptual and theoretical understanding of how adolescents and young adults experience leadership. In this paper, we present the results of two qualitative studies that examined the phenomenon of leadership among adolescents and young adults. Study 1 involved interviews with young adult leaders to analyze the fit between traditional leadership theories and their experience of leadership. Following this, Study 2 utilized the results from Study 1 to design a diary study of adolescents attending a leadership program. Both studies revealed that leadership is experienced as a pathway that involves three mechanisms of transferability: sensemaking, action and reflection. The findings of the studies are contrasted with traditional models of leadership that underrepresent the developmental nature of leadership and the transferability of leadership skills across different environments.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)206-229
Number of pages24
JournalMerits
Volume3
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 20 Mar 2023

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