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Factors Expected to Influence Holistic Leadership Development (from Theory)

Process and Form

Brown (2005) posited that leadership development crafting and moulding takes time, training, coaching, modelling and mentorship. Lombardo and Eichinger’s (1999) “70-20-10” rule of leadership development posited that personal development was accomplished 70 % through on-the-job experiences, 20 % through relationships and feedback, and only 10 % from formal training opportunities. The contribution and the nature of effective education and training that incorporate experiences, relationships and feedback as well as the roles of mentoring, kinds of effective mentors and the role of coaching in the development of exemplary leaders was therefore investigated.


Chow’s (2005) study in the Chinese context showed no gender-based differences in perceptions of leadership effectiveness. But, Ngunjiri’s (2006) study of 16 Kenyan female leaders as well as studies by Kamau (1996) and Masinjila (1997) argued that significant challenges confronted African female leaders compared to their male counterparts. Littrell and Nkomo (2005) came to a similar conclusion in Southern Africa though their study included racial differences. Conversely, Laurent’s (1986) study showed that nationality had three times more influence on the shaping of managerial (and presumably leadership) assumptions than any other characteristics including gender. Similarly, studies by Ibukun, Oyewole and Abe (2011) as well as Ejimofor (2007) observed no influence of gender in West Africa as did Stevenson’s (2008) study based on Kouzes and Posner’s (2003) Leadership Practices Inventory (LPI) in the USA. Resolving these contrasting findings on the influence of gender was of interest to this study as the training and disciplining of the African labour force, of which an estimated 50 % is female (Economic Commission for Africa [ECA], 2000), is a critical factor for Africa’s transformation (Adadevoh, 2006; Adjibolosoo, 1995).

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