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Towards Holistic Leadership Development in the African Context

The primary objectives of this research were to identify the critical factors that emerge and facilitate the expression of, enhancement of, and lasting effect of exemplary leadership in the research context and, from these factors, propose a holistic leadership development framework and/or curriculum elements. These four statements were derived through networking the codes reflecting the four stages of emerging, expression, enhancement and effect of exemplary leadership respectively for the sample population and context:

  • 1. Problem solving, fuelled by vision, in an environment of care (consideration) and servant hood were the most significant factors for the emergence of exemplary leadership.
  • 2. Exemplary leaders expressed themselves by creating or taking advantage of opportunities to the degree of their self-awareness and depending on their personal sense of being secure, but accelerated by an environment of organizational trust.
  • 3. Exemplary leadership was enhanced if it was a strong conviction or value, facilitated by organizational discipline or appropriate governance structures and accountability while carried out as an integral aspect of teamwork.
  • 4. The lasting effect of exemplary leadership is a legacy/significant achievement guided by strategic action that is relevant to the context and an expression of the leader’s purpose or calling.

Table 7.1 Proposed curriculum elements for the holistic leadership development of exemplary leadership in Kenya/Africa


Proposed curriculum elements or outcomes


Skills in creating and taking opportunities, organizational discipline/ structures, strategic planning and action, significant achievements, contextual relevance, accountability


Caring servant leadership, increasing self-awareness (efficacy), increasing inner strength (sense of security), teamwork, accountability, organizational trust


Practical problem-solving and servanthood experiences


Vision casting, strong convictions, values and ethics, identifying life purpose/calling

Dimension Proposed curriculum elements or outcomes

Based on the four statements, a contextually relevant holistic leadership development framework/curriculum should have the following elements:

  • 1. Practical, problem-solving, vision-casting experiences facilitated by caring servant leaders.
  • 2. Experiences/exercises that increase self-awareness and self-efficacy, personal sense of security (inner strength) and organizational trust, as well as building skills in taking or creating opportunities for growth and significant contribution.
  • 3. Teams that facilitate the building of strong convictions, values and ethics through well-established organizational structures/processes and accountability systems.
  • 4. A strategic plan guided by contextual relevance and the individual’s life purpose/calling.

All of the above curriculum elements were integrated into a leadership development framework as shown in Table 7.1.

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