Leadership Development and the A-O-R Model
Leadership development refers to all activities and programs aimed at improving the abilities and confidence of both leaders and potential leaders. Successful leadership development is influenced by the quality and effectiveness of the programme in use, one of the best being the A-O-R model (Storey, 2016). Leadership growth from application of the action-reflection-observation model only happens when one plans and observes their actions and finally reflects on the consequences of those actions. Planning and subsequent action are vital for development. A successful leader has to identify the behavior they need to change. Furthermore, they must be willing to change and create a plan targeted at the change. Through participating in activities outside their comfort zone, they acquire new skills and experiences (Baron, 2016). Besides, their subordinates are inspired by the leader. For action, perception plays a causal role in having successful events.
Observation is relatively biased by feelings, expectations, prior experience and needs (Baron, 2016). For successful growth, leaders must try to remain objective while observing their actions and the consequences of their actions. Observation as a learning opportunity also works when leaders observe superior leaders as well as their subordinates. The participants must also take note of the results varying from their expectations and reflect on them. Reflection answers the question; if one could do it again, whether they would choose to do it differently. It is how one interprets their observations. Hence, it is also influenced by perception, evaluation, and judgment. Through reflection, leaders can frame problems from a new perspective and better understand their subordinates (Storey, 2016). Leaders should find time to evaluate all possible consequences and reflect on the better choices they could have made.
Action, Observation, and Reflection on leadership experiences enhance leadership growth. Therefore, leadership and learning are indispensable to each other. Perception affects all experiences and consequently leadership development. Successful leaders will always reflect and find and learn from a new perspective.
Storey, J. (2016). Changing theories of leadership and leadership development. In Leadership in Organizations (pp. 33-58). Routledge.
Baron, L. (2016). Authentic leadership and mindfulness development through action learning. Journal of Managerial Psychology, 31(1), 296-311.