FINDING A PATH FOR FUTURE LEADERS: IMPROVING LEADERSHIP IN HOMELAND SECURITY
Makuch, Ashleigh L.
Simeral, Robert L.
Brown, Shannon A.
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A lack of good leadership throughout the homeland security enterprise threatens organizational missions. The essence of good leadership needs to be understood if the field is to be improved. This study asked the following questions: What good leadership practices can the future generation of homeland security leaders learn from current leaders? What are the attributes of good leaders in homeland security? And how did current leaders in homeland security become good leaders? Inductive reasoning and qualitative interviews were used to reach conclusions about good leadership practices with the purpose of informing future leaders. Appreciative inquiry was the analytical framework used to facilitate discovery of good leadership practices. Seven key items emerged as a result of the research: the failure of the leadership industry and academia to adequately develop leaders; the importance of prioritizing leadership over management; the notion that leadership is not for everyone; that leadership is learned primarily through experiences; that leadership requires taking responsibility, especially for failures; that good leaders have genuine, heartfelt care for their people; and that leadership demands immense courage. It is recommended that emerging leaders self-assess whether they are willing and capable of leadership, seek leadership learning through experiences, and be courageous enough to care about their missions and, most importantly, their people.
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