Free Concepts Of Adult Development As Related To Emerging Models Of Leaders Essay Sample
Recently, I realized that my family has played a lot to transform me into the person I am today. I come from a responsible family whose parents have high expectations of the future of their children. My current level of adult development depends in large extent on how I was brought up. I believe my personality development, which is a continuous and lifelong process, has much contributed on how I exercise leadership today. That is why it is essential for me first to apply development theories in my life as presented in the psychological life stages by Erik Erikson.
Stage One: Trust and Mistrust
The world as we know has a lot of challenges, and we can only overcome them by using the right ways (Erikson, 1964). As I stated in the beginning, I was brought up by loving and caring parents who wanted only the best for me. When I was a year old, my caregiver ensured I received all the basic care and needs such as comfort, food, and warmth in the best way possible. The aim here was for me to develop confidence and a sense of hope, trust and security, and avoid chances of feeling insecure and mistrust, which would affect my development.
Stage Two: Autonomy vs. Shame and Doubt
Between the age of one and a half and three years, I started developing a sense of autonomy and independence. I started learning to do simple things by myself such as dressing, selecting toys to play with and feeding myself. Thanks to my parents. They allowed me to utilize my abilities. These actions helped me gain self-esteem, independence, confidence (Gross, 1992).
Stage Three: Initiative vs. Guilt
At the age between three and six, I loved interacting with my age mates and those who were slightly older than me and asked a lot of questions to gain knowledge (Erikson, 1964). This action helped me develop self-initiative, be more confident and avoid the development of a sense of guilt that would inhibit my interaction and creativity.
Stage four: Industry vs. Inferiority
At the ages between five and twelve I realized I had special talents such as being very smart in mathematics and athletics, and my teacher encouraged me a lot. This action made me feel very confident and industrious (competence), avoiding the development of a sense of inferiority in my life and development.
Stage Five: Identity vs. Role Confusion
During adolescence period at the ages between twelve and eighteen, I was no longer a child anymore. My aim was to determine my identity and direction in life, and I feared being uncertain of what I wanted to do next. I knew my capabilities, and I needed to put my focus on what I could do best.
Stage Six: Intimacy vs. Isolation
I am currently at the age between eighteen and forty and relationships and interaction with others means a lot to me. I ensure I do not fear commitments and intimacy as this action may result in loneliness and isolation, which can much affect my leadership skills and development.
Stage Seven: Generativity vs. Self-Absorption
This stage falls between 40 and 65 years. My aim here is to establish my career, become a productive member of my society and help others achieve their dreams. I aim at completing what I started and avoiding discouragement and losing hopes in the process. A want one day to look back and see what I achieved during this mid-transition crisis period.
Stage Eight: Integrity vs. Despair
At this age, I want to rest and watch my achievements (65 years +). I do not want to feel disappointed that I never achieved my goals, but instead I want to develop integrity due to my achievements. I do not want to view myself as unproductive (after all these years), as it may lead to the development feelings of guilt and despair.
How has my current level of adult development impacted the way I practice leadership?
I admit it is challenging for me as a stage six developmental level leader to transform my followers to a higher level than I am currently in (Avolio & Gibbons, 1989). My current stage has impacted me to follow my experience and the goals I have set for higher levels to make everyone comfortable with my leadership. I have realized that how people view the world depends on their developmental levels and life experience. This realization has made me make better sense of my current leadership situations and the environmental context. I now understand why many of my followers do not understand me and my leadership strategies, but I do not blame them.
This stage has helped me perceive all daily experiences as learning experiences, and I will continue desiring to reflect on my experiences and incorporate them into my development. Through interactions with my followers from different stages of development (higher and lower than mine), I have also learned to deal with my feelings and emotions. I can now handle any disappointments and conflicts in my leadership role, leaving everyone involved happy.
Avolio, B. & Gibbons, T. (1989). Developing transformational leaders: A life span approach. In Conger, J. and Kanungo, R. (Eds.), Charismatic Leadership: The Elusive Factor in Organizational Effectiveness, 276-308
Erikson, E. H. (1964). Insight and responsibility. New York: Norton.
Gross, R. D. (1992). Psychology: The science of mind and behaviour. London: Hodder & Stoughton.
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