Professor Ron Riggio Edits Leadership Quarterly Journal Issue Focusing on the Development of Leadership Across the Lifespan

In a recently published special issue of The Leadership Quarterly, guest-editor Ron Riggio, the Henry R. Kravis Professor of Leadership and Organizational Psychology, edited a series of papers that examined the development of leadership in young adults from infancy into adulthood.

The research made use of three databases, one from the U.S. Department of Labor, a study of West Point cadets, and a unique dataset, the Fullerton Longitudinal Study, which followed children from one year of age through age 29. Researchers from CMC’s Kravis Leadership Institute measured the leadership activities and behaviors at age 29 and correlated those with early predictors of leadership from childhood and adolescence.

Some of the findings include:

The important role that intrinsic academic motivation in childhood and adolescence plays in predicting motivation to lead in adults.

Personality traits measured as early as 2 years of age can influence later emergence and effectiveness as a leader.

Supportive parenting builds self-esteem that is important in later development as a leader.

Intelligence plays a very small role in later leader development; more important is self-esteem and possession of social skills/competence.

In the West Point data, researchers examined the role that “dark side” personality traits play in leader development at the Academy, with some enhancing and some inhibiting development as leaders.

The team of Kravis Institute faculty and students are looking forward to continued work with the Fullerton Longitudinal database, which is headed by Professor Allen Gottfried, who has recently moved to Claremont Graduate University. The intent is to continue to follow the leadership development and leadership activities of the participants who are now in their mid-30s.

The special issue of The Leadership Quarterly can be viewed here.