Strengths, Challenges, and Commonalities of the Leadership Development Models

There are commonalities among the various leadership development approaches discussed. As shown in Table 12.1, each of these models has its strengths and challenges, but there are also some common themes that transcend the models. An example is the power distance often created as a result of the various approaches. In spite of its shortcomings, traditional leadership development is an effective way of preparing young people for their future, just like all the other models (Adeyemi & Adeyinka, 2002). The hybridization of the strengths of the various models will serve as a unique and effective leadership development approach and also help mitigate the challenges inherent in the individual models. Hybridity of the leadership development models will be an effective means of improving the economic, social, and cultural structures and stability of the Ghanaian society and prepare young people to come to terms with the physical, social, and spiritual world of work (Adeyemi & Adeyinka, 2002).

Considering the manner in which the chieftaincy institutions in Ghana have survived over the years and continue to influence decision-making, it is important for Ghanaians to revive and focus on traditional models in leadership developmental efforts for sustainability and effectiveness. There are no clear-cut models for leadership development. However, some elements of the traditional models are commonly present in Ghanaian organizations. Many organizations in the past might have survived because they inculcated the leadership development models used in the traditional system. Beyond the boarding schools and the religious training received by employees, organizations adopted coaching and mentoring of potential leaders as their succession planning strategy. Owners of most indigenous organizations, which formed the majority of employers in Ghana,

Table 12.1 Comparison of the different leadership development patterns in Ghana

LD Model



Commonalities among models


  • 1. Deeply rooted in indigenous forms, making it original and accepted and respected by the people.
  • 2. Preserves cultural values and promotes communality.
  • 3. Leaders acquire a communal rather than an individualistic outlook.
  • 1. No written-down steps to follow, resulting in information lost with time.
  • 2. Focuses more on lineage than competence and resourcefulness.
  • 3. Focuses almost exclusively on the clan or tribe and hardly prepares its recipients for outside contact.

High power distance between “Royals” who are perceived as the privileged in society and subjects who are required to submit to the Royals.

Education based

Promotes relationship building and networking.

Cultural contamination: Students learn from their mates’ culture, resulting in the weakening of tribal customs and traditions.

High power distance resulting from elitist thinking.

Religion based

Promotes discipline and benevolence.

Tendency for doctrinal purity resulting in religious fundamentalism and conflicts.

Indoctrination results in submissiveness of the member to the leader, creating a condition of high power distance.



Uses modern scientific methods.

Rooted in Western colonialist thinking. Hence, removed from indigenous forms.

Those with scientific knowledge are perceived as experts whose views are often taken as sacrosanct, arrogating them authority to control the agenda for leadership development and creating a condition of high power distance.

groomed their relatives to take over leadership roles whenever a vacancy was available. Even with the foreign-owned organizations, leadership positions were filled with people who had risen through the ranks.

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