If there is one thing that we leaders and we trainers in leadership have learned, it is that there is more than one way to be an effective leader. Context is not a static thing. Change is an ever evolving process. Context is about goals, the past, the present, and the future, cultural models, values, policy, politics, economics demographics, and so on. Leaders operate and practice within this environment. No theory fits all contexts. All theories also have some flaws. Leadership is partly innate, partly learned in schools and workshops, partly experiential, mostly affected by those with whom we interact, and also affected by others outside our immediate context. Organizations and communities change. Thus, leadership style and skill stretching is needed to adapt with these changing times.
Leaders are often influenced b the latest fad in leadership theory and methods. As lifelong learners, leaders need to learn from these new approaches. However, the learning involves integration of the new approaches with the other lessons of our lifetime. For example, adaptive leadership models provide some important insights into being a leader today. Experience based leadership models offer many additional approaches to learning that we need to integrate with adaptive leadership models and other models. Thinking from a systems or complexity approach is different from thinking in a linear way. The different thinking models mean we may also differ in the way we incorporate these new models into our leadership practice.
Flexibility and resilience are important. Leaders need to be open to new tools and perspectives. Personal leadership development is an evolving process. As a leader, we need to grow. No one approach to leadership will work in the long run. Each leader brings different skills to an organization or community. Leader A will do the job one way and Leader B may do it in an entirely different way. The way Leader A did the job in Agency1 is not the way the job needs to be done in Agency 2. One size does not fit all.