Leadership Development for Place-Based Change Initiatives: What Works?

Jan 24, 2011

Leadership Learning Community's Leadership Development Report

Leadership Learning Community drafted this report for the Annie E. Casey Foundation. The intent was to explore whether Evidence Based Practice methodologies could make foundation-supported leadership development efforts more effective, particularly for leaders advancing place-based community change efforts. While these methodologies (e.g., examining what works and under what circumstances) have worked well at the level of program and practice, they have rarely been applied to the question of leadership itself (e.g., what kinds of leadership is effective and under what circumstances?).

The report provides a brief overview of evaluation methodologies including: assessments, Theory of Change, EvaluLEAD, Action Learning and Action Research, Case Studies and Meta-analysis. It also reviews various leadership theories (Collaborative Leadership Theory, DAC Integrative Leadership Theory, and Theory U) in the context of place-based community needs.

A key finding (and one suggested by our own work) is that most leadership development programs target individuals and organizations even as we recognize that community leadership is about system-level change.

A summary is avaialble on Deborah Meehan's Leadership Learning Community blog, and the actual document is avaialable in PDF here.