A leadership styles competency framework for governing bodies in sport
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National Governing Bodies in Sport in the United Kingdom increasingly implement the Regional Development Managers Scheme in the quest to promote effective leadership within their organisations. Regional Development Managers need professional leadership development. However, much of what has been done in this regard falls drastically short. Leadership development has been too vague, outdated and theoretical. It has rarely been tied to an organisation’s immediate needs, nor has it adequately prepared leaders for the challenges of the future. An approach to leadership development programmes that combines theoretical concepts with opportunities to apply observable behaviours is required. The 21st century demands a new kind of leader with relevant skills. Action learning is effective in developing leaders because it is adaptable and flexible. In this investigation, 58 Regional Development Officers were asked to rate the leadership styles of Regional Development Managers on the Leadership Style Inventory (LSI). In turn, 18 Regional Development Managers were asked to report on the same questionnaire their own leadership styles. According to Regional Development Officers, the two leadership styles mostly displayed by Regional Development Managers (according to behavioural rating) are the coaching and democratic styles. Regional Development Managers deemed the affiliative and democratic styles to be the mostly used. The findings of this study, together with relevant literature, are used to propose a Leadership Styles Competency Framework for Governing Bodies in Sport.