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This study explored chief vocational administrators' (CVAs) perceptions of the importance of on-the-job experiences to leadership development. In telephone interviews, CVAs with the highest scores on the Leadership Effectiveness Inventory in a 1993 study (n=69) identified experiences most helpful to leader development: new positions offering increased responsibilities; special start-up work assignments; handling personnel problems; mentoring, counseling; and working with a supervisor. Experiences provided the following opportunities for leadership development: challenge of new or complex problems; chance to learn new ideas, practices, insights; application and practice of skills and knowledge; encouragement and confidence building; and exposure to positive role models. These opportunities developed certain leadership qualities: communication skills; administrative/management knowledge and skills; interpersonal skills; team building skills; sensitivity, respect; confidence; self-acceptance; broader perspective about the organization; and appropriate use of leadership styles. CVAs recommended these types of experiences for future leaders: mentoring, counseling, and support; formal training programs; internships; special assignments (while on-the-job); and simulations/case studies. Developmental aspects of these experiences were as follows: the chance to learn new ideas, practices; freedom to make decisions and mistakes; application and practice of skills and knowledge; challenge of new or complex tasks; exposure to positive role models; and opportunity to plan and reflect. (Appendixes contain 47 references and written comments.) (YLB)

Descriptors: Administrator Education, Administrator Qualifications, Experiential Learning, Leadership, Leadership Effectiveness, Leadership Qualities, Leadership Styles, Leadership Training, Management Development, On the Job Training, Supervisory Methods, Vocational Directors, Vocational Education

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Autor: Lambrecht, Judith J.; Hopkins, Charles R.; Moss, Jerome, Jr.; Finch, Curtis R.


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