Leadership theory: From effective to extraordinary

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Leadership theory in outdoor environmental education (OEE) has long held onto traditional theories of leadership to underpin practice and prepare emerging outdoor leaders. Holding onto competency development and long laundry-lists of attributes have proven unhelpful in moving beyond effective outdoor leadership. The time has come to leave these theories in the past (colonial, white, male hegemony), and embrace inclusive contemporary theories of leadership which embrace gender diversity, minorities and reciprocity for the more-than-human world. In order to move forward, we need to first understand preceding theories of leadership and how they have informed contemporary leadership theories. When interrogated together, along with emotional and spiritual intelligence, three levels of leadership success remain (effective, exemplary, extraordinary) with four key elements of extraordinary leadership (awareness, relationships, intuition, spirituality), representative of the nuanced interplay of characteristics, values, skills and behaviours of extraordinary outdoor leaders. The metaphor of contours on a topographical map and hill walking offered to the reader as one way in which to conceptualise how these might be developed in praxis. In extraordinary times, we need extraordinary leaders for our planet: earth leaders.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationOutdoor Environmental Education in Higher Education
Subtitle of host publicationInternational Perspectives
EditorsGlyn Thomas, Janet Dyment , Heather Prince
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9783030759803
ISBN (Print)9783030759797
Publication statusPublished - 2 Nov 2021

Publication series

NameInternational Explorations in Outdoor and Environmental Education

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • leadership
  • reciprocity
  • relationship
  • more-than-human
  • head
  • heart
  • body
  • soul


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