Instead, one accomplishes prominence by leading the field with one's ideas. If one thinks of some of the most renowned people in the field of Effective education, one knows they got to their positions not by demonstrating high scores on examinations of knowledge of books on effective education, but by being leaders with their ideas about how to educate the effective.
Effectiveness in leadership is, in large part, a function of creativity in producing ideas, analytical intelligence in assessing the quality of these sort of ideas, practical intelligence in executing the ideas and convincing others to value and follow the ideas, and wisdom to ensure that the decisions and their execution are for the common good of all stakeholders.
Creativity, intelligence, and wisdom are not merely inborn. Even though these attributes may be partially heritable, heritability is distinct from modifiability. Leaders can develop their creativity, intelligence, and wisdom. Therefore, on the present view, one is not "born" an effective leader. Rather, effectiveness in wisdom, intelligence, and creativity--the ingredients of effective leadership--is, somewhat, a form of developing competency and expertise that one can decide to utilize or not in actual leadership decisions. The environment strongly influences the extent to which we are capable to utilize and develop whatever genetic potentials we have.
Leadership entails both skills and attitudes. The skills are developing competencies and expertise based on how well one can perform certain functions of leadership. Effective leaders are highly skillful in making and implementing decisions that represent creative, intelligent, and wise judgments. The attitudes are developing proficiency based on how one thinks about these functions. Effective leaders seek out the information they need and then process it creatively, intelligently, and wisely. Many leaders have the skills they need to be effective leaders but not the attitudes: They effectively squander their own effectiveness. This article argues that the attitudes are at least as vital as the skills. One needs inventive skills and attitudes to generate fresh and good ideas for leadership; one needs critical intellectual skills and attitudes to decide whether they are good ideas, in addition to practical intellectual skills and attitudes to execute the ideas and convince others of the value of the ideas; and one needs wisdom-related skills and attitudes to evaluate the long- and short-term impacts of these thoughts on other individuals and institutions as well as oneself. Effective leaders either excel in all three or find helpers--staff, assistants, and followers, whatever--to help them compensate for the skills or attitudes in which they do not excel.
This view of leadership contrasts with many traditional views. Traditional models of leadership regularly emphasis on identification of "fixed" traits or behaviors that make leaders Effective;
A confluence model of creativity suggests that creative people illustrate a variety of characteristics. These other models instead emphasize the interaction between internal attributes and situations. Characteristics