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Developing Leadership: The Role of Personality and Behavior
TUESDAY, MARCH 1, 1994 12:15 p.m.

The debate over whether leaders are born or made has its roots in the nature/nurture controversy. Early research in leadership was of the perspective that, in fact, leaders were born with the characteristics that allowed them to do great things and it was the duty of psychologists to uncover these characteristics. In other words, biological determinism ruled.

Later research began to focus on the actual behaviors of these leaders and took the perspective that in order to be effective a person had to use the appropriate behaviors. Susan Murphy's perspective is one that combines both perspectives, personality and behavior, and focuses on how developmental activities can improve a person's leadership competence. These successful leadership development activities combine early leadership experiences, self-confidence, behavioral flexibility, and effective communication skills. During her talk Murphy will discuss examples of each of these, as well as the future of leadership development.

Susan Murphy, a professor of psychology at Claremont McKenna College, is currently involved in research on leadership and leadership development and serves as associate director of the Kravis Leadership Institute. Murphy received her Ph.D. from the University of Washington and was a research scientist with Battelle, Human Affairs Research Center before joining CMC in fall 1993.